Credible Salespeople Must Be Able to Demonstrate It

BY Jessica Helinski
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To appear credible, reps must be thoughtful about their actions. How buyers gauge a seller’s credibility impacts their decision to buy and thankfully, sellers are increasingly aware of this. In an episode of the Manage Smarter podcast, Mitchell Levy, entrepreneur and author, discusses the topic of credibility. “The quality of how you are known, liked, and trusted is your credibility,” Levy believes. He also points out that credibility involves a specific combination of elements. “You need to be authentic,” he explains. “You need to be having integrity. You need to show vulnerability, and you need to basically say what you do and do what you say.” He shares three ways that reps can demonstrate credibility:

  1. Persuade themselves before others.
  2. Putting themselves in a story.
  3. Not letting ego get in the way.

Show you’re credible to win sales

Salespeople must not only possess these qualities but also be able to reveal them to prospects. Inc. recently published an article that examines ways professionals can show that they are credible. The author, Martin Zwilling, shares seven things that you can do, and reps should consider implementing these steps into their process. Here are highlights:

Persuade yourself before others. You won’t be able to establish credibility with prospects unless you first believe in yourself. You must believe in what you’re selling as well as trust yourself to be a credible salesperson. Levy agrees with this, saying, “if you're not credible with yourself, you can't be credible with other people.”

Put yourself in a story. Salespeople often use facts and figures to showcase why a prospect should buy. But, telling stories from your experiences can accomplish a lot as well. Not only are you humanizing yourself, you’re also building credibility. “People listen and remember a personal story and impact more than a large chart of facts,” Zwilling suggests. “Highlight a personal anecdote to make your message hit home and become real.” Real life examples paint a picture of authenticity for prospects that you just won’t get with data. 

Don’t let your ego get in the way. Being likable goes a long way when establishing credibility. Boasting, being pushy and similar behaviors can cast a shadow over your image — and make you appear unprofessional and not credible. Things like being humble, practicing patience, showing integrity, as Levy points out, boost credibility in the eyes of prospects. “We do business with those that we know, like, and trust,” he explains. “If you're a salesperson, then what's important is that people actually get to know, like, and trust you.” 

Small changes have big impact

To be credible is one thing; to reveal that credibility to others is key. Luckily, reps can use advice like this to better demonstrate their credibility when selling. And, the effort will be worth it. As ManageSmarter host Audrey Strong says about credibility, “if you don't have it, you want it. And if you do have it, people will pretty much buy in and follow you just about anywhere.”