When was the last time you listened to someone you weren’t fully convinced was a credible source, but took a leap of faith anyway? Yeah. That would never happen, ESPECIALLY not when it comes to your business decisions. Your job is on the line; you need proof that a product or service is a good investment before you spend money on it. This process works the other way too. If you don’t have sales pitch credibility with your prospect, you won’t be landing that sale.
Establishing credibility is easier said than done. You’ll only be lucky enough to pitch a sale to people who know you personally a handful of times in your career, if ever. So, how do you build sales pitch credibility if you’ve only had minimal interaction with the prospect until the point of the meeting?
How to Build Sales Pitch Credibility
According to Mike Renahan, writing for HubSpot, building sales pitch credibility begins the moment you walk through the door or join a video meeting. The exact moment you enter, specifically. Some people are compulsively late, even to work, but salespeople can’t afford to not be punctual. “Being punctual implies that you care, and that you’re organized and ready to help,” says Renahan. “If the person you’re meeting is taking time out of their day, you should match their effort by showing up on time.” When a prospect can’t even trust you to be on time for a meeting you set up, how can you expect them to believe you’ll put more effort into helping them in a business relationship?
Use Proper English
Bad grammar is a pet peeve of 40% of Americans. This also includes spelling errors. While this is an obvious problem is sales emails, it’s also highly prevalent during presentations. Too many slideshows are full of spelling and grammatical errors. Spoken grammatical errors can really kill your credibility. “That’s when I had a idea!” Gross. Renahan cites the CEO of IFixit, Kyle Wiens when explaining how bad grammar harms sales pitch credibility. “…’Sloppy is as sloppy does.’ Wiens reasons that a person who pays attention to their grammar is more likely to pay attention to other small details, making them a more fastidious and all-around better employee.” You’re supposed to know your pitch backwards and forwards and tweak it until it’s perfect. If you can’t manage that, what does that say about your work ethic in general?
Utilize Your Sources
Tooting your own horn won’t get you very far when it comes to building sales pitch credibility. Salespeople will say whatever they need to in order to land a sale. At least, that’s what most of your prospects think before they get to know you. Luckily, your prospects don’t have to take your word for it. You have proof: your existing clients. Eric Jan Huizer, writing for Medium, says, “When you are in business for a while, you have the pleasure of helping many clients. Each of your previous clients got some kind of value out of your service or product — use their results to lend more credibility to your sales pitch… Try your absolute your best to convey these stories the best you can. Make them exciting, let them be confident, tell the story in your unique way, make the reader feel the results it gave your client and yourself. Have them visualize the value you realized for both your customers and yourself.”
If you don’t feel like telling the story yourself, don’t worry. You can skip that part and make your presentation even more engaging. Ask clients who are in similar industries as your prospect, or at least facing the same problem, to make a short video highlighting the help you provided and the positive results they experienced. A video will give the prospect a break from the regular flow of a presentation and give them a first-hand account of your credibility.
Renahan also reminds sales reps that you can borrow the credibility of other people or companies when introducing yourself to a new prospect. The prospect may not know who you are, but you surely have some connections that they will recognize. For example, if you work for a big-name company, you can name drop it in your elevator pitch during your initial phone call or email. Renahan does it all the time! “I can borrow credibility by saying, ‘Hey, I’m Mike from HubSpot, do you have a second to talk about marketing software?’ Leveraging the credibility that HubSpot already has in the marketing industry goes a long way.”
If you’re employed by a smaller company, don’t worry. Look to your more well-known clients for name dropping power to build your sales pitch credibility. The mutual connections you share with your prospective client can also be powerful tools when establishing sales credibility.