SalesFuel’s recently conducted American State of Credibility survey[i] finds that car salespeople rank at the bottom of the list for perceived credibility with only 20% of consumers strongly agreeing or agreeing they are credible. And fewer than one in three consumers (28.4%) view salespeople who sell something other than automobiles as credible.
In the COVID-19 economy, nurses top the survey’s list as most credible with 81.7% of consumers agreeing they are credible. Doctors and pharmacists follow close behind.
The survey was released in conjunction with international bestselling Amazon author
C. Lee Smith’s new book SalesCred™ which reveals how salespeople build (and lose) credibility.
According to Smith, salespeople often talk about qualifying the buyer. Instead, they should examine how the buyer qualifies the seller. How the buyer perceives the seller has significantly more impact on whether a sale is made than how the seller perceives the buyer. This is why building Sales Credibility is so important.
“If your product requires a salesperson for it to be sold, all your sales methodology, funnels, process improvements and training are useless if your reps aren't credible in the eyes of the buyer,” says Smith. “Lack of credibility is THE #1 problem that needs to be fixed in sales because, unfortunately, the vast majority of salespeople do little things every day to undermine their credibility with buyers.”
In this actionable sales journal, Smith shares the secrets of building sales credibility to attract higher-value accounts, gain greater access to the real decision-makers, and sell from a position of strength. All sales managers want to have a high-performing sales team. To achieve this goal, they have to improve both their sales process and their salespeople. Building credibility presents an opportunity to do both at the same time.
Sales, when done right, is a noble profession, but the industry needs a framework to make it easier for salespeople to learn how to be credible. SalesCred™ introduces the Hierarchy of Sales Credibility™ – a 5‑layer framework that allows salespeople to see where they are on the credibility hierarchy and what they need to do to get to the next level of credibility.
Salespeople can use the tips in this book to learn how to move up the hierarchy. Sales managers can use the framework to grow their sales team and provide their team members with the necessary training and coaching to increase credibility.
"Never before has credibility been talked about in such an important aspect of business as sales. SalesCred™ is such a powerful book loaded with insights, which are backed up with data, on how salespeople can become more credible and more successful," says Mitchell Levy, Global Credibility Expert at Credibility Nation.
Here are five notable messages from the book:
- Credibility is the master key that unlocks the sales process. Every stage, whether it be connecting, discovery, solving, or closing, becomes much easier when your prospect perceives you as credible. Without credibility, your ability to close the sale can disappear in an instant.
- A salesperson without credibility is not only at a competitive disadvantage today, they’re at risk for being replaced by AI tomorrow.
- Salespeople can build their credibility with what they say, how they say it, what they do, and what others say about them.
- The bigger the sale or the more complex your solution is, the more credible you need to be.
- The more difficult the economy is, the more important your credibility becomes. Buyers will be seeking every opportunity to reduce risk. Your credibility is the leverage needed to keep from dropping your price.
Read and share messages from the book on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook here.
Smith’s previous book Hire Smarter, Sell More!,released in July 2020, reached Amazon Kindle Bestseller status in key business and sales categories in the US, Australia and Canada. The book helps sales managers understand how to use data and analytics to hire rainmakers and avoid toxic troublemakers.
Author C. Lee Smith is a professional certified behavioral analyst who helps sales teams leverage critical insights that enable them to acquire, develop and retain their best employees and customers. He is a sales credibility expert and workplace toxicity consultant and international bestselling Amazon author of Hire Smarter, Sell More! He is also the CEO of SalesFuel®, a sales intelligence firm he founded in 1989 that has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Sales Enablement providers worldwide by Selling Power magazine. He is one of the select few certified advisors worldwide for sales consultant Jeffrey Gitomer and was personally recognized as one of the Leading Sales Consultants by Selling Power Magazine in 2020.
[i] The State of Credibility survey was conducted by Credibility Nation, SalesFuel and the behavioral analysts at Behavioral Resource Group. All three entities are independent companies without affiliation or sponsorship from any corporation or political group. The opt-in survey screened participants to ensure a panel that represents the age, gender, race and ethnicity of the U.S. adult population. Conducted from September 1 to September 9, 2020, 1,055 U.S. adults completed this survey.
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