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Tips to Quickly Establish Credibility with Prospects

by | 3 minute read

Laying the groundwork to quickly establish credibility with prospects should start long before your reps make first contact. When prospects look for a solution to their problem, they review online content. They want to know who the industry leaders are and how difficult it will be to make the transition from their current to the potentially new and better solution. To successfully change, prospects will rely on your sales reps for help. Your reps must be visible online and continue to build from that point.

Anticipate What Prospects Want to Know

Train your reps to monitor news sources on a daily basis. Setting automated alerts to have articles delivered to their inboxes is an efficient way for them to keep up. At least 63% of high performing reps track local news while only 54% of underperformers do, according to the Fourth Edition of the State of Sales from Salesforce. How does this help your reps establish credibility? When they speak with prospects or write an introductory email, they can mention the potential impact of a recent economic development in the local region. For example, if a national competitor is about to open a local branch, the prospect may be open to purchasing a solution to help them operate more efficiently.

Private Information

An informed rep doesn’t just know about industry developments. They also have information that some prospects may consider to be insider intelligence. How does this happen? If several of your reps are selling to the same vertical, they’ll pick up on trends and developments as a result of their conversations with existing accounts. Review this information team meetings with your reps. But reinforce the notion that your team members should never share information they’ve been told to keep private. Over 35% of SMB buyers told us that sharing sensitive data is a key deal-breaker in terms of doing business with a rep. On the other hand, if your reps learn about a little-known problem in the vertical they are selling to, they should share the information with team members to help them build credibility with prospects.

Follow up on Promises

In any sales setting, when your reps sense they’re getting closer to hearing a positive response from the prospect, there’s temptation. Specifically, your reps may make promises to maintain the sales momentum. They may tell the prospect they’ll qualify for free training, when that might not exactly be true. Or they’ll give the prospect a discounted price and then load the final contract with add-ons fees to get to the revenue figure they need. These tactics amount to trickery. When they prospect feels tricked, your reps will lose credibility. And they’ll lose in at least two big ways. They won’t be able to count on the prospect for repeat business. And when it comes to getting a referral? They can forget about it. Encourage your reps to follow up on promises they make and to avoid exaggerating what they can do for the prospect.

Avoid Badmouthing the Competition

The old saying goes something like this — if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Your reps should keep this advice in mind when prospects ask them about the competition. Of course, your reps have plenty of negative things to say about the competitors, especially if they’ve lost a few good deals to them. Prospects will always be more impressed with your reps’ credibility if they stay positive and talk about the best features of your solution.

The Slow Reveal

It’s always tempting to toss off statistics that will astonish prospects. Maybe your company already owns 75% of the market you’re selling in. And you could be in the enviable position of setting the industry standard. Your reps will want to tout the awesomeness of these details, probably believing that the prospects will want to sign on the spot. The thing about prospects is when it comes to making a purchase, their top priority is finding the best solution for them, and at the best price. Your reps must stay humble and help prospects determine what will work for them. Most prospects have already done plenty of advance research online and they know your market position. Bragging could turn them off.

5 Ways to Quickly Establish Credibility

At least 83% of reps noted that the changed market conditions relating to the pandemic have made them realize they must build trust, or credibility, before the sale takes place. Guide them through mastering these 5 ways to quickly establish credibility with prospects and they’ll see immediate results.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.