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  • Writer's picturebdkjenner

Rocket Fuel -Establishing Credibility With Prospects

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

This Rocket Fuel is about the three essential ingredients for establishing credibility with your customers. If your customers don't perceive you as credible, your chances of closing a deal are slim. While some salespeople seem to have the secret recipe for establishing credibility quickly, others take a long time or, worse yet, never become credible in their customers' eyes.

Although developing credibility may seem magical, it isn't. From your customer's perspective, there are three essential ingredients you must possess:

  1. Competence – Your customer will ask themselves, "How competent is this salesperson?" or "Does this person seem to know what they are talking about?" While a certain amount of your competence will be assessed based on what you say (including how you respond to your customer's questions), the larger part of competence is based on how much you listen and, more importantly, the quality of the questions you ask. The more thought-provoking your questions, the more competent you appear.

  2. Ability to Relate – Your customer will ask themselves, "How well can this salesperson relate to me and my situation?" or "How well can I relate to them?" Some salespeople can walk into the "president's" office and establish a relationship based on mutual respect very quickly. Other salespeople are extremely uncomfortable dealing with people who they perceive to be at a much different level than themselves (either higher or lower). The salesperson who can adapt and identify with the customer in front of them is most likely the one to end up on top.

  3. Trustworthy Intent – Your customer will ask themselves, "Can I trust this person's intentions?" or "Whose interests are they looking out for; theirs or mine?" Customers have their antennas up constantly looking for clues to determine how trustworthy you are. Regardless of your intentions, if the customer senses that you are strictly looking out for your best interests, they will run in the other direction.

If you want a clear understanding of how important it is to possess ALL three ingredients with each customer you deal with, think of the customer who says to themselves after meeting you:

• This salesperson seems to know what they are talking about (competent) and I feel that they understand me and my situation (ability to relate), but I don't think I can trust them (trustworthy intent).

• This salesperson seems trustworthy, and I feel I can relate to them, but I'm not convinced they know what they are talking about.

• This salesperson seems to know what they are talking about, and I think they are probably trustworthy, but I just can't relate to them. They don't seem to have a clue about me and my situation.

So, the next time you meet with a prospect, ask yourself if you have established credibility in all three areas. Because when it comes to establishing credibility, two out of three, just won't do.

Onward and upward!


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