“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.”
– Edward R. Murrow, American Broadcast Journalist

This week I’ve been following my friend Gary Lemke’s series on Trust. Gary’s daily posts on his CRM Advocate site are insightful and thought provoking. Indeed, it got me to thinking about how trust plays into the sales process.

At Possibilities Unlimited, we coach people that when they approach a new prospect, the prospect will have three consecutive, intuitive questions:
1.  What do you want from me?
2.  What’s in it for me?
3.  Can I trust it?

That third hurdle, the trust question, is often the deal breaker in the buying decision. So how do salespeople garner trust from prospects with whom they’ve never done business? The key is credibility. If the salesperson isn’t credible, the prospect will not trust enough in the sales proposition to buy.

There are many ways to build your credibility with potential clients. As a salesperson, you should be taking advantage of as many of these ideas as you can:
1.  Speak at association or industry meetings.
2.  Take leadership positions in networking or industry groups.
3.  Publish a blog that showcases your knowledge of your industry.
4.  Create monthly white papers that establish you as an expert.
5.  Offer webinars to educate your client base on new trends and information.

6.  Send a weekly or monthly “Just thought you should know” newsletter that keeps clients up to date on current information.
7.  Post success stories or client testimonials on your website or in your sales literature.
8.  Build relationships over time and ask for referrals.

In other words…strut your stuff! Don’t be afraid to show up in the marketplace as an expert. People want to buy from people they think are smart and people they can trust. You shouldn’t come off as a know-it-all, but you should look for ways to share your knowledge with your network. Building credibility takes time, so start this week on a plan for increasing your visibility to your client base.

As Gary points out, clients want you to have their best interests at heart, not your own. When you establish yourself as a trusted expert, the game quickly becomes a win-win for all parties involved. If you need ideas on how to boost your credibility, give us a call. We’ll help you find the tools that best suit your industry and experience and guide you on how to use them to win the game.


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Ralph White
Business Coach, Author, Artist & CEO
310.372.8538 | Ralph@Consulting2Win.com
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