Sales Coaching Series, Part 19: Are you a "believable" seller?

So, we know what influences buyers. Now we need to turn to you and test if you can apply these traits, characteristics and behaviours to yourself to become credible in the eyes of the purchaser/prospect.

In my early career, I recall attending and later facilitating many psychology of success programs. I loved them. For the first time in my business, education, light was thrown on why people behave as they do. In particular the subject of fear caught my attention. I learned that people experience two types of fears, namely, fear of failure and fear of rejection.

Fear of failure is experienced in the front of the body. You have often heard it said that public speaking ranks higher than the fear of death for many people. I'm sure you can relate to that. Suppose you were told that you had to step in for a very ill colleague to speak at a major conference and you are given 15 minutes to prepare! The front of your head would go light, your mouth and throat would dry up, your heart might begin to beat a little faster in the front of your chest, your intestines is might grumble and you may have to excuse yourself for a few moments, if you understand! That's fear of failure.


People often experience fears of rejection down the back of the body like hairs on the neck standing up, shoulder blades tightening and your spine tingling. Just imagine you enter a noisy room full of gaggling people, they do see you and suddenly it goes quiet! Hmmm! Unless you have ice coursing through your veins, it is more than likely you will experience a bit of a chill going up your back. That's rejection!

Let's apply this to sales. The last thing people wish when they purchase something from you is buyer's remorse. You have to live with the consequences and, as that unfortunate buyer, every time you look at or use the product or experience whatever service in which you have invested, you get that awful failure feeling. Now, suppose this is a major purchase like a car, house, something that you have saved long and hard for... pretty galling, isn't it?

True story. This happened to me not to long ago when I decided to trade in my car for a newer model. It looked good, it felt good, the sales guy was very professional, I signed the paperwork, paid a small deposit...and (...I think the fact that he told me that I could change my mind), set the fear of failure process off in my head. Went home, thought about it and "ERROR" was screaming at me!!!! Next day, called the sales guy and said I had a change of heart. After the initial silence, in fairness to him, he was professional to his fingertips, he honoured the cancellation.

I'm telling you this story not to point out any deficiencies in his failed sales process. Very often you can follow the process 100% correctly; however, people do change their minds.


In my car story above, I don't think the sales guy could have done anything was my fear of failure, kicking in to scupper it.

The purpose of this story is to help you ensure that cancelled orders or incomplete sales are kept to an absolute minimum. How can you ensure this? It's about your credibility with the prospect so that every angle is covered and you can be almost certain that you have brought it over the line.

So what does credibility look like? Firstly, and number one, it must be about belief in yourself as a salesperson. You must have belief in your product/service. You must believe in your company, the people around you who will support you in after sales service, maintenance and communications. As I've mentioned before, when the pressure comes on, the chain will break at the weakest link. If you are out there at the coalface selling products/services, building relationships, listening to and bringing them over the line, it is a prerequisite to your sales success that you have belief in everything that surrounds your offering.

Every moment of impression needs to be positive. What are these credibility factors? Do customers trust you 100%? Do you trust your internal support team equally? If not, do yourself a favour and raise the concern today with your boss or whoever appropriate, and fix it! 

Again, one of my "pet" credibility factors...are you dressing appropriately? Do people see you as that consummate professional, that because he/she looks after themselves well, will probably look after your customer equally?

Is the way that you present your offering coming across as professional or somewhat haphazard? Do your brochures, handouts and livery reflect credibility? Don't give your prospect any opportunity to question must come out all of the time, in everything you do, in the A-Z of the sales process. 95% credibility in the minds of prospects is 1,000,000 miles away from where you need to be.

So what is the 5% that might be impacting on your credibility? Are you always courteous, friendly, engaging? What do your customers say about you? One of the best credibility factors is how your current customers describe you, your products and your company. Have the courage to ask them and commit it to paper!

Let me leave you with this thought: positive testimonials and referrals from existing clients are, in my view, THE most important and number one form of credibility-building techniques you can implement. Most of the time, all you have to do is ask and if you have built up credibility and trust, they will be more than happy to provide.

SECRET TIP: What we do in our firm is, when happy clients agree to providing testimonials, we offer to write them up ourselves to save them time. We then forward the draft in a word document for editing and input, and we are 99% there.           I have ever written and oral Try it!

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