Credibility is more than just a critical sales factor - it's the key to inbound selling success.Do you want net-new business? Your buyers must see you and your company as credible.

When asked what behaviors a seller could exhibit that would increase the likelihood of meeting or buying, more than 1/3 of the responses were related to credibility as presented in the book, Stop Selling and Start Leading.

Let’s face it, buyers are nervous:

  • Net-new copier customers have likely been burned before and are nervous about your ability to deliver.
  • Managed Services prospects may know you as a hardware company and be nervous about your ability to support their networks.
  • Production Print prospects may see you as an office equipment company and be nervous about your ability to support a production environment.

In all of these scenarios, credibility is critical!

What can you do to increase your credibility?

The authors of Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion reference decades of research on three sources of credibility:

  1. Trustworthiness: Can I trust this company or person to deliver what they promise?
  2. Expertise: Does this company or person understand both their product and my business?
  3. Dynamism: Are they engaging?

Whether you are a marketing expert or sales professional, your perceived credibility needs to be a top concern. Let’s explore how we can build credibility.

Building Credibility Through MarketingCredibility is the key to closing deals. How can you build this critical sales success factor for your sales reps and your business?

Since buyers are on average 57% or more of the way through their decision-making process before engaging a sales rep and over 90% of B2B buyers use search engines, marketing plays a critical role in laying a foundation of credibility. Here are some ideas on how to build credibility with your marketing.

Trustworthiness: Does your website do what it says it will do?

  • If someone downloads something, do they receive it?
  • If they request contact or support, is there follow up?
  • Is someone monitoring your online chat?
  • What do your references on Google, Yelp, or Facebook reveal?

Expertise: Does your website have information that positions you as an expert?

  • Blog articles that answer questions
  • Do I find helpful reports and buyers guides?
  • Are there case studies from clients you have helped?
  • Who are your technology partners?

Dynamism: How do I feel about your brand?

  • Does your message resonate with me? (See the article, Does Your Dealership Resonate With Buyers?)
  • Does it look like you care about your company or is your website outdated?
  • Does your online brand look current or dated?
  • As a technology leader, do you communicate consistently on social–or does you lack of attention make it look like you may no longer be in business?

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Building Credibility as a Sales Professional

How can your sales professionals build their personal credibility while adding credibility to your company at the same time?53% of decision makers have eliminated a vendor from consideration based on information they did or did not find about an employee online according to Kredible Research. Their conclusion: “Your employees are more likely to make the short list of preferred vendors if their online presence instills trust in potential clients.”

Just like a company has a website, every sales rep has an online presence with their LinkedIn profile. Here are some ideas on how to boost credibility:

Trustworthiness: Does this sales rep look trustworthy?

  • Are there references from other clients?
  • Does their summary explain how they work with clients and what kind of experience they provide? (Check out this podcast episode on Client Experience as Competitive Advantage.)

Expertise: Does this sales rep look like an expert?

  • Does the sales rep share useful insights that demonstrate they understand business?
  • Does the sales rep have certifications or training that shows they understand their product?
  • What career experience do they bring to the table?

Dynamism: Would I enjoy working with this person?

  • Are there references from other local business people?

A Cadence for Credibility

Credibility is critical to success in growing your business. As sales professionals and marketers we need to continually improve our credibility. I recommend that you set a meeting with yourself (or your team) once a month where you look at your website or LinkedIn profiles. What are three things you could do to build credibility?

Companies: If you’d like a third party evaluation of your credibility as a company, I’d be happy to help.

Sales Teams: If you’d like an evaluation of your sales team’s credibility on LinkedIn, I recommend you contact my friend, Larry Levine at the Social Sales Academy

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