Examples of How Salespeople Lose Credibility with Their Prospects

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sun, Oct 28, 2018 @ 23:10 PM

credibility

You probably thought I would write a world series article but there wasn't much tension or anxiety in this series as the Sox dominated.  So instead of an epic baseball related article, you're going to read about trust and credibility.

Most salespeople know the importance of establishing trust and sometimes overcompensate to achieve it.  However, when salespeople lose credibility, the most likely scenario is for their prospects to buy from someone else and this happens much more often than you might think.  Data from Objective Management Group's (OMG) evaluations and assessments of 1.8 million salespeople tell us that only 38% of all salespeople establish trust and even the top 5% are only able to bump that number to 54%. 

trust-1

That could explain a lot of lost sales, but why? 

It is very easy to demonstrate this by using the current political atmosphere as an example.

Before we begin, I am a registered independent and have voted for both democrat and republican candidates in the past 3 presidential elections, There is no need to read between the lines, twist my words, or turn this into a political platform.  I shared ugliness from both sides of the political spectrum proportionately.

Do you remember the 2016 presidential campaign when a 2005 video of Trump emerged with him saying that he could grab women's genitals?  Most politicians and pundits condemned him, his words and his actions.  At the time, CNN had a couple of Trump surrogates fighting an uphill battle each night as the panels were usually stacked with pro-Hillary voices.   On that night, rather than joining the crowd and condemning Trump's actions, they defended him and lost ALL credibility.  Nobody would listen to them again and they were eventually fired.  All they had to do was say that they agreed with everyone else on the panel and shut up. They could go back to fighting the good fight on another night and they might have even garnered some additional support for being so realistic and honest.  But that's not the path they chose to take.

Things were equally mind-blowing this past week after the serial package bomber and synagogue shooter were both apprehended.  FOX had a couple of democrat strategists who, rather than blaming the bomber and the shooter, put the blame squarely on Trump, as if he had recruited them to act on his behalf.  As with the previous example, they lost all credibility when, if they had only chosen common sense over party, they would have maintained credibility and the opportunity to get viewers to listen to their other opinions.  It was a completely different story over at CNN and MSNBC where their viewers would have surely applauded any guest who blamed Trump for the evil that took place last week.

Which finally brings us to selling.

Your prospects will usually be on one side of your argument or the other.  There's not really any such thing as down the middle because everyone has an opinion.  Whether it's your approach to solutions, product design, services, technology, pricing, timing, delivery or customer service, you won't be credible If you take the view that is opposite of what they believe.  Period.  CNN is the most trusted name in news - as long as you agree with their 24x7 anti-Trump narrative.  FOX is fair and balanced - as long as you only watch the three shows that are actually fair and balanced; because the others definitely lean to the right of center.

So how do you appear credible to a prospect who:

Loves one of your competitors? You need to love them too.

Loves a different product?  You need to love it too.

Loves a different technology?  You need to love it too.

Loves a different price?  You need to love it too.

Love it - at least initially.  At least long enough to lower their resistance.  At least long enough for them to find you credible.  At least until they are willing to listen to an alternate message.

Go Red Sox.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Donald Trump, kavanagh, cnn, fox news, Dave Kurlan, trust, credibility

Top 10 Indicators That You Have a Trustworthy Sales Prospect

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Apr 28, 2014 @ 09:04 AM

trustWhen we discuss trust, it's usually from the perspective of how to build trust, how to be more trustworthy and what to do when a prospect doesn't trust you.  These issues led to my White Paper on Trust, a study that had some very surprising and revealing results.  If you haven't seen it or downloaded it, you can get it here.

When one of my clients talked with me about trust last week, I was actually surprised about the context and direction he was taking it.

He believed that as early as his first phone call, he could determine when a prospect was going to buy and if they were being honest...but didn't think his salespeople could do the same thing.

We discussed that he has much more experience, better instincts, develops better relationships, asks better questions, and does a better job differentiating himself.  Those competencies and his experience do make a difference.

He asked if that could be taught to his lesser experienced salespeople and I said "no."  You not only can't teach instincts and experience, but if you tried, salespeople might use it as a justification for having happy ears, hearing more of what they want to hear without questioning it.

That said, there are some indicators that we can identify, to help salespeople have a better handle on whether the prospect is being honest and whether or not they will buy.  But these are not replacements for instinct. These indicators do not change the facts, they cannot move the opportunity to another stage of the pipeline or sales process, and they cannot alter the probability of closing.  They are simply indicators:

  1. The prospect says that, "Nobody ever asked me that question before" and proceeds to answer it;
  2. The prospect says, "Great question" and proceeds to answer it;
  3. There is a discussion about the competition, but it does not involve having the lowest price;
  4. The prospect thanks the salesperson for being so very helpful;
  5. The prospect shared the names of other decision makers, their roles and invited them to the next meeting or conversation;
  6. The prospect easily shared his/her compelling reasons to buy;
  7. The prospect answered all of your tough questions;
  8. The prospect shared something personal;
  9. The prospect took interest in the salesperson's personal life; and/or
  10. There was no game playing.
Yes, there can be more.
No, this particular list does not have any science or even a study behind it.  These are simply indicators that I have consciously and unconsciously used over the years.  They may or may not be transferrable.  They may or may not work for you. 
Of course, you may not agree with me.  This is an easy article to punch holes in, so if you are so inclined, this is the time to do it!
Remember, these do not replace instinct or facts - they are simply indicators to help determine whether or not you can believe your prospect and accurately predict that you'll get the business.

Image credit: tang90246 / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, trust, sales calls, trustworthy, salespeople

Trust in Selling is Becoming More Important Than Ever

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

trustI loved this short, but perfect post from Seth Godin's Blog last week.  It's about the importance of trust.  Please read it before proceeding.  It's also very consistent with the late Steven Covey's philosophy as related in his book, The Speed of Trust.

Trust is becoming more important than ever.  Companies are focusing more on integrity and values, and that's from both sides of the door.  They are looking for salespeople, vendors, suppliers, partners and trusted advisors who have strong integrity.  And they are also hiring the people (in this case, salespeople) who are deemed to be of a higher integrity.  Trustworthy is the operative word here.

There are certainly companies and people that don't measure up when it comes to the high integrity profile and that is what makes prospects so skeptical.  Bad experiences.  It only takes one shoplifter for a retailer to install a video surveillance system and/or detectors, lock their display cases, hide their merchandise and distrust all of its customers.  Just one bad apple is all it takes to ruin it for everyone.

Yesterday, we had an internal conversation about our website, collateral, videos, blog articles, white papers, emails and of course, phone calls and face-to-face visits.  The question of the day was, "Do potential clients trust us when they don't really know us that well?"  

We wondered aloud whether credibility and trust were really the same thing, related, or completely separate conclusions.  Personally, I believe they are separate.  I believe that someone could be credible as an expert, yet still not be completely trustworthy.  I also believe that we could meet someone who was completely worthy of our trust, but not be completely credible as an expert.  Separate issues.  The problem is that many companies lump these two issues together and assume that if they are credible, they have built trust.  Here's something for you to consider.  Let me know if you agree with my definitions.  I believe that credibility is an earned, time-tested, combination of experience, expertise and success in a specific field or subject matter.  I believe that trustworthiness is the ability to convey personal values and integrity through words, body language and actions.  Do you agree?

You can have all of the latest systems, processes, tools, and applications, along with the best products and services.  But if your prospects don't trust you, your intentions, your company, your promises or your eagerness, they won't buy from you.

I would like to remind you of a white paper on trust that I published a couple of years ago.  I conducted a study and we got some incredible, eye-popping data, that shows who trusts whom, by industry, and exactly when and why salespeople are distrusted.  It's a must-read.  You can download it right here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales, trust, Seth Godin, integrity, steven covey, salespeople

Subscribe via Email

View All 1,700 Articles

About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016 and this one for 2017. Read more about Dave.

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile

Subscribe 

Receive new articles via email
Subscribe
 to the Blog on your Kindle 

 

 

Most Recent Articles

Awards

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee

Leaading Sales Consultants 2018

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2017 - Article/Post - Gold
 Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2017 - Assessment Tool - Gold

 2016 Top Sales & Marketing Individual Blog - Bronze

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Bronze - Thought Leader

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Podcast - Gold

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Webinar - Gold

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 - Bronze - eBook/White Paper

2018 Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blogs Widget

Dave Kurlan Top 50 Sales Influencer 2015

Sales Pro Insider Blog

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers

Top100Strategic

Top100SalesInfluencersOnTwitter



Hubspot Top 25 Blogs

 

Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator

FREE Recruiting Process Grader