Examples of How Salespeople Lose Credibility with Their Prospects

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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 53%.  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 their24×7 anti-Trump narrative.  FOX is fair and balanced – as long as you watch the three shows that are 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

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