7 years ago
February 21, 2017

The Crucial Character Trait That Most People Believe Sales People Lack

If your sales people are lacking this one crucial character trait, they’re going to have a hard time closing deals. Want to know what it is? Read on.

Rhys Metler

You’ve been in the sales industry for a long time. You have the experience. You have all the sales skills that you need to succeed—you know how to research, qualify, listen, ask questions, collaborate, and negotiate. And yet, you’re having a tough time closing deals.

It’s no surprise, because you might be forgetting to build this one crucial character trait that customers believe that you lack: credibility.

Sales People’s Bad Reputation

Whether or not you seem credible all comes down to perception. In fact, only a tiny 3% of people believe sales people to be trustworthy. That means a whopping 97% of people don’t trust you. There’s no wonder you’re having a tough time selling with these numbers stacked against you.

Your prospects are inherently distrusting of you. But don’t take it personally, this is a real industry-wide problem. Just the mere fact that you’re a sales person makes you seem dishonest and untrustworthy to those around you.

Signs that You Need to Work on Trust and Credibility

You might think that your prospects trust you—but do you know it for a fact?

Consider some of the customer behaviours below that signify that your prospects don’t trust you.

  • They use every excuse in the book to hang up ASAP.
  • They purposely make themselves seem busy when you’re at the office for an appointment, so they can get you out as soon as possible.
  • They refuse to answer your questions or use very vague and non-committed answers.
  • They refuse to refer you to the higher authorities and decision makers in their companies, even when there is a clear need.
  • They use delaying tactics like telling you they’ll call you if there is a need.

Do these behaviours sound familiar? If so, it’s time to start working on boosting your credibility in order to effectively build trust.

Boosting Credibility

There’s no doubt that sales people have a bad reputation. But that doesn’t mean that you just have to accept it. Now that you’re aware of the problem, you have an opportunity to work on establishing your credibility in order to stand out of the shadows of distrust.

Follow Through

When you’re in the process of dealing with prospects, it can be tempting to say anything you have to in order to gain their interest and get them to the next step. But this can backfire against you. If you can’t keep your promises, don’t make them at all. Don’t say you’ll call them the next day if you think you’ll be too busy to do so. Don’t say you can reduce the price if you don’t have the authority to do so. If you can’t follow through, you’ll devalue your trustworthiness. Your word won’t be credible.

Learn about Your Prospects

Using a boilerplate pitch for all clients is certainly the easiest option, but it’s not how sales people should go about building credibility. It’ll show prospects that you only care about the sale and the commission cheque. Learning more about your prospects and creating a customized sales presentation will ensure that your prospects know you’re really in it to help them overcome their problems and help them meet their needs, so they’ll trust you more.

Build Thought Leadership

If you can establish yourself as an expert in your industry, you’ll automatically boost your credibility. Prospects will trust what you say during the sales process because you’ve already proven that you know what you’re talking about. Start a blog, host podcasts and webinars, be active on social media, and be a trusted source of information in order to build thought leadership.

Be Honest

Being honest, no matter if that honesty will hurt you or the sale in the end, will do wonders to boost your credibility. If you tell a prospect that a certain more expensive product or service really isn’t what he needs to solve his problem, for example, he’ll begin to trust you more. Sales people should never lie or all trust will vanish.

When you work on building credibility and trust, you can start selling better today.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.