Are you credible? In this fast paced ever-changing sales environment credibility has become a key differentiator. Most times it’s what makes sales and why customers become referenceable. Yet I think most of us really don’t pay attention to our credibility like we should.
I have come up with seven characteristics crucial to credibility. Believable, Dependable, Trust and Confidence, Accountable, Effective, Character and Integrity, and Consistency.
I know… you’re thinking… “I have this covered”. Do you? Let’s see… Here are 7 questions to ask yourself to see if you are credible.
Are You Credible? 7 Questions to Ask Yourself
1. Believable: Do you talk the talk but don’t always walk the walk?
2. Dependable: Are you constantly late, breaking appointments and/or deadlines?
3. Trust and Confidence: Do you Play “007” with what you’re doing – critical information – keeping others in the dark?
4. Accountable: Do you point the finger instead of looking in the mirror?
5. Effective: Are you quick to respond?
6. Character and Integrity: Do you tell the truth?
7. Consistency: Are your methods and work ethics reliable and consistent?
OK… So how did you do? Realistically, most of us have some work to do on at least a couple of these credible characteristics. Lets go over them to see if we can’t become more credible.
Believable: Do you talk the talk but don’t always walk the walk?
This can be a little tough to accomplish because many times perceptions can be skewed. I know as a manager I have been accused of this from time to time with new sales people. What I came to realize is that their perception of what this meant to them was clearly different than what it meant to me. For instance… I am a big fan of getting the sales person to be self-reliant. I give them the tools and resources to do just that. I never do it all for them as I want to bring out their personalities and talents. Many times this is looked at as I am a lazy, non-supportive manager.
Bottom line: Make sure you can back up what you promised. Make that promise clear and purposeful.
Dependable: Are you constantly late, breaking appointments and/or deadlines?
My Mother raised me on the advice of “If you weren’t 10 minutes early… you were late!” Plan ahead… MapQuest the location even if you think you know where it is. Never be late. Good advice Mom!
Missing deadlines escapes me quite honestly. I have seen time after time where my salesperson is frantic because a potential customer wouldn’t give them an extension on presenting a completed RFP. Why should they! Plan ahead… time management is crucial here.
Trust and Confidence: Do you Play “007” with what you’re doing – critical information – keeping others in the dark?
This one may or may not have made sense to some of you. What I am getting at here is becoming a team player. Nothing worse than a “lone wolf” calling and advising a customer that you have partnered with. I can tell you when that happens without my knowledge I have no trust and confidence with that particular sales person.
“Credibility is like virginity. Once you lose it, you can never get it back.”
Accountable: Do you point the finger instead of looking in the mirror?
Even if you have a bad manager you are still responsible for your actions! Suck it up, fall on the sword, and make the changes necessary to personally succeed. You are in control of your sales successes and life successes. Quit blaming others for your failures today.
Effective: Are you quick to respond?
When you get a voicemail, email, etc. do you respond immediately? Even if you don’t have an answer right then do you let them know you are working on it immediately? If not, make a change and do so. You will instantly put yourself above others. Powerful and so easy to do.
Character and Integrity: Do you tell the truth?
If you have screwed up… fess up! Do not lie to cover any mistakes. The truth will come out eventually. This also falls along the line of accountability.
I once had a salesperson that tried to cover a mistake. I found out about it and her and I went to the upper manager to get it resolved. She was so overwhelmed over this that she fell on the floor crying. I told her to suck it up… it’s not going to be that bad. It wasn’t. It never really is typically.
“I believe ‘credibility’ is one of the biggest issues yet to be addressed by Internet advertisers.” – Jef I. Richards
Consistency: Are your methods and work ethics reliable and consistent?
This is a must to be credible. It really affects all other characteristics. How can you be credible in any way without a consistent work ethic and consistent ideology? It’s just not possible.
Credibility is not just a sales career item. It is something that we carry with us through all our endeavors. It really is who we are. Take some time and tweak your life so that at the end of days you will at least be thought of as credible.© 2006-2017 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF