Credibility on the Line
Especially in a recessionary market, you really have to differentiate yourself from the rest, not just in terms of product or service, but credibility. With the availability of review sites like Yelp, or the myriad of report boards, people and businesses that don’t establish and maintain their credibility will not have people coming to them for anything.
Everything that you do or don’t do; everything that you say or don’t say counts. So when you say you’re going to call at 3 pm tomorrow, if you don’t do it you’ve already lost credibility. Do that with customers … is that a bell I hear tolling? That’s the death knell of a business. So follow-through and delivering on what you say are no-brainers, yes?
As counter-intuitive as it may sound, though, credibility actually doesn’t start with the customer’s opinion of you, or their feedback to others. It starts within you.
These are two of the most important questions for an entrepreneur to ask him or herself. First, ask yourself, ‘What did I do right?’ You do a quick analysis immediately after your presentation, call, or sale opportunity and you think of everything you did right. ‘I showed up on time. I dressed correctly. I looked the person in the eye. I shook hands with him or her firmly. I smiled. I was relaxed. I asked questions.’ Replay it like a highlight reel of tonight’s games. Look at all the good things you did.
The second question you ask is: ‘What would I do differently? If I had to do that over again, is there anything I would change?’
When you memorize and visualize what you did right, you program it in to your subconscious mind so the next time you’re with a customer you are pre-prepared, like an athlete. You’re ready to do all the things that you did right, and improve on the things that you would have done differently.
Never ask, ‘What did I do wrong? What mistake did I make? How did I blow it?’ When you focus on the mistakes you made, you pre-program yourself to make the same mistakes next time.
The more you program yourself with your successes, when you walk into a room the more confident you are, the more relaxed.
People love to buy from confident, relaxed people because confidence gives you high credibility. When you are confident, believe in yourself, and you’re comfortable with your product, that emotion of confidence becomes contagious. People feel that confidence you have in what you sell.
Those who have confidence in what they sell and feel real good about it—feel really good about it because they’ve called on so many people—they will have even more sales. Those who lack confidence will lose the sales they have now eventually.
A third-grader can talk and repeat product features, but it takes a credible salesperson to ask questions to try and understand where the prospect is coming from, and how you can help them. To be successful in business, you must love your customers. The only way you can love your customers is to really understand what their situation is, and then as a professional you make recommendations instead of trying to sell something. You must really want to help them.
That is what makes a credible, successful businessperson. Credibility is everything!