There are two different times when it is important to build credibility while performing sales prospecting – 1) when dealing with gatekeepers and 2) when trying to get the prospect to move forward.
Dealing with Gatekeepers
The gatekeeper will typically be responsible for keeping out pesky salespeople. As a result, when they answer an incoming call, the first thing they will try to determine is whether the person calling is a friend or a foe. A friend would be somebody that is already working with the company in some way and a foe would be an outsider trying to work their way in.
Once the gatekeeper has identified that you are a foe, which you most likely are if you are sales prospecting, he or she will immediately become more difficult and try to keep you out. With that being the case, it can help to do everything that you can to avoid giving off the image that you are a foe.
One of the best ways to do this is to establish credibility by name-dropping other people at the company that you have met or spoken with. If you have not met with or spoken with anybody, which is often the case, just name-drop individuals that you are planning to meet with.
Closing the Prospect
The other time when credibility is important is when you are trying to get the prospect to move forward to the next stage in your sales process.
Regardless of what you are trying to close for, it will help if the prospect has confidence that you and your products can live up to any claims that you have made. The best way to do this is to share stories and examples of clients that you have worked with and helped.
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