New sales reps – top performers provide advice on building credibility

Building Credibility

We’ve had the opportunity to work with some very successful sales reps and their managers. Recently we met with a group of them crossing industries and asked: From your perspective, how can a new sales person gain credibility? 

Several good ideas were mentioned. First, they all mentioned some variant of the theme: Listen to the customer’s needs, determine what you should do, and then do it 100 percent of the time.  While expressed in various forms, like “do what you say you’re going to do”, “always follow through”, “stay true to your word”, “and don’t over-promise and under-deliver” – the underlying intent is the same. 

A second piece of advice focused on dividing credibility into two pieces: company and personal. Company credibility derives from product and company knowledge. The personal credibility advice was a little more interesting. For new sales reps, personal credibility isn’t built overnight. It’s a long-term process. One of the sales reps spent a lot of time talking about this, noting that a new sales rep doesn’t need to make a big impression immediately. Rather, a new hire should create a “plan” that allows him/her to build their personal credibility over time and avoid the big mistake up-front. 

Check out other posts on sales effectiveness at the Sales Training Connection. 

©2011 Sales Horizons™, LLC           

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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