Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Build Credibility and Bigger Sales

While we always try to give you as much straight selling advice as possible, sometimes a simple story is all you need to make a point. This story from telesales expert Art Sobczak will make it clear why establishing credibility is one of the most important things you can do.

I finally gave in and bought the iPhone. Wow, what a cool device! It's so much more than a phone.

While in the Apple store, I had an interesting sales experience with one of the reps. While looking at the wall of accessories to perhaps add to the sale, I asked the rep, whom I had perceived to be quite knowledgeable and helpful to this point, what type of case he'd recommend. He told me that he personally didn't even use a case, and most of the stuff they sold was pure crap, plus if you dropped the phone, cases just protected the edges, and you'd likely be screwed anyway.

He said of course management wouldn't want him saying that, but there was no need for a case, just a film screen protector. That impressed me. I didn't want a bulky case anyway, so I was relieved that I did not really need one.

Then when I asked him about a car charger, which I really did want and need, pointed out a couple they had available, including the more expensive one he recommended, which of course I bought. Even though I knew what just happened, I did it anyway because it made sense.

I experienced what Dr. Robert Cialdini calls the Theory of Credibility in his book, Influence. That means that when credibility has been established, we tend to accept the recommendations of those making them. By obviously steering me away from spending money on something he felt I didn't need, I felt comfortable with his other suggestion.

You can do the same. Think of situations where you might lose a sale, or recommend a lower-priced product if it's in your customer's best interest. Chances are, your credibility will rise in your customer's mind, and your long-term payoff will be larger.

Sure, especially today, sales might be even harder to come by for many people. However, keep in mind that by having the customer's best interest in mind, you will always profit more in the long term.

Art Sobczak helps sales pros use the phone to prospect, service and sell more effectively, while eliminating morale-killing rejection. To get FREE weekly emailed TelE-Sales Tips visit: www.BusinessByPhone.com

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