One of the biggest challenges that we face as a sales manager or a sales leader is building trust and credibility instantaneously. We have to establish trust and credibility with people who work for us, people who we work with, people who do business with us, such as prospects, customers, and clients. This ability to create instant trust and instant credibility isn’t easy. The good news is it can be learned because it’s really about good communication. Here’s three key strategies that I use to implement and build trust and credibility, and I use these strategies specifically with people who work with me, whether they’re on my team or I report to them.
I am comfortable demonstrating a level of vulnerability. When you show and demonstrate a level of vulnerability with potential clients or people who work with you on your team, you show that you’re human and you’re relatable. They can picture themselves in your shoes. That helps build trust. Nobody wants to do business with someone that they don’t see as human. And no one wants to do business with someone who is at an unattainable level. So, when you share and demonstrate a level of vulnerability, you show you are just like everyone else. You show you have compassion, and that strikes enough emotion in people around you to trust you, to believe that they’re safe being vulnerable and human around you.
Another way to build trust or instant credibility is to pay attention to the communication styles of those around you. For example, if you have a rep who speaks incredibly fast and is really dominant, you should speak a little slower and show that you’re engaged in listening to the conversation with nonverbal cues like nodding and leaning in as they speak. When you do that, you demonstrate that you are completely engaged in their message, and that person will do the same for you while you’re talking. Being active and engaged when people talk will increase effective communication and build trust and credibility.
The final tool I use is also rooted in communication. Make eye contact and reaffirm what the person said. Making eye contact shows that you’re listening and you’re engaged. And clarifying— repeating their words back to them— makes them feel seen and understood. This is a powerful tool that really helps build trust. It’s as simple as saying “Just so I’m clear, this is what I’m hearing you say…” It shows that you care enough about what they’re saying to listen to their entire message.
There’s more to being successful than this of course. That’s just one step in a long series of steps to creating a strong sales culture. Subscribe to my blog to learn all the strategies that I share as a sales coach. Or reach out to me today for your own private coaching sessions.