Tom Levers

Organizational Credibility and Sales

Posted in BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, Sales by Tom Levers on May 19, 2010

In a recent study on reputation and its impact on the bottom line, it was concluded that companies with the best credibility get substantially more references, retain higher quality talent and partners, have better sales close ratios, can better defend negative press, and have a higher ability to attract investments.

The point is simple: When your company has built  a reputation on credibility, your sales people benefit from it. They don’t have the burden of having to “sell” the firm and themselves at every sales situation.

Credibility Makes a Difference

Research has indicated that many firms experience a 50 percent increase in new business with a positive jolt of credibility. Also, there is a drastic decline in sales and talent retention when the firm’s credibility takes a negative hit.

Credibility starts at the top. In the best-selling book, The Leadership Challenge, it explains why leadership is above all a relationship, with credibility as the cornerstone. They provide rich examples of real managers in action and reveal the six key disciplines and related practices that strengthen a leader’s capacity for developing and sustaining credibility.  A must read for those interested in integrating credibility best practices as a way of life.

Leaders establish principles concerning the way people (constituents, peers, colleagues, and customers alike) should be treated and the way goals should be pursued. They create standards of excellence and then set an example for others to follow.  It starts with:

1. Trust — confidence, consistency, integrity and authority,
2. Authenticity — real, sincere, informal, delivering as promised,
3. Transparency — open the doors and windows, be accessible and easy to discover, no secrets
4. Affirmation — playback, reinforcement, and the third-party conversation,
5. Listening — empathy, humility, putting out the welcome mat, and asking for and responding to feedback,
6. Responsiveness — speed, accuracy, correcting problems, responding to changes in the marketplace, and handling of complaints.

What is credibility worth?      Everything!

At the lowest level, it means your sales force will make more sales faster and with a higher average price. Then, your customers will accept higher level products more readily because they know it’s safe. Then, they will give you referrals and introductions to other firms. This cuts your marketing and sales expenses in both dollars and time.

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