In the Sales Bible, written by Jeffrey Gitomer (2003), he outlines 12.5 things you can do to make the prospect more confident to buy from you, here are my picks:

“1. Be completely prepared: a fumbling, excuse-making, apologizing salesperson builds zero confidence.”- If you do not have any confidence in yourself, and what you’re saying/selling, you can pretty much guarantee the prospect won’t either. It is important to make sure you have your ‘elevator speech’ ready, and know the products. Not everything is based on knowledge, it’s also how you handle things when you don’t know the answer- be confident and assure them you will find out the answer as soon as possible, and actually follow-through on your promises.

“2. Involve prospects early in the presentation. Get them to help you hold your samples. Something that makes them feel like they’re on your team.” The prospect is your best ally, they have been put in charge of meeting you and making the decision to accept your product, or not. But making them feel like they are a part of the process, you begin to build rapport. Ask them what they think would work best, what they’ve tried in the past, what they think. Not only is this valuable information for you, but it also shows them that you are willing to work with them to find a solution, and you’re not just trying to make a commission.

“3. Have something in writing. An article about your company or product from a national news source will reek of credibility.” Commonwealth Oil has many articles in our archive, including an article on our EDM Fluid. If ever you want to keep them on hand, please e-mail me (jmacera@commonwealthoil.com) and I will send you information, from 3rd party sources on our products.

“”4. Tell a story of how you helped another customer. That creates a similar situation that the prospect can relate to.” In coolant sales, receiving support after the sale is one of the biggest value-added services our distributors can do. They are the liasion between our lab and the end-user. By sharing stories of how you have helped your customers through a hard time, or gotten to the bottom of a problem they’ve had, will show that you are committed even after the sale is complete. This builds your credibility, along with that of the customer.

“5. Use a referral source if possible. ‘Mr. Prospect, you should call [name of company and contact name] to find out how we helped them.” Telling stories is one thing, but being able to back it up and have others confirm the story and the value-added service you provided is another. Having references to call upon is important, and this could really give the prospect the push they need to write the purchase order.

“6. Drop names of larger customers or the buyer’s competitors. If you are doing business with a large firm, state it in a way that shows strength and competence rather than sounding like you’re bragging.” This is a tough one and I suggest only doing it when the moment feels right. Nobody wants you to throw their competitors in their face, but they probably do like to know that you service other comparable companies and they are pleased with what you offer.

“7. Have a notebook of testimonial letters. Try to get letters that cover various aspects of your business: quality, delivery, competence, service and extra effort. Be sure some of your letters answer the buyer’s objections.” Commonwealth Oil has collected many reference letters both for end-users and for potential distributors. If ever you need any reference letters for our products, please e-mail me (jmacera@commonwealthoil.com) and I will send you one that is applicable, or even get one that you may need. It is also appropriate to have your customers write something on their company letterhead.

“8. Emphasize service after the sale. The buyer needs to be certain you won’t sell and run. Talk delivery, training, and service.” This is especially true with coolant sales. Because there is maintenance and training required, customer’s need to know the services you will provide, and know that you are always just a phone call away. We have tons of tools to promote coolant maintenance that i would be happy to send you for your customers, as a value-added benefit.

Price is not a credibility factor- put the focus on your personal experience, desire to do a great job, and ask for a small test order to get your foot in the door. Let the product speak for itself. “Being the least expensive won’t get you anywhere if the prospect has no confidence to buy. Many times low price actually scares the buyer.”