While many organizations are concerned with various aspects and characteristics of their sales force, the most important of them is often overlooked. Credibility is the most important skill of a salesperson, and this is proven in many researchs and specialized studies. There is a very interesting quote from the American writer Rebecca Solnit, who expresses well the importance of credibility in people’s lives: “Credibility is a basic survival tool.”
In a study by Brian H. Flynn and Kathleen A. Murray, entitled “Your Sales Force Could Be Your Weakness,” published in 1993, in The Journal of European Business, which evaluated more than 1,000 senior managers, pointed out that the characteristics they seek most from their vendors is integrity, reliability, and product/service knowledge. Regarding the brand, they look for a stable and recognized company in the market.
A study entitled “Corporate Identity Cues: The Significance of the Sales Force,” conducted by Eirini Dimopoulou and Chris Fill, published in 2000, accompanied representatives of pharmaceutical laboratories and their clients (the doctors). The study showed a strong correlation between the corporate image and the way the sales force was considered. Physicians have pointed to credibility as a key attribute, along with knowledge and accuracy of information.
In addition to these competences, of course, a good salesperson must also have good communication, persistence, organization, enthusiasm, and good presentation. But, no doubt, the basic competence for success in sales is credibility!