Building Credibility & Rapport The Sales Evangelist
If you’re not your company’s super genius — the one that knows every tiny detail about your product — how can you, as the CMO, be a trusted source of information to your buyers?
The truth is, it’s less about being a genius and more about being able to clearly and succinctly convey what problem your product will solve for the buyer. I’m not talking about just charisma — it’s about how much value you add to the conversation.
None of that matters, though, if you’re still using the old sales (and marketing) playbook.
How has the buyer’s journey changed? More than you probably realized.
On an episode of The Sales Evangelist podcast, I revealed the secrets of strengthening your credibility within your ecosystem, garnering a loyal community that comes to you for answers, and making yourself irreplaceable as a CMO.
- Don’t let strict brand guidelines stifle your creativity; instead, focus your efforts on building a community of buyers who trust your opinion, not your sales pitch.
- You can’t build a loyal online community without offering value to your audience through podcasts, articles, and expert analyses.
- Ensuring you’re the most requested CMO for high-profile executive meetings secures your credibility and reputation in your company’s ecosystem, as well as your position in the company.
Say goodbye to the buyer’s journey you’ve always known.
The days of talking shop by the water cooler at trade shows are over. The reality is that buyers don’t need us anymore.
According to a study by Gartner, the average buyer is more than 50% through their buying process before they even call a vendor.
Why? Because of the power of the Internet and how much information is available with a simple Google search. Your buyer is now researching you and your competitors on their own, joining LinkedIn groups, and seeking answers from their peers.
The question then becomes: how can I be part of this new buyer’s journey and tailor marketing to this new reality?
Give them a reason to trust you.
Let’s face it, there’s a good chance there are others in your industry that know far more than you about the tech that you’re selling.
I’m not an engineer, but I can speak authoritatively on the technology that my company works with — and people listen. So much so that one of the common comments I receive in meetings is, “I’d never have known that you are the CMO based on your level of knowledge.” All CMOs should strive to be at this place within their ecosystems.
It’s all about building credibility. Even if you have strict brand guidelines to follow, creating trust with potential buyers doesn’t have to rely on stifled wording approved by every other executive.
Being a clear communicator and providing valuable insights can be just as important as impressive credentials.
The trick is not to talk poorly about competitors or imply they aren’t as smart as you. Instead, offer real value to a community of buyers, start meaningful conversations and form collaborations and partnerships.
Buyers don’t want a sales pitch; they want answers to their questions and someone to help them spend their money wisely!
Your name should be on everyone’s lips.
We’ve discussed building credibility and rapport in your community and among potential future buyers, but what about within the leadership of your own company?
I’m a huge fan of the book Play Bigger. One of its authors, Christopher Lochhead, says his aim as a CMO is to be the most requested executive for high value sales meetings. Imagine being so trusted and influential, that you’re automatically invited to meetings that fall outside your duties as CMO.
It’s not just about showing your marketing acumen — it’s also about demonstrating your overall knowledge of the company and industry.
If you can make yourself invaluable to your CEO — and make sure your name is always on that list — you’ve helped cement your position with the company and your credibility beyond it.
Don’t pitch your connections — nurture them.
I’ve built more than 50% of my network by cold connecting on LinkedIn. I don’t spam my new connections, no one wants to be pitched anymore. Instead, I give them industry insights, thought-provoking analysis of new data and market trends, and fresh ideas they can act on.
Sure, there may be competitors out there with more technical knowledge, but many of them are operating on an outdated playbook, based on the old buyer’s journey. When you build a community, bolster your credibility and meet the buyers where they are, you’re already one step ahead of the rest.
Watch the interview.
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