Episode 249: Lee Smith

Credibility is the Prospecting Game-Changer You Need
C Lee Smith


Lee Smith

C. Lee Smith is the CEO and Founder of SalesFuel, a Columbus-based consulting firm. Lee is named by Selling Power as one of just 6 Leading Sales Consultants for 2020 worldwide. He is also the author of “SalesCred,” the definitive book on the #1 problem facing sales teams today – their lack of credibility among buyers. He has also written the Amazon international bestseller “Hire Smarter, Sell More!,” a book that helps readers increase their bottom line by avoiding toxic employees and identifying and hiring sales rainmakers.

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Why is credibility so important for salespeople? Does it impact prospecting and lead generation more than one might think? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Lee Smith argues that credibility is the thing that sets you apart—and you need to embrace it.

Lee Smith is the CEO and Founder of SalesFuel. He is also the author of “SalesCred,” and the international bestseller “Hire Smarter, Sell More!” He’s uniquely qualified to share prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts. Don’t miss it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:10] Prospecting + lead generation
  • [1:53] Why are they important?
  • [2:33] How buyers qualify you
  • [3:49] The three components of credibility
  • [5:38] Improve your preparation and discovery
  • [7:16] Lee’s top 3 dos and don’ts

Credibility is how buyers qualify you

Successful lead generation and prospecting are all about credibility. Lee emphasizes that too many times salespeople focus on whether or not they fit the ICP, are a marketing or sales qualified lead, etc. He looks at it differently.

Buyers are looking to qualify you and determine if you’re credible. Do they respond to emails? Do they answer your calls? Do they invite you to compete for the business? 59% of buyers are researching the sellers before meeting with them. They want to know if you’re useful—or a waste of their time.

They go on LinkedIn, check your website, and do internet searches. If they find nothing—or don’t like what they see—you won’t get invited to the table. Who do you have the most credibility with so you can earn their trust?

The three components of credibility

You have to be known. You have to show that you have the business acumen and experience to prove that you can help their business, help them achieve their goals, and help them solve their problems.

You have to be likable. Show buyers that you like and respect them. Show up on time, don’t take advantage of them, and don’t pretend to be what you’re not. Don’t try to trick them. You have to be trustworthy and full of integrity. You have to show authenticity, vulnerability, and empathy.

Resilience is key. You will face adversity. You will have doors slammed in your face. You have to learn the lesson from the loss and take it forward and do a better job next time.

Don’t neglect preparation and research

Lee implores salespeople to improve their pre-call preparation skills. Do your research up front and don’t walk in empty-handed—or you’ll walk out empty-handed. You must provide value that is relevant to your buyer.

You have to ask smart questions. Then you have to shut up and listen to them all the way through. You’ll often get the most important information at the end of someone’s answer. Then you have to be curious and ask follow-up questions.

The person asking questions leads the conversations. If you’re credible, they’re more likely to answer your questions honestly because they know you can help and won’t misuse the information. It gives you the leverage you need to create a strong offer and close the deal.

What are Lee’s top 3 prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts? Listen to find out!

Credibility attracts the customers you want

A company was just bought out and was being pushed to do things they weren’t comfortable with. The person who had just taken over the team had listened to Lee’s podcast and was aware of him. Because of credibility that Lee had built through articles, his podcast, other companies that he’d worked with, made him top of mind. So Lee was brought in to work with this group.

Credibility allowed him to attract the type of client he wanted to do business with. Lee believes your credibility acts as a magnet. It either attracts people to you or repels them away from you. He notes that “The more credibility you have today, the easier sales become tomorrow.”

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