Prospects will never believe the message unless they believe the messenger. That’s why credibility is crucial in sales. Salespeople who take time to build credibility know how to win the trust of their prospective clients and sell more effectively.

Maintaining a high level of credibility can be challenging though. We’re all human and we run into the occasional hiccup or issue that can make us seem less credible. Want to make sure you’re not falling victim to some common pitfalls? Read on. We’re highlighting a post from Leslie Ye, the editor of the HubSpot Sales Blog, that explains some of the top mistakes that destroy credibility with prospects.

1. Getting basic information wrong. Make sure you get the prospect’s name right, for starters, and make sure you know all the basic facts you can find out with a simple Google search. Every productive conversation starts with research, Ye says. If you haven’t made any effort to get simple facts right, the prospect has no reason to believe you have their best interest at heart.

2. Asking prospects to repeat themselves. It’s okay if you truly didn’t hear what the prospect said, but if you frequently have to ask them to say something again, it’s a sign you’re not really listening. Make sure you take good notes so you can keep track of all the details, Ye says.

3. Only somewhat paying attention. When you’re talking with a prospect, it’s not enough to say, “uh huh.” This doesn’t show that you’re absorbed in what they’re saying. Practice active listening in a way that facilitates some back-and-forth, Ye advises. Confirm you heard the other person correctly and ask relevant follow-up questions when necessary.

4. Making assumptions. If you’re going to have a useful sales conversation, you can’t assume you know what the prospect is facing or the problems they’re trying to solve. Ye says it’s fine to make some assumptions in prospecting mode — making educated guesses can be helpful — but you should avoid making sweeping statements or recommendations until you understand their situation.

5. Misstating information. Having a thorough understanding of your prospect’s situation might be the most crucial aspect of any productive sales conversation, Ye says, and if you say the wrong thing, you’ll show the prospect you haven’t actually been listening.

6. Promising too much. It’s easy to fall into the trap of overpromising to keep your prospect engaged. Don’t commit to something unless you can follow through. If you have to backtrack, you’ve just lost credibility.

7. Describing your product wrong. There’s no faster way to undermine your credibility and expertise, Ye says, than to get the basic facts on your offerings wrong. You’re the promo authority, so make sure you’re 100% spot-on when you describe your offerings. If you’re unsure of something, let the prospect know.

Credibility is a critical element in building sales relationships. It’s fragile and easy to lose, though, so don’t let your hard work go to waste by making one of the blunders above.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Leslie Ye is the editor of the HubSpot Sales Blog.