When someone trusts you, they are more likely to buy from you. How do you build trust? By developing credibility. What is credibility and how do you go about building it?
When you provide a service to your clients, or you sell high cost, high quality products, credibility is one of the things you need to help you grow your business. You won't find it listed as one of the tools you can put into your 'marketing mix' and yet it is vital for your success.
How to Build Credibility
Credibility is about good reputation; it is the power or influence it gives. All your prospective clients will be naturally suspicious of you, so it's your job to show them that you can be trusted by building respect with them. When someone trusts you, they are far more likely to buy from you. Your credibility is what allows you to develop the high level of trust needed for someone to agree to spend their money with you.
So how do you build your credibility?
Be helpful. When you meet a prospective client or referrer, find out how you can help them. What sort of clients are they looking? Do you have a new supplier you can recommend to them? If they ask for your advice, share your knowledge and expertise with them. Donít keep it all to yourself and only help your clients. Give whatever you can.
Stick to what you're good at. You need to become an expert in your field and the only way to do this is by sticking at it. Donít get distracted by something else, just because you think you can make money from it. Donít try to jump onto a new band wagon Ė focus on getting even better at what you already do well and become known for that. You can't claim to be an expert when you've only been doing something for a year, so you need to really work at it over the years.
Be consistent. As well as sticking to what you do and being consistent in your services, you need to show consistency in how you promote your business. A company that keeps changing its name or branding is likely to confuse potential (and existing) clients. Create a brand that reflects your values and then stay true to those values.
Write about it. One of the best ways of sharing your expertise and thereby building your credibility is by writing about it. Blogs, articles and newsletters are a great place to start. Donít brag about how great your business is, but focus on being helpful. Give your readers tips and ideas to help them. Once you've mastered short bursts of writing, thing about putting more of your knowledge into a book. A book will really boost your credibility.
Speak about it. Giving talks about your experiences is another way to share your knowledge with a large number of people and therefore increase your credibility. Running workshops and seminars allow you to share even more, over more time. A word of warning Ė if you've not had any training in public speaking, or you're very nervous, you can actually do your credibility more harm than good. Get some professional help if you need it, before embarking on a career on the stage. When you can do it professionally, you'll see your credibility soar.
In order to turn a suspicious prospect into a trusting client who loves what you do for them, look at all the ways in which you can build your credibility. Select the tactics that will work best for you and you'll be able to build a great reputation and a loyal following of clients.