By Graham Acreman
Whether you’re new to business or embarking on a new venture, the one quality that could pave your road to success is your credibility. To be credible is to have the confidence of your prospective clients. You need to be capable of persuading people and being believable. Customers need to be confident that you can deliver.
There may be times when you feel insecure or unqualified. Impostor syndrome affects many new business owners and if you let that lingering doubt hang over your head, you could end up sabotaging yourself. The reality is that you don't need to be the best in your field, you just need to be at one step up or more up from your customers.
Fact: entrepreneurs with high credibility are more likely to succeed and grow.
Many people think that to be credible, you need to have the right background and education. Education is important but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. To be credible is to be seen as honest and trustworthy.
Of course, your character is just one of many things that contribute to your credibility. Here are six things you can do to increase your credibility.
Dress for success
Your clothes show to the world who you are and people make judgements about them instantly. Dress to impress. Do the opposite and you could give potential clients the wrong impression. I'm not saying you need a suit and tie (though you may), but your attire should at a minimum, mirror the standards within your industry.
Building and projecting your image should be top of mind. In short, it’s essential to dress the part.
Ask good questions
You can demonstrate your credibility with and extract more value out of your conversations by asking good questions. Not only does questioning facilitate the exchange of ideas and objectives, but it can also build trust among two parties. You instantly become more credible if you are seen as insightful.
One of the best ways to increase your credibility is to behave professionally at all times. Someone who displays high levels of trust and conducts themselves in a responsible manner is seen as more credible and trustworthy.
If you can demonstrate competency in your chosen field and show your confidence in your capabilities, people will be more willing to do business with you.
But there's more to professionalism than your technical expertise. It also means showing respect for others and yourself. Your actions have a big impact on your reputation, and if you honor your commitments, control your emotions, and always tell the truth, you can earn a lot of goodwill from clients and colleagues.
Your words should also convey clarity and professionalism. Think before speaking and when you do, use a calm, direct voice. Finally, avoid using profanity and slang in your language.
Potential customers often investigate a company's track record before doing business with them. They read reviews, ask for feedback from their peers, and check the company's prior work. I'm sure everyone wants to work with someone with a proven record of success.
If you can consistently produce good results, it makes you more valuable and credible.
You should also be consistent in speech and actions. Don't promise something you know you can't deliver on.
One simple way to achieve this is to underpromise and overdeliver. Do more than what you said you would do. This allows you to exceed your customer’s expectations and sets you up for success.
Continued, ongoing learning helps foster credibility. The world is constantly changing, and you risk becoming obsolete if you don't keep yourself updated on the latest trends, technologies, and methodologies.
Be willing to open yourself up to new ideas. Absorbing new knowledge allows you to stay abreast of emerging industry trends, which you can then apply to your business to stay competitive. Enrolling in courses, attending lectures, or reading can all go a long way in keeping yourself relevant.
Share what you do
Knowledge is only valuable if it's shared with others. Why not share yours? You could start a blog or write about your expertise on social media. It will provide you the opportunity to position yourself as a subject matter expert, and you can reach people who need and can benefit from your expertise.
Libraries are full of books that haven't been read in years. These books may hold valuable information that could change lives. But if no one reads them, that knowledge is wasted.
When you share your knowledge, you build your credibility. This helps demonstrate your value which in turn will help you grow your business.
Building credibility is an essential component of getting and then keeping customers. By being conscientious of it and doing the right things to establish and maintain it you and your business will be much more successful.
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