Why Credibility Matters in Business.
You’ve probably heard, thought and talked about “credibility” more than a few times in your life. But have you REALLY thought about—your credibility, the credibility of your business and what both mean to your success?
First, it’s important to understand what exactly credibility is by definition.
Credibility is the quality of being believable or worthy of trust.
Many people confuse “credibility” with “authority.” And while they are similar, related and complimentary, they are different.
To sum it up more generally… Authority is whether you know what you know. Credibility is whether others believe and trust it.
Business partners and potential customers must believe you have BOTH to decide to put their faith in you and your company. If they don’t, they will just never really “buy” what you are selling—whether that is a promise or a product or service. That’s not good because if they don’t buy, you aren’t staying in business.
But how do you know if you have credibility? Truly, the results you are obtaining will tell you. Thus, if you aren’t getting the results you want or the level of results you want, it might be a good idea to invest some time and effort into building your credibility.
Building and growing credibility doesn’t have to be hard if you simply focus on doing the right thing, all the time. That’s really the biggest key to making the power of credibility work for you.
If you want to break it down even more, there are two really basic steps to establishing, building and preserving credibility.
Establish your authority with proof.
Don’t expect people to “just believe” your authority or what you’re saying and/or promising, but instead demonstrate that they should or can with proof. You MUST tell and show people exactly why they should trust and believe in you (and your abilities or products) in order for them to feel comfortable conveying to you their time, money or even energy.
Think about it… when you believe what someone else – or even a business – is telling you is true and authentic, it will almost always motivate and inspire you to take the action they recommend. You “buy” what they are “selling”. Obviously, what you “buy” can be intangible like a message or believe or physical/tangible like a product, good or even service. Whatever it is, you’re sold. That’s what you want too! You want people to believe you and that you (or your business) has the answer they need.
Some examples of things that can establish your authority with proof include:
- Testimonials from other customers or business partners
- Reports or white papers with actual facts, numbers and statistics
- Case studies of past successes
- Offering advice or products to other third parties and asking for their endorsement
One of the easiest ways to build trust or gain the trust of others is to make promises or guarantees you know you can keep and then keep them!
Sometimes immediately, but definitely over time, this can build credibility better than anything else.
While it may seem like a “long game” it can pay quick credibility dividends too if you practice this behavior from the first interactions with a customer or potential partner, to the last. It’s really just as simple as say what you’re going to do and then doing it. From the first email you send or ad you place, until after the transaction or agreement is complete, follow through consistently and your credibility will shine—standing out and getting stronger each step of the way.