A credible person is one worthy of being believed, who instills confidence, and is trustworthy. Credibility can emanate from internal characteristics and behavior or externally via the actions of others. External credibility is bestowed upon one by higher authorities or other credible sources. Examples include working for a large brand-name company or institution. Or having a title or degree (Sir, PhD, MBA). Or being a recognized member of a licensed profession (lawyer, doctor, engineer).
In business, references or testimonials from satisfied customers lend credibility to you and your company. You are more likely to be believed, prospects will be more confident that you can deliver, and you will be perceived as more trustworthy.
When involved in a new start-up business venture, or if offering a new product, or when just starting a new position, credibility is not there just when it is needed the most. External factors can be put in place but may take some time to significantly help the effort. It takes time to build a brand, to have a company become known, to get favorable press coverage, to earn testimonials.
This is when internally generated credibility is most important. Unlike external, internal credibility can be instantly established. Following are the primary ways that this credibility can be achieved:
Certainty. You must be 100% certain or prospects will be 100% undecided or uncertain. Any lingering doubts you have will be greatly amplified in the prospect’s mind. Why should they buy if you aren’t buying what you’re selling?
Conviction. You must communicate unwaveringly your dedication to your company and confidence that you can deliver as promised.
Authoritative. Speak loud and clear like you are the expert you claim to be and you be will seen as such.
Expertise. Be knowledgeable by learning everything there is to know about your specialty. Attend the trade shows, read the relevant industry magazines, search the web. If a prospect mentions this or that you will be able to immediately respond and offer insights and valuable consultation to assist them to find solutions.
Personal References & Testimonials. Even if the company you work for is new, you may not be. Use your education, past positions, and connections to bolster your claim as a player and expert in your industry niche.
The above can be implemented simply by doing what we all learned as children. You pretend. Visualize the company you are helping to create. The brand name market leader with products in high demand and that receive rave reviews. Pretend that you what you are visualizing is already a reality. This time-shifting along with intense visualization unleashes the “magic” that will be transmitted to everyone you come into contact with. Your vision and dreams becomes their visions and dreams. This is the entrepreneurial mindset of CEOs that create new companies and make them successful.
Actors do this as part of their craft. It is know a method acting where they immerse themselves into the role they play until they are no longer merely playing the character, they are the character. They live the character’s life. You can do this. Kids are great actors and we were all kids at one time, and we can be again.
When I was 14 I was just starting to learn to play a guitar. It was going very slow. I was offered a chance to join a rock band. This sounded good to me as I was also finding it slow to meet girls, and as we all know, rock stars get the girls.
Only one problem, I was terrible at lead guitar. They needed a bass player and asked if I could play. I of course lied and said yes. I arranged some financing, a co-signed loan and a job cleaning apartments my dad owned, and bought a bass guitar and an amp. Not wanting to go second class, I bought the best on the market. A big cherry red Gibson bass (I was all of 5 ft tall, 110 lbs wet) and a huge amp that was taller than me (Bruce with 2 15″ JBLs).
We started practicing and within a couple months I was getting half-way decent. Our first paid gig was coming up. I need something to distract the audience from my playing while making me seem “cool.” I hung a full size American flag in front of the amp. Every time I hit a note, the flag bounced. The crowds went wild (they were of course all kids my age and easy to impress).
The lessons I learned stayed with me over the years:
Life moves fast, move faster.
If you wait until you’re ready to go, the ship has already left.
Fake it to you make it, and eventually you won’t need to fake it.