How to Secure Clients by Building Credibility
If potential customers can see that your business is trustworthy, they'll be encouraged to try your products or services for themselves.
Let's take a look at some ways to build credibility in your business.
Become involved in your local community
You, your business partners, and your employees are the faces of your business. If potential customers in your local area get to know you all personally, they'll gain a favorable impression of your business. Well known people (like celebrities) attract a certain amount of credibility.
Make it your business' mission to become involved in the local community by:
- Attending events and if possible speak at them
- Sponsoring sports competitions and having your branding visible
- Supporting local charities and having you mentioned in their mailing lists
Participate in conventions, exhibitions and other events
Another way of gaining face-to-face contact with potential new customers is by participating in:
- Exhibitions and trade fairs
- Markets or special occasions such as anniversary events
- Any other events that potential customers may attend
Rather than just giving out brochures or business cards, engage with visitors to find out exactly what they're looking for in a business such as yours.
Join business networking groups
Join a local business networking group and meet potential customers face-to-face. Don't try to sell them your products or services, instead, establish a relationship with them so they can refer new customers to your business.
Another way of building credibility is to speak at business networking events. This will raise your profile among a wide range of potential customers.
Trade and professional associations
Joining your trade or professional association is an additional way of increasing your business' credibility.
Many potential customers will check that a business belongs to a trade or professional association before making a purchase. This is because trade associations usually have certain standards or codes of practice that their members agree to adhere to.
People are more likely to believe in businesses that belong to an association and view them as reputable organizations that will treat them fairly. For example, a consumer who's thinking of buying a car would be more likely to trust a dealer who's a member of the National Automobile Dealers' Association (NADA) and who subscribes to its code of ethics, than one that doesn't.
Build a credible online presence
Building a credible presence online is important even if you have a brick-and-mortar business because many people carry out online research before making a purchase.
Include as much concrete information about your business as possible on your website, including:
- Its physical address (not a PO Box) so customers know you have a location
- At least one telephone number and preferably a toll free number
- Your business registration number, if applicable
- Membership of trade or professional organizations
- Testimonials from happy customers
All of these will help customers see your business as a genuine, legitimate business.
Many potential customers will gain a first impression of your business from your website so ensure that it's quick to load, easy to navigate and free from errors.
Build relationships on social media
Find out which social media channels are used by people in your target market. If you haven't already done so, establish a presence on these sites and use them to build relationships with current and potential customers. There are many different ways of doing this, including:
- Inviting feedback from current and past customers
- Posting information that will be of interest to past, present and prospective customers
- Offering free samples or free versions of your products
- Offering money-off coupons or other special offers
Building a loyal following by posting regularly on one or two sites will improve your business' credibility much more than if you try to post on lots of different sites on an irregular basis.
Respond to online feedback
Regularly search the Internet for feedback and reviews about your business. Responding to all feedback will help to build trust in your business.
When you receive negative or neutral feedback, it's very important to respond in a positive and helpful way so that potential customers gain respect for your business. If you're argumentative or defensive, consumers will be led to believe that the comments were justified and they'll likely avoid your business in the future.
Exceed your customers' expectations
If you go the extra mile for your current customers, they'll appreciate it and will potentially tell their friends and family members about their experience with your business. Such favorable word-of-mouth advertising is much more likely to bring in new customers than an expensive advertising campaign.
Show you believe in your products or services
Last, but by no means least, show that you believe in your products or services by using them yourself. This will be easier for some types of products or services than for others. Be creative and brainstorm ways in which you and your staff can show the world how much you believe in what you're selling.
There are many ways to build trust in your business. Although online interactions have become increasingly important in recent years, face-to-face interactions remain just as important. Ensure that you engage in a wide range of online and offline activities that will boost your business' credibility and inspire the trust of new customers.