We all deal with closing sales on a regular basis. Sometimes booking a new client comes easy, other times finding new prospects and closing the deal requires more convincing. However, there is one thing that is almost certain to improve your positioning, as well as your marketing efforts: credibility, your credentials.
When I started my new business I had none. That is one of the things that made it so tough for me and for many other entry level entrepreneurs to move forward.
I had to take on my first client almost free of charge... But even though that's never an ideal way to do business, many choose to do it in order to gain some credibility and enter the market.
There are other ways to boost credibility though. Here's what experience taught me over these past few years about building credibility while you're growing your business from scratch.
Decent ways to boost credibility as a new entrepreneur
1. Be authentic and honest - Don't be afraid of being human. During the buying process, you're going to ask some questions that prospects may not know the answer to. They're going to do the same to you. If you are unsure go ahead and admit you don't know everything about everything. There's no shame in that. It will give you chance to research and follow up, boosting both your authenticity and credibility.
2. Be punctual - Being punctual in this realm of work is extremely important. I would say 50% of my clients have had an experience with an online entrepreneur who has had a horrible sense of time. By being punctual I set myself apart from the rest and, as it happens, I get lots of referrals as a result.
3. Be informed - Understanding your prospect - who they are, what they do and how your services can help them - is a huge way to build your credibility during the sales process.
4. Borrow some credibility - If you're using LinkedIn to find prospects for example, mentioning that you share mutual connections with your prospect is a quick way to establish credibility.
5. Show off your past results - Results are everything in this competitive business. If you're looking to really boost your credibility like a pro, make sure you show off the results from your past clients. Even if you took on their project for free.
6. Stick to the point - Your prospective clients needs you for a reason. What can you do for them to help their business? How can you get results? Don't confuse them with too much necessary chit chat and keep your discussion on point.
7. NEVER promise something you cannot deliver - Your prospects aren't stupid. Avoid empty promises of results you know you can't deliver. Nothing puts a client off more than yet another freelancer who talks BS. People can smell a fraud from miles away.
Building credibility with your clients starts with you
New entrepreneurs step into the marketing business everyday and everyone wants to be a shark. However, your client needs to trust you first before they trust you with their project.
Fortunately, there are a TON of ways to boost your credibility. But the best way to show your clients you're the one they should hire and trust with the job is to just be honest and be yourself.
The right attitude is everything when it comes to closing a deal. Remember that next time you meet with a prospective client.