When working with entrepreneurs and business owners and preparing them to build their businesses, one of the challenges I see over and over is feeling confident enough to go after the sale or opportunity. When working with business owners, regardless of the stage, they are constantly facing what I like to call the Imposter Syndrome. What I mean is that they are asking themselves if they are enough to seek that client or apply for that RFP.
The answer in most cases is yes. Yes, they are more than enough.
While I’m not sure why, business owners tend to get amnesia when it comes to all they’ve done to demonstrate why they are the right person for the opportunity. Oddly, a person who shifts into having their own business tends to forget that for the 10-20 years before they started their own business, they did the EXACT SAME THING for someone else. And this alone is credibility. And, by shifting their energy around being the only choice for the opportunity they are pursuing, business owners will attract more clients.
Wanda, a five year business owner with two employees, is struggling with the same thing. Check out her question:
“Hi Darnyelle! One thing that I like about your style is that you share statistics to prove your point and it makes you look more credible. How can I appear more credible in my business so that prospects will want to hire me?”
Watch my response to Wanda’s question now:
As I share in the episode, ask yourself what makes you credible. Here are some questions to get you started:
- Have you been doing the work you do in some way for more than 5 years?
- Have you ever written anything that shares content on the topic that you are an expert about? (Hint: blog posts, articles, special reports and books.)
- Have you helped anyone get the result that you claim to deliver to those who hire you?
- Have you earned a certificate or advanced degree in the area of expertise you are building a business in?
- Have you spoken at an event or served on a panel on the topic of your expertise?
In addition to asking yourself some questions to get clear about what makes you credible, you need to study your industry. I wouldn’t dare call myself a business expert if I didn’t know important statistics about small business. Similarly, you shouldn’t call yourself an expert unless you are clear about:
- The problems your ideal clients have
- What their results have been
- How you can improve their results
Part of having a relevant conversation in the marketplace is to consider what no one else is saying. If you sound just like everyone, your credibility is null. But, if you present the contrarian view or offer some insight not currently fully explored, you’ll get more attention and drive traffic in the direction of your commentary so that you can leverage it and open up opportunities to experience more growth and new clients. I’m always reminding business owners that people are programmed to notice what is different and if you want to get their attention (and keep it) you need to say something that isn’t currently being said. Knowing your industry (and presenting a different view point) is one of the best ways to leverage your credibility.
Lastly, by leveraging the relationships you have with powerful Centers of Influence, their “endorsement” could be just what you need to appear more credible to potential clients. Using tools like LinkedIn are amazing for building relationships with COIs and leveraging those relationships to create a win/win for you and your COI.
Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?: What are some of the things you’ve done to boost your credibility? How did what you try work? What advice would you offer to Wanda and others just like her?
©2015 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.