ABC of Referral Marketing – C is for Credibility

by Sandra Hart on April 26, 2012 · 0 comments

There is one thing that goes to the grave with you and lives on after you have left this earth, and that is your reputation. Building and maintaining your credibility in your relationships is the key to having a great reputation. Being credible is crucial to you being referable.  Every relationship starts with two people at a stage of visibility, you become aware of the other person, they see you across a crowded room, at a networking event, at a meeting, maybe at the local football match. Maybe they are even aware of you without meeting you, through your PR or marketing efforts or through a mutual contact.  Some relationships build quickly with lots of anticipation and excitement, some take years to develop. Think about your best client or supplier, at one stage you did not know them! You and your business were invisible to them.

Just being visible alone will not get you referrals. It is by being credible in what you do, by being an expert in your field, by showing that you are better than your competitors that you will begin to move into profitability as you begin to know like and trust eachother more and more. The VCP process describes this development of the relationship very well and is documented at great length in a number of books on word of mouth marketing and referral marketing, a favourite of mine is “Business by Referral” by Dr Ivan Misner

So how do you begin to build your credibility, you have the power to raise or lower the bar at this stage. Not meeting expectations will lower the bar, the big credibility busters are things like a negative attitude, being late for appointments or not following up. However you can build your credibility in lots of different ways depending on the person you are trying to build your credibility with. It is built through meeting and exceeding expectations on a consistent basis. Ways to keep the bar high are by having very high ethical standards in your business and personally. Always deliver high quality work and remember to be fair in pricing your products and services. Being professional at all times keeps the bar high. Always remember what you have promised and what you deliver needs to be the same or the delivery needs to be higher than what was promised.

We would love to hear what you have done to raise your credibility when you build relationships.

Sandra Hart
Sandra Hart runs BNI, Irelands leading business referral organisation, she trains and mentors members and leads a team who enable local business people to find new clients and generate new business. She is an expert on the topics of networking, word of mouth marketing and referrals.

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