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How to Establish Credibility as a Consultant by blogger ,  Jul 30, 2014
Establishing trust among customers is a key goal of a successful business.  We found many available publications advising how to achieve this goal.  Some of them emphasize 3 key issues, some 10, another 14.  Here we are presenting a selection of quotes from respectable source regarding this subject.  The selection represent our opinion from most to least important. You will have a chance to comment at the end of this document.  Your comments are very welcome. Thank you.

How to Establish Credibility When Starting a Consulting Business

When a person adds the sum total of their experience, there is a very good chance that he or she is an expert in something. If there is a market for that knowledge a career as a consultant is very possible. The fact is, opening a consulting business is often simpler than many other forms of a small business start up. The hardest part of succeeding in the consultant careers arena is initially establishing credibility within a chosen field.

Credibility is one of the most important “intangibles” a business has.
in today’s world, where business is often conducted virtually and trust levels are low across the board, credibility is often difficult to establish.

1st Priority - Networking

Traditionally you may have attended local networking meetings in your area. If you have only a local marketing, that's ideal. But in today's market many consultants have found that networking outside of their area gives a great boost to their bottom line.

Be visible in online discussion groups in your area of expertise, as well as on professionally-oriented social media sites such as LinkedIn. Add your comments to blog posts and articles in your area of expertise, with links leading back to your site.

2nd Priority - Expertise
Nothing shouts credibility more than showcasing what you can do and have done. That's why you want to provide case studies on your website. Potential clients love seeing what you've done for others in the past. They automatically put themselves into that picture, making your job that much easier.
Keeping that in mind, a persons credentials as a consultant must be oriented so that the customer has no doubt that they are hiring a true expert in the field.

Obtain Referrals

Referrals from satisfied clients will always be the most powerful method for establishing credibility. You’re Golden if a satisfied client refers you to a qualified prospect.

They deliver what and when they said they would deliver. It is very difficult to be trusted if you promise one thing and deliver another. In today’s more competitive markets, the temptation is there to over promise. To be trusted we need to deliver, not just once, but time and again.
They put their client’s interests level with their own. Many clients feel that their professional advisors are trying to maximise their chargeable hours. This is hardly going to engender a spirit of trust. If as an advisor you can be looking to give your clients the best possible value, perhaps sometimes to your detriment, a greater feeling a trust will develop.

As a consultant, you may find yourself jumping from project to project and client to client in a given year. Each change brings new team dynamics and, typically, a need for you to establish yourself as a credible and trusted advisor for your clients.  Whether you’ve been in the game for years or just found yourself on your first client engagement, here are some of the 14 easy ways to build credibility with clients fast.

3rd Priority - Media Coverage
  • Have a Great Introduction. Credibility starts with the very first contact.  Prepare well for your initial meeting.  Make solid eye contact, firmly shake hands, and, as appropriate, highlight any relevant experience you have to set a strong foundation for your client relationship.

  • Exude Confidence. Confidence is attractive and one of the easiest ways to gain credibility.  When you act and speak confidently, clients are more likely to trust you know what you are doing.

  • Dress the Part. If you expect to be taken seriously, communicate that in the way you dress.  Your appearance is the first thing people will notice.  If you don’t take care with how you present yourself, they may assume your attention to detail in your work is not up to par either.
  • Media Coverage. So many entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t appreciate the value of media relations because it doesn’t necessarily translate immediately into sales. But one thing it most certainly does boost is your credibility.
    Information Products. Writing white papers, special reports, e-books and toolkits helps to immediately establish you as an expert in your field.
    Even though you may never meet many of your customers or clients face-to-face (particularly true for internet marketers), you can still establish a trusted relationship by sharing your personal story or experience.
  • Write a book.
  • Create a white paper.
  • Put on webinars.
  • Something that a consultant always strives for with their client is credibility.  That’s why client sales proposals almost always include things like the history of the firm and their previous clients.  Consulting firms want the client to know that they’ve been around the block a few times and have experience.
    So stop worrying about your lack of credibility in the marketplace. You can quickly establish it through some strategic planning and perspiration.