If you want to build credibility, people have to feel that they can trust you absolutely. Speaking to them with your whole focus on them and their needs is only the first step in making sure this trust develop.
Here’s how you can develop it further:
1. Be Transparent
If you don’t know the answer to something, say so, simply and plainly: Then either promise to find out, giving a date you’ll do this by; or refer them to another industry peer who can help them.
2. Build your Reputation
People also need to know:
• What you stand for
• What they can count on you to provide
• What you can help them with
• What you won’t do
This means you need to know these things too – and live by them.
3. Learn to Listen
What makes someone trust another person? Many things: But high on the list is “feeling that the expert you’re talking to cares”.
Surprisingly, too many experts undermine themselves in this area by not actively listening. Instead, they’re too busy thinking of the perfect thing to say (and anticipating what the person they are talking to is trying to share). The result? The person talking to them feels cut off when the “expert” begins to talk over top of them, anxious to dispense his knowledge.
That person may feel unheard, belittled, “boring” or any other variety of negative emotions.
Really listen. Remember, you may have heard the identical question or problem five hundred times before, but it’s new to your questioner.
Real listening involves:
• Mirroring back
• Re-stating the person’s main point, if necessary, to ensure you’ve got it right
• Waiting till your questioner has finished speaking before offering your ideas
And while you’re busy being authentic, do make sure you use professional-quality profile photos on all your sites and social platforms (preferably versions of the same photo). Make sure your photo is current and updated regularly too: There’s nothing like letting your audience meet you in person and discover someone 90lbs. heavier and twenty-two years to that perfect profile photo to bewilder and disappoint your audience.
Know your mission. Know your values. And don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know – but I can find out…”
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