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Create Credibility or Die on the Net

By Al Hanzal
Posted Sunday, September 5, 2004

What’s your client’s greatest fear? The client does not want to spend money buying the wrong solution to his problem. To make the sale, you must have enough credibility to overcome the client’s fear. Creating credibility must be a conscious effort in your business presentation. You need credibility to overcome today’s skeptical buyers.

● People are sick of unsolicited mail and false advertising claims
● People are suspicion of the media and what they see in print
● It takes 7-10 contacts to move a client to buy
● People have many options to meet their needs—your competition!

How do you build successful credibility so that the client buys your solution to his problem?

How do you build this credibility when you are just starting on your new internet business?

This article explores both the soft and hard techniques you can use to build this type of credibility when you are starting your business.

Soft Credibility Techniques

Soft credibility techniques indirectly build confidence and trust in your business.

1. Clearly identify yourself on your site. Don’t hide behind a business name. People want to know they are dealing with a real person. A photo of yourself is a very useful technique.

2. Make it easy for your client to find your name, address and phone number on your site. Make it a physical address not just an email address. An 800 number is a powerful confidence builder.

3. Your website should be easy to use. If the site lets the client easily find what they want, it will stand out from your competition and build more credibility.

4. Update your website with fresh materials. Successful offline stores frequently rotate their products. They know this keeps their store interesting. Interest build credibility

5. Don’t overcrowd you website with promotions, banners or pop up’s. How much credibility do you put in an offline store that clutters itself with multiple flashing signs?

6. Make sure your website is error free, i.e. typos, spelling, etc. This is a low cost technique for building credibility. Sloppiness about this aspect of your business creates doubts about your overall credibility.

7. Tell clients “why” you are selling your solution. For example, “How can I sell this e-book for $29.99? I can do this because I have no printing costs; I have no overhead expenses and because you are willing to do the work of downloading the book.”

Hard Credibility

Hard credibility occurs when others testify to the benefits of your product. Hard credibility is the best credibility. A potential client knows you will say good things about your solution. They want to know what other clients experienced. Here are four hard credibility techniques.

1. Testimonials. You cannot have enough testimonials. Testimonials must mention specific benefits the client received from your product. Potential clients want to hear from other clients like themselves. They want to know the specific results they achieved from your product. “I improved my sales by $10, 000,” creates more credibility than “I loved the book!”

2. Free Samples. Grocery stores give free samples of a new product. Free sampling creates credibility. Offer a free sample of your product. Let clients see for themselves the benefits by using a sample or a limited version of your solution. When someone receives something free they also feel more obligated to repay by purchasing.

3. Expertise. Clients want to buy solutions from an authority, an expert. They go on line to find expert solutions. Identify your expertise, your credentials, your accomplishments, and your experience at solving the problem. Expertise builds credibility.

4. Guarantees. If clients are willing to part with their money, are you willing to return the money if your solution does not solve their problem? On line selling must have guarantees. Without them, you have no credibility.

A Formula for Creating Instant Credibility

You are just starting. How do you create the credibility you need to sell your solutions? Soft credibility techniques are methods you can implement immediately. Look at other successful websites, even your competitors and find ideas you like. Use the ways they create soft credibility as a model for your own site. Hard credibility techniques take more time to develop.

Here are three ways you can use to start building hard credibility on your site.

1. As part of your product development, provide friends and others with your product. Ask for their feedback on the results they achieved. Selectively use their comments to reinforce the selling of your product’s benefits. Later, replace these initial testimonials with new sales testimonials. Always get people’s permission before using their comments on your site.

2. Carefully select a key portion of your solution to share as a free sample with your potential client. Make a free sampling that truly gives a good taste of your solution. Freebees that have no relevance to your client’s problem are useless.

3. Everyone has expertise. When you are starting in business, you must carefully select those elements of your experience or education that accentuate your abilities to solve the client’s problem. Remember the last time you had a job interview. You accentuated only those skills most important to the job at hand. Do the same for your site. Always tell the truth!

Credibility is a key ingredient in your selling success. Make credibility building a priority. Implement various credibility techniques in your business development process. For more details on generating credibility for your website and other strategies for successful selling on the web, cli*k here,

About the Author
© Al Hanzal is the author of the book, How to Make Profits In Tough Economic Times and the author or several national articles on retail selling. You can find his materials by clicking on (


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