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Category: Loyalty · 5 min read

Build Credibility by Using These Phrases More Often

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on September 24, 2019

author profile photo

on September 24, 2019

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Do you remember when Uber first arrived on the scene? How did you react to the new concept?  

Random people picking up and driving other random people around in their own car sounds strange. It even sounds a little sketchy. How does it work? Is it actually legitimate? 

Over time, as more people tried it out and experienced this new way of ride-sharing, Uber grew into a credible company with a reliable and sustainable business model. The Uber drivers consistently showed up and provided reliable experiences to their riders, and Uber’s reputation changed from odd to innovative.  

Think about when a new restaurant opens up. Initially, you’re curious. Does their food taste good? How is their service? Is it worth the money? The reviews come in, word-of-mouth spreads, and the restaurant’s reputation is cemented. 

From both of these examples we learn that credibility is based on what you do and say. Your actions and your words. Every day, your choices are building your reputation with prospects and clients. They can work to make you seem credible, or they can work against you.  

The hard part is that it can be difficult to change how you come across to others. After someone has decided whether or not you’re credible, it can be hard to change their mind. It takes a consistent effort to build and maintain credibility.  

You can start by focusing on what you say. Use these seven phrases to help set the right impression from the start, or change their perception of you. 

Every day, your choices are building your reputation with prospects and clients. They can work to make you seem credible, or they can work against you.

“I’m happy to see you!” 

Happiness is underrated. Letting your clients and prospects know that you’re genuinely happy to be meeting with them communicates that they’re wanted and appreciated. Smile, welcome them, and keep smiling. Show them that they’re not just another face or body, they’re important.  

 

“What was the highlight of your day/week?” 

Before you get down to business, some intentional small talk can make a big difference. Asking them a specific question about their life gives you a view into their behavior and problems that you might not have known otherwise. You can even take it a step further and ask what the lowlight of their day/week was, too. These kinds of questions show that you’re not only interested in their business and finances, but also in their day-to-day lives.  

 

“How’s _____?” 

Similar to the previous question, if this isn’t the first time meeting with them, then this is a good way to let your prospects and clients know that you remember them. You aren’t too busy or forgetful to not remember their name or their spouse’s name, the city they live in, or the name of the company they work at. It communicates that you have a genuine interest in their life, much like the last question.  

 

“What can I do to help you?” 

After the small talk is over, it’s time to get down to business. I believe that it helps to be direct. Ask them what kind of help they’re looking for, and what they want out of this meeting. Asking a question like this subtly conveys that you can help them, and you’re ready to figure out a solution right away. The “I do” tells them that you will follow through and can be counted on.  

 

“That’s my fault.” 

Admitting that you’re the one that messed up is tough to do. It takes humility, and setting aside any pride or ego. Don’t shy away from taking responsibility for a mistake or failure. It’s easy to blame someone else for what happened, and not think anything of it, but don’t take the easy way. We aren’t perfect, so we shouldn’t be surprised when we make a mistake.  

Even though your clients may not like the outcome of the situation, they’ll be grateful for your transparency and your willingness to take responsibility. It shows you’re dedicated to telling the truth, even when it’s hard.  

Don’t shy away from taking responsibility for a mistake or failure.

“I’m sorry.” 

Go beyond admitting fault. Taking it a step further by apologizing can mend and improve relationships more than you may realize. There’s power in saying “I’m sorry.” It shows puts the ball in your client’s court to either accept your apology and move past it, or walk away. Allowing your client to make that decision may seem strange, but it actually can build a relationship that’s built on honesty and vulnerability.  

 

“What can I do better?” 

This one is rare. Your prospects and clients probably won’t be expecting this question, but it’s an important one. This is another question that shows that you’re humble and that you realize you can always improve.  

The truth is that perfection is toxic, and is an unrealistic goal. We can always do better. Perfection drives pride and ignorance, so cut that mindset and strive for excellence instead. Excellence can still have flaws, but it’s great anyways. So, ask for honest feedback, and intently listen to what they say. 

Credibility can be built. It takes time, but once it’s there, it takes a lot to tear it down. There’s still work to be done to maintain their perception of you, but the initial foundation is set. Start working these questions and phrases into your client meetings, and see what can happen. 

#19-0607-091220 

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Written By

Jamie Austin

Executive Vice President

Jamie Austin is the Executive Vice President of Brokers International. Jamie has over 20 years of experience in industry operations, and specializes in aligning strategy with organization, vision, and goals. Jamie has spent her career accelerating revenues, improving brand image, and building strong and sustainable sales practices.

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