"Credibility: the quality of being trusted and believed in." (Oxford Dictionaries)
Credibility underpins all important relationships - from the romantic to the professional. And it forms the foundation of the partnerships between inbound marketing agencies and their clients.
Writing for HubSpot, Karla Cook highlights six phrases that kill your credibility with clients, including: "Sorry I couldn't get that to you by Wednesday - something came up."
The work environment is busy and many inbound agencies are spinning lots of plates, but it's vital to ensure that every one of your clients feels valued and as though they are a priority. If you miss deadlines and allow projects to slip, your credibility suffers too - and those clients may start edging out the door.
This scenario creates what Prasad Kaipa terms the "Credibility Gap". You want to take steps to ensure your business doesn't fall into this gap, which Kaipa describes as "damaging to your reputation and career".
However, Karla emphasises that if you do slip up, it's not the end of the world: "If you realize too late that a deadline isn't feasible, don't freak out. It's not unusual for unanticipated issues to arise during the course of a project, but as long as you remain transparent and clearly communicate the issues to your clients, your credibility isn't likely to suffer."
A lack of trust and belief is toxic to success. Therefore, maintaining credibility is essential to nurturing and sustaining your relationships with your clients.
2) "Sorry I couldn't get that to you by Wednesday - something came up." When your actions don't align with your words, you end up falling into what Prasad Kaipa calls a "Credibility Gap". Avoiding the Credibility Gap starts with setting realistic expectations and time lines on projects, and keeping an open line of communication to alert your clients if anything goes wrong or takes an unexpected turn. Kaipa explains to Harvard Business Review that the best way to set realistic expectations is to be more aware of what you're promising. He recommends checking in with yourself regularly and asking, "Am I saying something that implies a promise? What are the odds I can or will actually follow through? How can I articulate my ideas and concerns in such a way as to not raise false expectations?" If you realize too late that a deadline isn't feasible, don't freak out.