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Credibility: 5 Ways To Make People Believe You

Roger Dawson, CSP, CPAE

The absolute cornerstone of your ability to persuade-what it all rests upon-is the level of credibility you have with the other person. When you speak, do they believe you? Unless they do, there is no possibility that you can get them to do what you want them to do.

People will listen to you, but they won’t act-until they believe you. Let me stress that one more time. People won’t act unless they believe you. So if you’re a salesperson trying to get an order, you should always be thinking, “Do they believe me?” Because, if you haven’t built enough credibility they won’t place the order.

If you’re a manager, and you’re trying to get your people to accept a new program, you should always be thinking, “Do they believe me?” Because if you haven’t built enough credibility, they’ll give lip service to your program, but they won’t enthusiastically support it.

If you’re a parent, does your son believe you when you say, “Don’t do it son, I tried it once and lived to regret it”? Or does he feel you’re trying to manipulate him, and are being less than truthful?

Fortunately, you can build credibility with a few simple techniques. In my book “Secrets of Power Persuasion” I teach fifteen tips to raise your level of credibility with other people. Here are the first 5 tips:


Power Persuaders have three “never assumes” that are always uppermost in their thoughts. 1) Never assume poverty: that they can’t afford what you’re selling. 2) Never assume they understand you. 3) Never assume they believe you. The last “never assume” is the most important one. Never assume they believe you.

Let’s face it, we get downright offended if someone questions our credibility. We hate it when a bartender cards us, or when a bank teller asks us for identification. So when we’re persuading people, we don’t like to admit that the other person is sitting there thinking “prove it to me.”

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