Proving 360 Credibility When Pitching for Business

Last Updated: 

May 13, 2024

Business might have once been done “behind closed doors” but the players were all in the room.  Relationships were easily forged; introductions made through local networks, trust placed in personalities and credibility communicated through an inviting office in the right postcode.  Now business needs a 360 strategy to communicating credentials that incorporates the promotion of reputation online as well as in person.

Key Takeaways on Proving 360 Credibility

  1. Establish Openness: Invite potential clients to your workplace, showcasing transparency and faith in your operations, even if they might not visit.
  2. Showcase Your Team: Offer insights into your team and business culture through informative webpages and engaging social media content.
  3. Leverage Reviews: Publish unedited reviews on your website, link to external review sites, and actively promote positive feedback to build trust.
  4. Full Disclosure: Provide comprehensive company information, including registered name, address, and company number, to enhance credibility and transparency.
  5. Demonstrate Success: Use case studies to illustrate past successes, addressing challenges and showcasing your company's unique strengths.
  6. Maintain Social Media Presence: Stay active on social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn, to demonstrate industry knowledge and engagement.
  7. Exhibit at Trade Shows: Participate in industry-specific exhibitions to establish face-to-face connections and showcase your brand's professionalism and expertise.
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The Importance of Establishing 360 Credibility

In a digital age where the closed doors are to home offices and the players spread across continents there is a new onus on businesses to instil trust in their operations. They must prove themselves a reliable and effective supplier to new potential clients.  A recent USwitch survey found a quarter of people aged between 18 and 34 never answer a phone.  Gen Z and millennials want to communicate by text, direct message or email.  Conveying credentials is not as easy as having your smoothest operator pick up the phone and talk a good game. Businesses need the right strategic communications, digital tools and media resources to dispel client hesitations.

The issue faced by wary budget holders is the sophistication with which credential checks can be gamed.  From fake online reviews to a dazzling website hosted by a fraud; traps are hidden and the operators are ruthless.  Legitimate business must stand out and reassure remote clients finding services online that they can be trusted.

Open invitation to a workplace

Even if you think it is unlikely they will visit; keep the option for clients to visit your offices, workshop or factories open.  Prospective clients will appreciate this offer of transparency into your operation.  It proves faith and pride in your setup.  If you don’t have premises suitable for a visit offer a suitable alternative. Shared workspaces often have meeting rooms that will give off a professional impression but the temporary nature of these workplace arrangements can put clients off.  Instead, be creative, for example a freelance web designer could choose a café they have designed the website for. 

Insights into your team and business

Thankfully a good golf handicap is no longer necessary to close a deal but wanting to get to know the team that might service your account is still desirable.  An informative but casual “about the team” webpage can go a long way to dispel fears that account management or customer service is outsourced and reinforce the experience your team will bring to a new contract.  Use fun films and photos on social media to communicate the culture and personalities in your team.


Publish reviews on your own website, unedited and attributed.  Include icons and links to impartial review sites and depending on your business it may be appropriate to sign up to sites like Trust Pilot or schemes like Check a Trade.  Ensure you promote your reviewed reputation; highlight great reviews in social media posts and create blog posts around a client’s positive experience.  Refer potential clients to internal and external links to reviews.  This could be as part of a sales pitch or more simply; in an email footer.  Where you can’t build a substantial series of reviews; ask existing clients if they will be happy to act as a reference.  Find out if it is possible to supply new business opportunities with their contact details and ask if you can appear on their websites as a trusted supplier.

Explain exactly who you are

Be sure to publish the full name, address and company number of your registered company; don’t hide behind trading names.  There will be occasions where a potential client wants to check your credit rating on a service like Experian.  There’s no hiding from this and if there may be an issue; be open and honest about it and try to allay any concerns.  Use real addresses; it might be tempting to use a mailbox service or co-work space address in a major city but it is not credible or believable.  If your industry has no place being on 5th Avenue or Pall Mall it will be viewed as suspicious.

Case Studies

Prove repeat and successful business in a series of case studies, accompanied by reviews or client contributions wherever possible.  Use case studies to communicate your points of difference, unique selling points, ability to overcome challenges and insight into the processes you employ as a company.   Try to categorise your case studies by suitable segments such as industry, product or budget so potential clients can find a scenario similar to theirs.

Active Social-Media

Stay active on social-media.  Jumping on a TikTok trend as a probate lawyer might not be appropriate but maintaining a routine presence on social-media is important, even if the content is fairly generic.  Pay particular attention to Linkedin; seek out recommendations and post articles to prove your knowledge.  Don’t be afraid to get involved in industry groups or comment on relevant posts but stay helpful and supportive.  Keep well clear of contentious issues.  The same goes for any personal profiles.  Potential clients may not find your products or services on social media but it is likely they will use it to garner further information on it; it’s important that your business does not look dormant.


Pit your brand, product and services against the leading alternatives at an industry specific exhibition or trade show. Meeting budget managers and establishing the quality of leads is best done face to face.  Commission an experienced exhibition stand design and build contractor to ensure that your stand exudes professionalism and conveys your message clearly.  An open, inviting stand will attract visitors; you then have them in a space specifically designed to show off everything you have to offer, including your track record, history and experience.

Credentials Web Page

Once you have the assets to communicate your credentials; your strategy should include hosting them all in one place.  A credentials page on your website can host content like your full company name and address, links to reviews and case studies and a brief company history.  This page is then easy to share as part of a sales process.

Such is the risk of unscrupulous operators in a remote, digital world; Google have placed a huge emphasis on Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) when deciding how to rank websites and establishing the likelihood of a webpage meeting a reader’s needs. 

Use the strategic messaging around credentials throughout your online presence, particularly when it comes to tackling on-page search engine optimisation.  Ensure author biographies prove expertise and back this up with informative external outreach posts.  Wherever possible tell potential clients why you are able to speak from a position of authority in your field.  Finally, remind sales leads that you have been open, honest and forthcoming with regards your credentials and challenge them to ask the same of your competitors. 

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