Look up "credible" in Webster's Dictionary, and you'll find "Capable of being credited or believed; worthy of belief; entitled to confidence; trustworthy."
OK, so no surprise there.
Credibility gives you permission to speak, and gives the person you're speaking to permission to listen.
Regardless of whether you are in the service business or sell a tangible product, everyone needs to establish credibility, especially with prospective clients. But if you're a consultant, adviser or coach, then it's harder for your clients to evaluate the value of your advice and recommendations.
For you, credibility is everything. And if you have it, you can move more quickly into a more productive discussion about issues and solutions without having to justify everything you say. You can be more relaxed. You can let your guard down a little.
With your credibility clearly established, you can be more confident to ask for the business.
So far, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. What you might not know is what credibility really is in a business context, beyond the dictionary definition—how people perceive credibility, and how you can establish credibility more quickly and easily.
Ask a traditional marketer what's the best way to establish your credibility, and he or she will tell you to list your biggest clients or describe one of your most impressive case studies. If you listen to yourself as you speak to new clients, you might hear yourself talking about your credentials as a way to establish how smart you are.