Creating Meaningful Professional Credibility
Sales & Marketing for Professional Services & Sales Tips

Creating Meaningful Professional Credibility

December 20, 2013

by Tony Vidler

How many times have you heard a professional claiming that a client should deal with them because they have X number of years experience?

Of course, a cynic immediately questions the claim by asking themselves “do you really have 20 years experience, or just 1 years experience 20 times over?”

Most people are not quite that cynical however the claim is usually insufficient by itself for customers to really work out what it means for them.  Telling someone you’ve been around for 30 years just gives them an indication of your age in reality doesn’t it?  It doesn’t give them any specific information about your capability, or specialty, or areas of excellence.  Those are the things that can become differentiators for prospective customers when weighing up their professional advice choices.

It is far more relevant for a customer if you highlight numbers that give them an insight into these potential differentiators.  For example:

  • I have been a Certified Financial Planner for the last 12 years of my 15 years in the business.  I began studying for my CFP when entering the industry, and passed it as soon as I was eligible, which less than 40% of CFP applicants achieve.
  • I entered the business in 1986, and immediately learned how to work in the most incredible bull market of all time, followed by the most intense bear market of all time. MY apprenticeship through those years has resulted in me safely steering more than 1,000 clients to their financial goals since that time.
  • As a CFA I have undergone XX hours of formal learning, passed XX exams and have been a practicing member of the Institute for 14 years. I am an expert in technical financial analysis.

Each of these conveys significantly more credibility than a bald claim that a particular number of years of undetected crime should be deemed to make you trustworthy.

To create credibility professionally be prepared to explain what your experience means, and what you have achieved during that time.  It is not crass self-promotion – it is meaningful context for customers to help them understand what your experience means for them.

© 2013 Tony Vidler.  All rights reserved.
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