by Tony Vidler
“Trust me…I’m an experienced professional…”
How many times do we hear a professional claiming that a client should trust them and deal with them because they have X number of years experience? Does this “years of experience” thing really translate into professional credibility?
Increasingly cynical consumers ask themselves “do you really have 20 years experience, or just 1 years experience 20 times over?“
Or worse; “do you just have 20 years of not being caught out..?“
In previous decades there was perhaps a credibility link between the number of successful years of practice and the consumers ability to place faith in the professional. However, with increasing cynicism generally driven by increased public knowledge and scrutiny of every industrys’ business practices, together with conflicted advice issues and negative headlines, the “years of experience” argument does not carry the weight that many professionals in the industry might think.
If we are really honest marketing your expertise on the basis of (say) having been in the career for 30 years just gives them an indication of your age in reality doesn’t it? It doesn’t give consumers any specific information about your capability, or specialty, or areas of excellence. It gives no sense of whether it has been 30 years of staying just on the right side of the rules, or 30 years of building a stellar reputation as a world leader in your discipline. It is just a number without context. 30 years.
In the continual search for meaningful differentiators which prospective customers can understand and use when weighing up their professional advice choices, merely expressing the number of years you’ve “survived” in the business doesn’t really cut it.
It is far more relevant for a customer if you highlight numbers that give them an insight into how those years have been used, and how ones professional competency has grown. That carries the potential be be a potential point of difference. So instead of merely claiming X years of experience, it becomes far more relevant to cite specifics.
Each of these simple examples conveys significantly more credibility than a bald claim of how many years one has earned a living in the industry or profession.
This approach will be far more meaningful to potential clients than “trust me…I have X years experience” and it will result in greater success.