by Tony Vidler
How many times have you heard 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?
Cynical consumers increasingly 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 being a bad’un?”
In previous decades there was undoubtedly 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 business practices, conflicted advice and historically low competency requirements, the “years of experience” do not carry the weight that many professionals attribute to them.
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 years of undetected skullduggery doesn’t 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 differenced. So instead of merely claiming X years of experience, it becomes far more relevant to cite specifics.
Each of these 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 the market at large than the standard approach of “trust me…I have X years experience” and it will result in greater success.