Dear Scott – just finished reading your “7 Steps .. Appointment Setting” book – excellent book, great ideas but a question.
The scripts & discussions in the book re credibility all seem to be based around existing larger businesses and having “big well known” client names to drop in – what if you are a small and / or new business that doesn’t have this luxury – any ideas / replacement lines?
Credibility Challenged in New Zealand
The question you pose is a common scenario for those in sales launch mode.
The importance of communicating credibility in your phone scripts, voicemails, Email touches and other messaging is to enable targeted suspects to understand that you are “not your average service provider.”
Why is this so important? Three reasons.
1. Most phone callers are perceived to be something less than worthwhile and are shut down. You want to separate yourself from the unworthy by enabling your sales suspects to conclude that you have top of the class experience or results achieved and are worth some time.
2. Sadly, most callers don’t communicate credibility at all. Many clients I work with are sitting on knock your socks off credibility statements and saying nothing during prospecting calls. If an attempt is made to communicate credibility it is often a lame butt meaningless generality such as “we really care and do a great job” or “have 35 years’ experience.” What a waste. You can separate yourself from the pack with solid credibility statements.
3. Why should people take a chance wasting time on an unknown caller with a vanilla script when they can pick their own worthwhile service providers to talk to with a few keystrokes on Google? They won’t. You need to communicate a credibility or “worthiness” not so easily found in a general search.
So back to your question.
What if you are a new or smaller business without recognized names to drop in your sales scripts?
How do you separate yourself from the pack when prospecting?
Use what you have. Create it if you don’t.
Leverage the experiences of team members in previous lives in your sales scripts.
Use results achieved in general by users of your service.
Manufacture credibility by being in the media or authorship.
Most people have experiences prior to launching their business. It is perfectly OK to make truthful statements about the experiences of your team members. Leverage those experiences.
Say things such as…
“Our management team has worked with big name x, bigger name y and Bob’s Burgers.”
“More than 500 companies in the greater Wazoo area have selected our advisors for…”
“Our consultants have worked with 35 of the Fortune 100 to achieve…”
“Our team has helped 1,200 families in the Wazoo area to …”
“Examples of results achieved by our expertise…”
“Typical results achieve by our expertise are…”
Leverage the collective career experiences of your management team or team members in your sales scripts. Make sure you are truthful and clear about communicating that these are experiences or results achieved by your management team, your advisors, your consultants, etc. The perception will be the same.
If you are lacking experience then you have to communicate results achieved generally by those that have done what you offer. This assumes that you know what you are doing, are capable and truly are able to deliver a superior service. You can say things such as…
“Users typically experience a 30% improvement in ….’
“Average savings is $1,200 with many saving $2,500 or more…”
So if you are confident you have the chops to deliver, you can communicate accurate experiences of those that use services like yours.
There is another way to communicate credibility when you have none. Manufacture it.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then credibility is in the mind of the buyer.
The sales prospect decides if you are credible for their own reasons. You can, and should, influence those perceptions.
When you are capable and able to deliver yet lack the credibility talking points of more experienced brethren, manufacture it.
You create the perception of credibility by being in the media or authoring something.
Now initially most dismiss these concepts as not realistic for them. They are wrong. They miss out on an effective low-cost way to gain accounts.
Somewhere there is a radio show that will interview you. I don’t care what you do, believe me, there is.
Or you can record your own interview of you pontificating on topics relevant to what you offer.
People listen to you talk and somehow decide you know what you are talking about. Instant credibility.
You could even have your own radio show to create credibility where you interview newsmakers, movers and shakers in your niche. Dismiss this option at your peril.
Another way to manufacture credibility is to publish something. I know many that distribute “25 tips you have to know when….” booklets that enable prospects to perceive that they know what they are talking about and are worthwhile. Write something. Anything. It elevates you above the crowd. Blog posts. Tip booklets. Doesn’t matter. Write something. Anything.
When I started my marketing business a gazillion years ago and had no clients I used to trumpet the fact that I had 25 articles published on marketing and sales topics. True statement. Guess what wasn’t said was that most of these were no name small professional association newsletters or journals dying for half decent content to publish that month. Didn’t matter. The perception of many was that if you had 25 articles published you must know what the hell you are doing.
Today, with the online options available there are many options for you to be “in the media” or publish something for credibility purposes.
Of course, once you create the perception you have to maintain and strengthen those perceptions when you interact with sales prospects. And you need to deliver the goods.
So CCINZ, hope this response gives you some actionable ideas to convey your credibility.
Update us on your efforts.