Posted by: magnussonllc | September 3, 2009

Establishing Credibility with Clients

 

As a professional it is very easy to be pushed aside in today’s crowded marketplace. With so many different products, consultants and firms competing for our clients attention, the successful professional has to occupy a unique position in the client’s mind. We will meet clients with a negative attitude towards our company. We will also meet clients that question our ability to solve their problems or your experience as a professional. We have to be great at positioning our value with clients and doing this with impact and credibility.

The whole idea behind a great positioning statement is to intrigue someone. It’s a way to establish credibility and rapport — all rolled into one.

 A tool we can use is the “Credit” technique:

C – Create Interest

Open your value statement with something that stands out. It could be a high-profile case you are working on right now or a personal credo.

R – Recognize Customer Situation

The best way to quickly demonstrate credibility and professionalism is to show that you have done your homework and you have a good understanding of the clients situation and challenges.

E – Empathize with Challenge

Empathizing with the client or showing that you understand the implications of their challenges and how these challenges are impacting their situation builds credibility and rapport.

D – Demonstrate Experience

Now you have to demonstrate what kind of value you will bring to this project. It could be experience working on projects that addressed the same issues or experience working with similar companies.

I – Identify strengths

This is the time to share and communicate your strengths as a professional and as a person. Try to be concrete and precise. You should show confidence in your abilities, but don’t brag.       

T – Tie it all Together

In the final part of the value statement, summarize the value you will bring to the project with a strong closing statement.
There are a few success factors when creating the positioning statement:

Make it exciting: Superior positioning increases your heart rate. It speaks to who you really are and what excites you about your business. It reflects your integrity. What is it about your way of being a consultant that really motivates you? Incorporate that.

Keep it simple: A good positioning statement doesn’t try and be all things to all people. Rather, it conveys a clear idea in a short amount of time. It might be a few sentences, but no more than a paragraph or so. Keep it under 90 seconds.

Write it down: Using the guidelines above, give it a go. Write down your statement, say it out loud, re-write it, and then re-write it again. Remember “Writing is re-writing!”

Practice, and then practice some more: The first few times you try out your positioning statement may be a bit uncomfortable and awkward, but it gets easier. After a while, it will become second nature to you, and when it does, you will be glad you practiced.

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