Some call it the elevator pitch. Some call it the personal introduction. At Silver Bullet Selling we call it the Credibility Statement. No matter what you call it, when it’s done well it establishes credibility and opens doors and opportunities.
In business the Credibility Statement is as essential as a business card. You need to be able to say who you are, what you do and how people benefit from what you do in as little as 90 seconds. As we discussed in a previous article, the Agenda Statement is a great way to begin a meeting with a prospect or client. This 45-second piece of magic lets your prospect/client know the purpose of the meeting and what you’re going to cover.
When you follow your Agenda Statement with a concise and crisp Credibility Statement, it’s like delivering a 1-2 punch to the way your prospect/client perceives you. Remember that people do business with people they like and trust, and how you are perceived often determines whether you’ll get the deal or not.
The Credibility Statement can help you lower buying resistance and communicate that you are a competent and successful professional. Positive Effects of a Credibility Statement: It will position you as a unique and highly competent expert It will communicate how clients benefit from your product or service It will convey your value It will let the prospect know you have worked with businesses like theirs before
There are four parts to the Credibility Statement: 1.My Company and Me 2.Typical Client 3.Success Story 4.Transition to Discovery
My Company and Me
Open the Credibility Statement with a feature-filled introduction of your company and yourself. When I say “feature-filled” I mean a paragraph with 7-8 sentences that speak to: Your company’s history Your company’s niche or area of specialization 2 or 3 features about your company Your relevant experience
Here’s an example introduction from the financial services world:
Mike I am not sure how much you may know about Cedar National Bank. Actually CNB was founded by a small group of entrepreneurs in 1954 and has grown into a premier private and business bank. We are now the second largest independent bank based in the state with assets exceeding $16 billion and we are the only bank in the eastern United States that has been recognized by the Greenwich Associates with six awards for Excellence in Business Banking. We have over 65 branches in the tri-state area. I’ve been in banking for 20 years, and I have spent the last 7 of those years with Cedar National Bank working with food manufacturing companies in the Hudson Valley.
You want to follow up your introduction with a description of your typical client. Your description should resemble the prospect or client you are speaking to. Doing so will build credibility because it will give your client/prospect confidence that you have worked with clients like him before.
Example typical client: I typically work with large agribusiness companies who want to execute a long-term growth strategy. And I usually bank the company itself and then the key executive officers too.
During your Credibility Statement you want to share a success story that illustrates how one of your clients recently benefited from working with you. There are three parts to telling a compelling success story:
Issue: Describe the issue in a couple of sentences. Resolution: Explain how you helped your client resolve the issue. Benefit: Explain briefly how your client benefited from the resolution.
Example Success Story: For example, recently we were able to provide a $5.5 million business loan to a frozen foods company so they could modernize their flash freezing equipment and add on 10,000 square feet to their production facility. Of course, we also welcomed the opportunity to work with the business owner on reaching personal financial goals as well, and we were able to provide a creative financial solution to help him finance a vacation home in Lake Placid.
Transition to Discovery
The last part of your Credibility Statement is transitioning into the Discovery Step. We transition by seeking permission to ask questions. Like with the Transition in the Agenda Statement, we wait for our prospect/client to say “Yes” before moving on.
Example Transition to Discovery: Now that you know a little about Cedar National and me, may I ask you a few questions (Wait for a yes!)
The Credibility Statement is a powerful tool you can use to quickly create a great impression in many situations. For example, just last week I used my credibility statement on my flight to Mexico City when my neighboring passenger asked me what I do for a living. How many more situations can you think of?