As I coach individuals and sales teams on their business or sales presentations, I often remind people that, “Specificity builds credibility.”
When you are delivering a sales presentation do you make claims like, “Oh, our clients always increase productivity.” ? This type of statement is not only vague and unconvincing, but also jeopardizes your credibility.
Instead, you must show your prospects how they might specifically benefit in working with you by employing true stories of success and factual outcomes from past clients. For example, you might say, “Of course, there are no guarantees. However, if we were to look at our last five major clients, they would say that within six months their productivity improved by at least 37 percent. It would be safe to say that you could look forward to those types of results.”
I share this related piece on specificity from Craig Harrison, Past District Governor of Oakland, California’s Lakeview Toastmasters on specificity. Craig explains why we should avoid citing unspecified sources.
Check Your Power Source
You weaken your writing and speaking when you ascribe facts and statements to unspecified sources. Be bold in your statements. Take ownership of facts, statements and opinions. Every time you ascribe a statement to “people” or “others” it weakens the message. Consider these statements:
“I’ve heard this system yields great results.”
“Some say this product saves both money and time.”
“Prevailing wisdom suggests this organization is well-run.”
“Sources tell us this building material is the best in its class.”
“The most recent issue of Toastmaster magazine explains that because of technology, audience expectations of speakers are higher than ever before.”
The last example is different, correct? It packs a wallop. There is power in specificity! Vague is weak. Specific sells! Rid yourself of language that diminishes your power. Speak the language of success.
Thank you Craig! Specificity builds credibility in all areas of business communication.
Portions of this post were excerpted from Craig Harrison’s article “Power Speaking – Use Lessons from Sales Pros to Bolster Your Message.” More of Craig’s power speaking strategies are available in this previous blog post: Are You Weakening Your Message with Qualifiers?
Professional speaker Craig Harrison, DTM is Past District Governor of Oakland California’s Lakeview Toastmasters (2767-57). He founded Expressions of Excellence!™ to provide sales and service solutions through speaking. Visit: www.ExpressionsOfExcellence.com For more articles, tools and tips for speakers visit: www.SpeakAndLeadWithConfidence.com.
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