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    Do Your Prospects Believe What You Tell Them?

    Skeptical Business Woman questioning not believing your claims

    I hear so many complaints from my executive search clients and from Chairs around the world – that prospects are distrusting of your claims, they are jaded in their perceptions of a traditional “pitch”, are capable of discovering information on the Internet by themselves, and generally struggle to believe what you tell them.

    This point was driven home in a blog article the other day by Jill Konrath, on the RainToday.com Blog in an article titled “What to do when your prospects don’t believe you”.

    Jill made the following comment in her blog post and then went on to talk about key steps to overcome this lack of trust and believability by prospects. I can’t vouch for her quantification of the metric, but I’ll agree it’s a fairly high number.


    When you talk about your company, 92% of the time people don't believe you. And the more wonderful things you say about your organization, the more unbelievable you are.


    My perception is that one way to overcome this traditional low trust and perception of believability is to share stories of success your members have directly been able to achieve through their Vistage/TEC membership. This is one of the central marketing messages we’re using in the Chair Coaching Program on Leveraging Social Media to find CEO Members.

    Prospects will pay less attention to your claims – regardless of the number of statistics, metrics, and numbers you throw at them. They will sit up straight in their chairs, focus on you, and listen deeply, when you relate the stories of your members that are most comparable to the issues they are facing.

    How do I define a story: Your member took an idea from a speaker, issue processing, your one-to-one, and implemented it. They got some specific quantifiable value from that implementation. It was something they would not have done on their own – it came from their membership in Vistage/TEC. If you’ve been a chair for a few years – you’ve got hundreds of these stories. Start writing them down in a journal. Keep them with you all the time.

    I did a little informal research on this subject with the 75 plus chairs currently enrolled in my Chair Coaching Program. I asked each one to share with me on the spot the top 3-5 stories of something their member took away from Vistage/TEC, implemented in their personal life or business, and the quantifiable impact it had. Less than 3 chairs had this information at their fingertips.

    This is THE marketing message to prospects in social media. The whole foundation of social media is sharing stories with your network and bringing them to the recognition they would also like to own those same stories for themselves. It’s not about selling features and benefits – that technique went out the door 10 years ago – so stop using it.

    Put your prospects in the shoes of your members. Help them to visualize the same impact your members are getting in a precise, specific, and quantifiable story.

    If you’ve not yet taken advantage of my personal coaching program for chairs on how to leverage social media to find and attract new CEO members, shoot me a note, give me a call, or fill out the contact us form by clicking here to talk about how the program works – and the success stories of the current group of chairs cycling through this coaching program.

    Barry Deutsch

    If you would like to read the full article on RainToday.com, please click the link below:

    What to do when your prospects don’t believe you

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    « « Myths About CEOs NOT Using Social Media| You're Embarrassing Me - And I mean that in a nice way! » »

    About the Author

    Barry Deutsch is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Barry is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.

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