Experience vs. Having your finger on the pulse as a confidence-inspiring building block in new customer acquisition
Both experience in a field and being on the cutting edge can be important when approaching new customers. Is it an either … or … or a both … and …? Which provides more trust for the potential customer?
I would like to consider this question using the example of doctors.
When I go to a general practitioner with a common illness (let’s say the severe flu), the doctor’s experience is immensely valuable. He has seen similar cases hundreds of times, tested different treatment methods, and observed the healing process accordingly. It has happened to me with a good and experienced doctor that I walked in the door and he knew immediately what I had. That is great, of course. For an experienced doctor, all it takes is a look in the eyes and on the skin. He then asks a few more questions to rule out contingencies. In principle, however, it is immediately clear what needs to be done. This is good for him because he can devote himself to the next patient, and great for me because I have the feeling that I have been treated competently and can quickly get back to bed.
In contrast, for an infectiologist with a severe corona disease, it is very important that he knows the latest drugs. We all know it: There is currently something new coming out every month. Of course, it helps that he has seen and treated various other infections over the years. But what is crucial in this situation is that he has his finger on the pulse, has read the latest scientific studies, and may even be able to try to place me in a clinical trial if the worst comes to the worst. I would therefore go to a university hospital with a severe corona disease and not rely on the personal care of my family doctor.
If one day I should get a heart problem that entails a complicated heart operation, the experience of the attending physician would be very important to me. At the same time, I know that new methods are constantly being developed in this field and new materials are being used. I would definitely like to benefit from this. So that would be equally important to me. Here we are dealing with a topic where I, as a potential customer, would look at the two aspects of experience and being on the cutting edge when researching.
So the one who is well off is the one who has both experiences and is motivated to constantly educate himself. This can be applied to all industries and therefore applies to every entrepreneur and every company.
When it comes to experience, everyone must ask themselves what kind of experience is important to their customers. In today’s fast-paced world, the challenge, especially with new customers online, is that they spend very little time per page. The average dwell time is seven seconds and many homepages have a 70% abandonment rate. This means that 70% do not see more than the first page and that only very briefly. Long texts are therefore not the order of the day. My proven method to convey experience is to work with numbers. Numbers with one to three words to explain transport very quickly how much experience you have. To stay with the doctor’s example, 1,000 surgeries in the last 12 months would make a big impression on me. It is important to consider what values are important to the customer. On many websites of companies that don’t have a lot of experience yet, you then see statements like 18 cups of coffee per day or 7 employees who come to work by bike. Does that seem trustworthy? Maybe kind of nice, but certainly not a reason to contact them. I, therefore, recommend not to make such statements.
But what do you do when you’re just starting out? If you’re a startup with no experience yet, you’ll do better if you point out that you’re at the forefront, that you bring the latest findings with you, and that you’ve perhaps done your own research. This is a great opportunity for positioning yourself to outperform long-established companies.
So it depends on what the entrepreneur can show and what is important to the customer. If the company is in the fortunate position of being able to credibly depict both areas, it should put itself in the shoes of its potential customers to sense the priority. Another factor may be differentiation from the competition.
When considering what to communicate and how the following questions can be helpful:
- How often do my customers inquire about whether we have mastered the latest technologies or use specific materials?
- How often do customers ask about specific experience in a particular field?
- In which of these two areas is it easy to achieve and show a unique selling proposition?
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