Amplify Your Credibility With This Technique

Earning credibility is crucial if you want people to buy-in to what you’re saying or presenting. Having the respect of your audience is an important part of influencing skills, presenting skills and public-speaking skills. But how can you use a really quick narrative to prove your credibility or that of your service or product?

Decisions are usually made based on data but people act because of emotion. Even if your prospects and clients have seen your product or service in action, but that’s not necessarily what’s going to convince them to pay for it. And if you think senior leaders in your organisation know how great you are, think again. Your competency should echo up the echelons but that’s not always the case. You need to convince an audience of your credibility before they begin to listen to you and take in what you’re presenting.

In order to improve your credibility, here’s a structure that can be pulled out of the bag when you need to:

  • convince a team to change the way they’re functioning;
  • propose a service or upsell to a prospect or client;
  • have a limited time to make suggestions to senior management.

The felt/found/feel technique is very simple and there’s no need for plot lines and protagonists. It’s a narrative simple to construct and quick to convey, and which won’t sound like you’re bragging.

The felt/found/feel technique

Robert Cialdini, author of the ‘Influence: Science and Practice’ coined the term ‘social proof’. This is the psychological phenomenon that we’re motivated to act in the same way as those we admire or to whom we relate. So in a work situation, find a similar role model or situation as the person who you’re addressing and use that experience as ‘social proof’.

How to use the felt/found/feel technique to earn credibility

Let’s say you’re speaking to a client who’s reticent that your Enterprise Management System is for them.

“Our client at felt totally confused with all their systems.  They weren’t linking up so different departments were unknowingly – and unnecessarily – duplicating work

They found that using our Enterprise Management System not only freed up their time but streamlined processes, helping them to save money. HR says that employee satisfaction rates have never been higher.

People feel more in control of systems, less stressed and have the ability to work on career progression.”

Using the case study of a competitor organisation, or a business the person aspires to emulate, adopts the technique of social, showing the client you’ve  earned the trust of someone or an organisation with whom they relate.

You can also adopt the felt/found/feel technique to persuade others in emails, using similar communications skills.

Your Action Steps

  1. Make a note of a situation when you think that social proof may be necessary to convince someone.
    2. Tap into your diary the felt/found/feel technique so you remember to use it in that conversation.

Want help to tell your story? Struggling with team or individual pitching? Find some of the solutions here with my pitching and presenting skills courses, then get in touch for a free 15-minute Discovery Call.

This article was originally published in 2021 and was completely updated in May 2024.

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