Becoming Credible

Tom Wanek believes credibility can be “purchased” by risking one or more of six currencies. The more you put at risk, the more believable your message.

Currencies that Buy Credibility:

1. Material Wealth
Of the six currencies, we see material wealth risked most frequently in money-back guarantees and statements like, “Find a lower price anywhere and we’ll refund the difference plus 10 percent.” Can you think of a better way to increase credibility by increasing the customer’s perception of your risk?

2. Time & Energy    
Are you in a business that provides an in-home service? Imagine the power of an ad that says, “If we’re not there when we promised, we do the job for free. Unlike other companies, we would never waste your time, then ask you to pay for ours.” Variations of this classic example of risking time and energy to increase credibility have been used by the Clockworks group to build a number of America’s most successful in-home service franchises. How else might you risk time and energy to increase credibility?

3. Opportunity
Ladies, when a man claims to love you but continues to date other women, is his statement credible? A self-imposed restriction on opportunity – dating you exclusively – adds credibility to his statement, does it not? Likewise, the manufacturer who gives access to just one retailer in an area is perceived as committed to that retailer’s success. Is there a way your business might risk opportunity to strengthen credibility?

4. Power & Control
The original purpose of was to sell books. But by choosing to allow visitors to write negative reviews, they increased the credibility of the positive reviews and quickly became one of the internet giants. Likewise, your company can gain power by giving it away and you can increase your credibility by giving up control. How many ways might you do this?

5. Reputation & Prestige
In a report released two weeks ago by CNN/Opinion Research, George W. Bush had an approval rating of just 24 percent. In a press conference held the following week, the President said he regretted saying he wanted Osama bin Laden “dead or alive” and that he had urged the Iraqi insurgents in 2003, “bring ‘em on.” He said he was sorry such language made the world believe he was “not a man of peace.” By putting his prestige at risk and eating a slice of humble pie, George W. Bush regained some of his lost credibility, don’t you think?

6. Safety and Well-Being
You're 12 years old. Your stepfather says he loves you as much as if you were his own, but you’re not sure you believe him. But when you fall through the ice while skating on a frozen lake your stepfather dives through the hole into the freezing water to rescue you. Do you believe him now? 

The president of Lifelock, an identity-theft protection program, runs ads that say, “My name is Todd Davis. My social security number is 457-55-5462. So why publish my social security number? Because I’m absolutely confident LifeLock is protecting my good name and personal information, just like it will yours. And we guarantee our service up to $1 million dollars.” By risking his personal well-being through the publication of his Social Security number and risking his company’s material wealth by reimbursing up to $1 million in identity-theft losses, Todd Davis has built Lifelock into the dominant player in its category. Are you beginning to see how embracing risk increases credibility?

Fight the Big Boys and Win is a class taught by Tom Wanek, the discoverer of the Six Currencies of Credibility, and Mike Dandridge, the director of The American Small Business Peer Groups, a division of Wizard of Ads, Inc.

If you own a business, this 2-day class is how you should begin 2009.

We're looking at a brand new day.
Are you up for it?

Roy H. Williams

Spend a day with the architect of Wizard Academy. December 12. Unforgettable. $25.