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The Trust Deficit

Because many tourists have never been to your town, let alone having spent time in your business, there is a trust deficit. This will affect your business.

I’ll share a shortened version of a story my friend, David Wright tells during workshops he does several times a year. Tourists are driving along the Interstate and decide to stop for lunch. They want something fast so they can get back on the road.

At the end of the ramp, there are two restaurants: Frank’s Place and McDonalds. Frank’s Place has the best hamburgers in the entire state. Their hamburgers use only the finest cuts of Angus beef. The tomatoes are not only vine ripe, but only the centers are used. The iceberg is cold and crisp… still wet from being washed. This is a truly a great, hand crafter burger.

Across the street is McDonalds. Our tourists decide they will have lunch at McDonalds. Why? With McDonalds comes predictability. They know the name and can be sure they will get a meal at a decent price and will be back on the road in just a few minutes.

It doesn’t matter that Frank’s place is as cheap, much better, and just as fast. Frank’s doesn’t have a credibility statement in the mind’s of our travelers. They don’t know this Frank fellow and there is no trust that Frank can deliver on the needs of our tourists.

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Without a credibility statement your business will get fewer visitors because they are from out of town and there is no trust. The building itself can be a credibility statement but most tourist attractions don’t have Cinderella’s Castle. We are left needing a credibility statement.

We will change the definition of the credibility statement somewhat to suit our own needs. The Credibility Statement is a two of three sentence declaration of our qualifications to deliver an awesome vacation experience.

A great credibility statement is all about how your business delivers a consistent, superior product. It is not the story of how the business was founded.

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The most common place for a Credibility Statement is “About Us”. While it’s not often delivered under that headline anywhere except the website. You will discover about us text in most of your marketing materials.

We re-designed a website recently that had an About Us page that talked about how the restaurant owners were driving around town one evening. One place was too expensive, another had poor quality food, and on and on it went. Finally, after traveling another five hundred words, they looked at each other and said “Gosh, darn-it! Why don’t we open our own restaurant?” And thus, a really crappy About Us page was born.

The rewritten page talked about local, hand selected and aged beef. The local farmer who grew the vegetables was named and we talked about quality and freshness, authentic British recipes and food cooked to order to your specifications. Its fresh, simple and made just the way you want it.

The About Us page is not about us at all. Its a Credibility Statement about how we deliver a superior product to our lucky guest. This same text may show up in a number of places during your marketing campaigns. Read the article about Spaced Repetition if you think re-using text is a bad thing.

This is cold: nobody cares about where you went to school. Maybe you do have the prettiest baby on Earth, but nobody cares! You need to tell prospective tourists how much they will enjoy their time with you. You need to show them how your attraction is uniquely qualified to deliver the ultimate vacation experience. And you need to do it in under thirty seconds.

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