8,435 Years of Experience

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    You've probably seen a company you're researching proudly display their collective experience in years. Statements such as "We have 8,435 years of combined experience" at the top of their website or on a piece of direct mail. While that may mean a lot to the company's staff, I assure you it means very little to anyone else.

    It's not that we see it and think it untrue; There are several reasons it just doesn't work. 

    Reason 1

    There is no factor offered for consideration. It's a simple math problem with an incomplete equation. The declaration doesn't include how many people there are for me to make a general assumption as to average experience per employee. That might have a greater impact. "Our 310 employees have 8,435 years of collective experience."


    8,435 / 310 = 27.2

    Ok, perhaps that's a bit too nerdy but that's how I see it. The statement doesn't calcuate.

    Reason 2

    Another reason these statements don't work is that for many people, years on the job don't necessarily translate to expertise. My wife, while on a contract, worked with someone that frequently said "I've been in IT for 25 years!" Yet, that individual didn't know how to restart their computer. It was story after story for about a year.

    Instead Try This

    Instead of trying to highlight a number that is essentially meaningless, here are a couple other approaches.

    1. Highlight how long your company has been in business if it's been more than a decade or two. That has more meaning and reflects your stability.

    2. Quantify how many products you've sold or how many projects you've completed and customers' average rating after the project.

    3. Encourage your customers to complete reviews and share a link to those reviews (both good and bad).

    4. If you can quantify the positive impact you've had on clients, show that. For example, "With new windows, ABC Company saved 40% on their heating and cooling"

    5. Show a value prop such as "Our mulch is 100% organic and gluten free!" That's sort of a joke but not a bad play on popular food culture.

    The bottom line is that there are so many other things you can write that don't result in the meaningless number of collective experience.

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    About the Author

    Matt Zentz

    Matt Zentz launched Marketpath from a small Broad Ripple bungalow in February 2001 with a focus on custom web application development. He built the first, basic version of a hosted CMS called Webtools and shortly afterward expanded his team and created the first version of Marketpath CMS.

    Matt has worked for a national consulting firm, taught computer programming to high school juniors and seniors , and led the information technology arm of the auxiliary business units at Indiana University.

    Matt graduated from Indiana University in 1999 with a B.S. in Computer Science and has built custom web applications since 1995. Matt is husband to an amazing & supportive wife, has three beautiful children, supreme master to Archimedes (Archie) the dog, and mostly tolerant victim of 2 flying rats (cockateils).

    He coaches various kid sports, enjoys furniture and home renovation projects, and plays guitar and piano. Matt is also active with his church as a parishioner, technical advisor and board member on the festival committee.

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