Post-nominal initials begone

Are you as overwhelmed as I am with the overabundance of meaningless post-nominal initials? I don't mean to insult the hardworking professional who clearly earned her initials, but to use an old IBM term "so what?" The same logic applies to a long list of certifications that are spelled out. While we're at it, let's dispense of the useless titles of guru, master of something, change agent, evangelist,  mistakes avoidance engineer, you name it. If you're not sure whether you should use it or not then answer the question: "according to whom?" - show me, what we called in the medical industry, "substantiated objective evidence" that can support your claim and I'm all-in.

During my career I have had the pleasure of working with many Japanese businessmen (sadly, I don't recall ever meeting a Japanese businesswoman). The only time Japanese businessmen carry a businesscard with a title is for overseas visits. In Japan, your business card just states your name and contact information.

I have always admired the great sense of humility in that culture: you earn your worth by the value you provide to the team and the company and there is no need for pseudo medals or titles.

So back to our world. Is there anyone out there looking for a person with a long list of initials next to her name? If I said I was a guru would you like me better? Even better, if I said I was an expert would you buy from me?

Differentiate not by acquiring titles or initials. Since most of us do not know what those initials mean (and I dare say, rarely ask), you are left with the only way you can truly impress is by answering a simple question (implied or otherwise): "Why should I buy from you?"

If you're going to rattle off a list of certifications and mastery in areas I didn't know existed, you might as well put them on your card. But seriously, the only way I am buying from you is if you can prove that you truly understand my challenge, you listened to my concerns and you proved it by connecting with me on some level.

I am not dismissing some real certification and training that are a result of hard work and commitment. But they mean nothing unless you can convince me. If I told you that I earned a master's degree in behavior modification of small business owners, does it make me better than Uncle Louie who has been giving you great advice over the years?

The world of marketing is about testing and measuring. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. So, here's a challenge: print simple business cards that have your contact info, no title and just one short tagline in the middle. Alternate this card with your busy card and let me know. I think you'll be amazed at the quality conversations you're about to have and the rare opportunity to engage and connect.