Honest Business?

Ryan Healy published a post called, Honesty Sells, Overconfidence Kills over on his blog.

Ryan says, “There is probably no faster way of building trust than admitting your own weaknesses.”

I agree completely.

One of my successful sales letters (which did $30.15 per visitor to a targeted prospect list) was about running a business, and it broke the normal “copywriting rules.” One of the normal copywriting rules is to not use the word, “work.” It’s considered a negative that pulls down response because people don’t want to work. They want easy “no sweat” results.

Knowing this was a bad word, I used it 4 times in the first few paragraphs of the letter. Not only that, but I also didn’t guarantee my buyers to make any money!

So I told them would have to work and there was no guarantee of profits. And people still bought…

One of my customers told me later, “You told me I’d have to work and that you couldn’t guarantee I’d make a profit. For the first time ever, I believed an online sales letter. I believed you were telling me the truth.”

And isn’t that one of the goals of advertising…building trust until your prospects believe you’re telling the truth?

In copywriting, this is referred to as “revealing a flaw.”

For example, let’s say you’re selling a DVD and your duplicator screwed up and misspelled the title (or you sent it messed up). Make sure you tell your prospects about this when you’re selling to them. You can’t sell it at normal price because the title is misspelled. If they don’t mind this error, they can get the DVD at 50% off.

Or maybe the DVD was filmed and the lighting wasn’t bright enough. You tell your prospects that the lighting wasn’t perfect, and it looks a little dark. The information on the DVD was top notch, and if they don’t mind the lower lighting they can get the DVD for _____.

Maybe your packaging isn’t as pretty as what is sold in stores. Could it be you’re not the cheapest in the industry, but that’s because ______? Maybe your interview is a guerilla recording…just you and the billionaire out to lunch. You hear plates rattling on the background, but it was the best place you could get them to really open up.

If you notice, all of these points reveal a flaw, but they also do something else. They turn the flaw into an advantage. Don’t shy away from your flaws and your weaknesses. Be open and upfront about them. Take a new look at them.

How could they really be seen as an advantage in some way?

Being honest is a good sales presentation.

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