In today’s world, it’s difficult to know who to trust if you are looking to buy something or join up for something.
But trust we must, or we would never get anything done or sell anything.
Making your advertising ‘too perfect’ these days can work against you because people are much more wary and subconsciously they don’t believe you if there are no downsides.
In his book “The 48 Laws of Power” Robert Greene says; “Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses.”
Consider for instance, someone selling a car.
It’s the same car, nothing different about it except the ad.
Silver Mercedes convertible, automatic, 2 years old, recently serviced, As new condition. Perfect example. Must see! first viewer will buy, hurry, call now.
Silver Mercedes convertible, automatic, 2 years old, 25,000 miles, fair condition considering mileage, slight damage to drivers door, next routine service due at 60,000 miles.
If you went to see the car with the first ad, you might make a lot of trouble for yourself and might even be pressured into the purchase even though the seller has failed to disclose some important information.
If you go to see the car with the second ad, your expectation is different, you know it’s been on the road and been driven a lot, you know it will shortly need a service and you also know that there is a bit of damage to the drivers door which you can look at and decide if it bothers you or not, or maybe you might invest in having it repaired. You know all that before you even leave your house to go and look at it.
Let me ask you… which would you trust?
The amazing thing is that, you believe and trust the second ad because it’s telling you some negative things that cause you to believe the positive ones.
What’s the chance that after telling you that the drivers door is damaged that the mileage isn’t 25,000 after all.
So, how can you use this in your advertising and especially emails?
Well the thing to do is to acknowledge the thing that makes your product weak, but then find some way to turn it into a benefit.
Actually talk about the weakness.
Here’s some examples:
The course is only available as a hardcopy, but don’t you find that you get more out of a physical product? I know I do.
We only have blue ones, so for the fashion conscious out there my sincere apologies, It works like crazy though so get after it.
The flights for this amazing once in a lifetime trip are very early I’m afraid, 4Am, but as the plane flies into the rising sun, I have a sneaky suspicion you might forgive me.
Get the picture? It’s almost got to the point where if you don’t have something negative you have to find it, even if it’s in a testimonial or even something negative someone said about a similar product or service.
Showing the negative side allows the prospect to correctly justify it in his/her mind and if you can do that, you’ve won half the battle.
How can a story about the gold rush lead you to new customers?
Want to know? Then read on…
In January 1848 James Marshall, a Carpenter and Partner in a Sawmill, found gold in the American River near to a place called Coloma in California.
I don’t know about you, but I would keep it secret…
Well, for as long as I could anyway.
But here’s what really happened:
At first, it was only shared with the people working to build his sawmill; they enjoyed the chance to prospect for gold whenever they had free time. Of course, something like this isn’t going to stay secret for long, but the funny thing was, the Californians who did hear of it, didn’t believe it! And so it went until a Mormon merchant, Sam Brannan, loudly announced it in San Francisco May 1848 shouting ‘Gold, gold from the American River!’ while brandishing a small bottle filled with glittering dust.
Within hours people left the city for Coloma and within days half the population had departed, and within weeks the news had spread as far as San Diego on the Mexican border.
You’re probably thinking that James Marshall and his partners got fabulously wealthy and went on to live out their days in luxury and comfort?
Sadly, you would be wrong.
Unfortunately for Marshall, when the hordes of gold rush prospectors arrived, they showed no respect for the land rights or Marshall, and he was continuously embroiled in arguments over claims and fees. Eventually he was driven away by an angry mob when he wouldn’t tell them where the richest seams of gold were, which he claimed he knew through supernatural powers. Sadly he died virtually peniless at the age of 74 in Kelsey, California.
So, who did get rich?
Hardly anyone actually, there were a few people who hit some impressive seams and cashed in, but of the 300,000 or so people who rushed to California in the hope of untold riches only a mere sprinkling actually came away rich. No, the ones that really made money were the Merchants, after all, prospectors need supplies. Don’t believe me? Ever heard of Levi Strauss?
But going back to our little story, maybe some people involved were not quite as innocent as they first seemed…
Samuel Brannan, the Mormon Merchant who proclaimed the discovery so publicly in San Francisco was actually a bit of a Gold Digger himself, having heard about the discovery, he went about San Francisco buying up all the prospecting equipment he could find, before making his infamous proclamation. Very villainous. Actually, he was one of the richest people around at the time.
What does this all have to do with finding new customers you’re probably asking.
Well, when you are prospecting for new customers (the gold) it’s a tough thing to break through their skepticism (they don’t believe your claims) and get them to pay attention to what you are saying, so a little story or anecdote helps to draw them in, keep them engaged and open their minds to you before you segue into what you really want to talk about (them buying from you).
One of the most cost effective ways to get new business is to go prospecting through email.
Of course the message you compose has to be aligned with the offer you are sending them to and be relevant, this is where it is important to understand your market and their needs and how your offer fits into that bigger picture.
And I understand what it’s like when you have to wear so many hats and there are never enough hours in the day.
So, one of the worst things when sitting and trying to come up with emails like this one, is the blank screen effect, the more you stare at that blank screen the harder it becomes to write your email and the more time it takes, it’s so frustrating, you know you have to write something but what? and you have so many other important things you need to do.
If you want custom follow-up or prospecting emails written like this one contact me today.