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.