If you’re having difficulty selling to potential customers, one problem might be that they don’t believe what you’re telling them. Would you buy from someone you didn’t believe? Probably not. So it’s clear that your own credibility is critical to a successful sale.
You have to establish your credibility in the eyes of your potential customer for a successful sale (via person, a sales letter, ad, website, etc.). There are a number of ways to show people that what you say is true and solid.
Out of all of the following suggestions, you can take the ones that you feel can work for you, and put a lot of emphasis on them in your marketing material.
1.) Customer and client lists: An excellent way to demonstrate to potential clients how long you’ve been in business, and how many clients you’ve served over that period of time. This has to be done carefully because you don’t want to infringe on the privacy rights of your customers (so it’s wise to ask permission to print their name on your customer list).
2.) Length of time in business: Show people you are for REAL, not a fly-by-night, come-and-go business type. Obviously the longer you’ve been in business, the better. I’m sure you’ve often seen signs on storefronts saying “Established 1867” or some equivalent. Would you feel more comfortable buying from a well-established business? Probably. They’re trying to show you their longstanding business solidity.
3.) Past credentials, qualifications, and experience: They establish you as a person who is qualified to discuss with people whatever topic is on hand. For example, what more credibility could come from a person trying to sell you a tennis racket as someone who has won the Wimbledon twice and the U.S. Tennis Open three times? There’s no question in your mind that this person knows what he’s talking about when it comes to his product. Or a real estate agent who happens to be an experienced contractor- you’ll believe what he says when it comes to houses and what you’re getting for your money.
4.) Financial references: Commonly used to show people how successful you are in what you do. The number says it all. If you went to an eyeglass store, and there was a sign in there telling you that this little store did $800,000 of business last year, you’d probably think that this store is doing something right in their business. Your logic will tell you that whatever they say you’ll believe.
5.) A count of the regions/cities/countries that your business serves: What would seem bigger in your eyes- a local vacuum cleaner store selling in a small town or a vacuum cleaner store that services 7 provinces and 3 other countries as well? These numbers can help your credibility.
6.) The number of customers served: You can use the now-famous technique that MacDonalds uses- I once passed by one franchise and I saw that MacDonalds now has a tally of 99 BILLION customers served!! The number of customers you have of course ties in with the longevity and reliability of your business.
7.) Show someone how good your product is: Show them! Sometimes with products you can do a physical demonstration or a video that displays the actual features and benefits of the products. For example, if you’re selling vacuum cleaners, you can make a video commercial of your product sucking up all the garbage from the carpet. If you sell knives, do a demo of how well your knife cuts through plastic or some fruit or vegetable. And so on.
8.) Testimonials: Long established as one of the most powerful credibility boosters in the marketing world. Let someone else speak for you! Testimonials come in many forms. Written testimonials can be published. Video or audio testimonials can be played. Photographic testimonials (e.g. If you had numerous photos of you standing beside satisfied customers, that is a great way to show people that you have customers and they believe in you). When you allow other people to speak for you about your product or service, the credibility is always increased by at least a few points.
9.) “Story books”: A less common, but just as powerful, form of credibility-booster that tell the story of your customer, how they began, how your product or service came into the picture, and how your customer’s problems were solved or desired satisfied. The level of detail in the story allows it to rise above the normal 3-sentence testimonial in terms of credibility.
10.) Another type of testimonial that are under-exploited are toll-free 800 “eavesdrop lines” to give clients and customers a chance to listen in on what others say about your product or service.
11.) And finally, many of the mediums above- writings, audio, and video- for all the different types of credibility boosters can be put online in websites and email attachments.
Once you’ve established your credibility hopefully beyond doubt, then you will have customers who are ready to hear what you have to say and are more likely to buy your product or hire you for your services.
Get your FREE report on how to increase the number of customers, written by Joseph Browns, a freelance copywriter who specializes in both online and offline marketing strategies. sign up for his free report at http://www.thesalescrafter.com.
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