In my last two posts, I wrote about providing a picture of a product or service and how this will fulfill a need or desire – and the promise that the product or service will deliver for the prospective customer. In both cases, one is targeting the emotions. This is a very powerful sales technique; consumers invariably decide to make a purchase based on emotion, be it fear, envy, lust, or something else.
All well and good – but the sales job isn’t quite completed.
You may be familiar with what is often known as a “cooling off” period when it comes to contracts and major purchases. These exist because often, once a buyer has had time to consider his or her decision to buy, s/he may decide that they were indeed acting emotionally and as a result, change their minds.
Besides that, we as a society have become pretty jaded, particularly in the last decade. Too many promises that are meaningless, too many people out to make a quick buck, too many failed expectations have left us being some of the most distrustful people in on Earth.
This is one reason why you need Proof. The other reason is that even under the best of circumstances, the person who decides to buy something based on emotion must justify it with logic. Therefore, the copywriter must come up with some kind of verifiable documentation to support the claims made in the Picture and the Promise (and with today’s Internet, it is easier than ever to verify such claims).
Recently, I wrote some content for a cosmetic surgeon in Denver who is very good at providing proof of his claims. On his “About” page, this doctor describes his educational experience (part of which included study with one of the leading experts in the world in cosmetic surgery) and lists his current position as a high-ranking administrator at a regional medical center. All of this can easily be verified using numerous Internet resources; however, what is important is that such information gives this surgeon a great deal of credibility.
Of course, not everyone is in such a profession offering such services. There are other options, the most important one being customer testimonials. Such testimonials are perhaps the most powerful proof one can have; consumers who may not necessarily trust a salesperson will definitely listen to others like themselves. This fact is the reason consumer review sites such as Angie’s List do so well; and in fact, if your product or service has gotten good reviews on such sites, you would do well to link to them. (Warning: Do not simply make up testimonials; if you are called on these and they turn out to be false, you may get into serious legal trouble.)
Another good source of proof: the Better Business Bureau Online. If the client is listed with the BBB, it is a good idea to link to that listing as well.