It used to be, if you wanted to move products, you’d have to stretch the truth as much as possible. The only way to get a person’s attention was to make outrageous claims:
Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days!
It’s Like a Shammy, It’s Like a Towel, It Works Wet Or Dry!
The Secret to Unlocking Your Wildest Dreams!
But that doesn’t work anymore.
What grabs our attenition more than anything is honesty. Someone letting us know their product may not satisfy our needs.
Oil Slick Marketing Woes
Someone I know recently released a book online. In his book’s marketing copy, it states
You can expect to make $xx,xxx per month!
It backfired completely. The comments from the release all talked about how scammy the book sounded. The reputation of the people who behind the book is now at risk.
If they’re willing to lie on the front cover, what can I expect about what’s inside?
Your Reputation Is Everything
Some marketer thought they’d be smart and give everyone a nice compelling reason to buy. Only the problem is, nobody believes it. And, according to the recent FTC rulings, their claims may even be illegal.
A much more compelling way to demonstrate value is to be honest.
Instead of presenting your product as flawless, give it flaws. Let people know it doesn’t solve everything.
Too many people go right for the immediate sale, and assume people won’t buy if their product is imperfect.
But we consumers are jaded. If you don’t let us know your flaws, we’ll assume you’re hiding something. And we’ll go looking.
Honesty Based Marketing
I know honesty based marketing works, because I’ve tried it.
I used to try selling my software using sly marketing psychology. Trick your customer into believing your software will solve all their problems, by using subtle psychological triggers.
It didn’t work. I made some sales, yes, but I didn’t experience viral growth from referrals. And the customers I did have weren’t the greatest.
Finally, frustrated, I decided to be honest and let people know exactly, what my product could do for them, and what it couldn’t.
I decided to let them know up front, and make bold, what my product’s flaws were, exactly.
The Turning Point
This worked like a charm. I doubled my sales, and started getting referrals for the first time. People love honesty. I’m now applying complete honesty to all my businesses. And my customers are loving me for it.
The Take Away
Make yourself seem vulnerable. Make your products seem simplistic. Let your customers know when you can’t solve their needs. Social media means everyone’s going to find out anyway.
Jump the gun, and give your product a human voice. Reclaim the scammy marketing space you used to fill, and replace it with honesty. Now laugh at yourself and share with your customers when you inevitably mess up.
Flaunt your flaws. It’s what makes your business real.