Imagine...you inquire about a product. The salesperson does everything right. Says the rights words, emphasis the benefits of the product -- everything right. And you hesitate but you do not know why. You just aren't "sure." And you respond, "I'll think about it." Then you talk with another salesperson that says the same things, uses the same languaging, and does everything else right, until towards the end. Then they get honest with you and tell you the weaknesses of the product. Then you buy.
Works every time. Why? Because the old adage "if it's too good to be true, then it usually is" is a skepticism that has been planted in everyone's mind for generations. Don't think you're kidding the prospects they know the weaknesses. Be up front, let the honesty out, it is a quality people are looking for today. They are tired of being scammed. Yes. Honesty does sell!
Let's continue on how you can use this to your marketing advantage.
First, write down all the weaknesses of the product or service. Ask others for help with this. It is easy for people to find the weakness first, so do not hide it. If you offer a service, look for those weaknesses as well.
Second, is to show those weaknesses in your communications. It illustrates that you know the weaknesses and how you have thought them through. It shows that you are not hiding anything. The consumer can then make an honest evaluation for himself or herself. It also provides them with the language they will need when they need to justify their purchase with their spouse, friends or family members.
If you are a consultant that provides strategic planning, your weaknesses might be: It takes time and patience to plan. They will need to expand their thinking and change the way they are doing things. These could be a few. Strategic planning is not fool proof.
If you are a coach that offers only telephone coaching, some of the weaknesses could be: There isn't any visual or in- person contact. Coaching as a service assumes that people want to change.
It is easy to say the weakness and have your mind quickly go to the positive off side. Be at peace with the weaknesses. Allow them to be "okay." Don't take them personally as a flaw in yourself because the weaknesses are in the service or product. They would be the same for you or for anyone else presenting that exact service.
The big advantage to knowing what your flaws are is then you can create a plan on how to respond when people point them out -- and they will. You will be able to handle these better and not feel like someone is attacking you. They just want the answers on how to get around the weaknesses. And everything has weaknesses.
People are persuaded to buy when you intentionally expose the weakness of your product or service. Marketers rarely do this, they usually only show the benefits. Only showing the benefits side of things is the stance of selling on the Internet. It is refreshing when you see honesty come through.
If you are up to being different and increasing your sales, find the weaknesses (I said "the" not "your"), talk about it frankly in your marketing communications. Indicate in insignificance of the weakness and how it doesn't outweigh the strengths.
The results -- you will come across as strong because you have been up front and honest with the weaknesses. A great character strength to have, wouldn't you say?
Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing & Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internet writing and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters and articles available at: http://www.abundancecenter.com blog: http://abundance.blogs.com