Demos are a great way to add punch to a selling process, so I stopped to watch a guy pitching his magic powder at a women’s expo a few weeks ago.
He made quite a show of dropping a pH testing solution into a row of cups that held various types of water and soda. Each one quickly turned yellow to prove they were acidic.
Then, he added his magic powder that turned most of the liquids a deep purple–while gleefully pointing out that Perrier is so acidic, it takes eight times the amount of powder to neutralize it.
At one point during his spiel, he said something along the lines of, “You know that acidity in the body causes cancer, right? So this powder will keep you healthy by neutralizing the acids in your body…”
That was his first fatal mistake. And it’s the same mistake far too many business owners make in their website and sales copy…
I’m not a doctor, but if preventing cancer was that easy, it seems we’d have much less of it by now. And even if it is true, it’s not a belief I had before he started. So it instantly sent my skepticism into overdrive.
Mistake #1: Any assumptions have to ring true to your audience. If you say, “Mobile marketing will bring you a flood of sales” but brick-and-mortar guy barely uses his cell phone, you’re assuming a fact not in evidence.
Then he compounded his mistake by taking it further…
Mistake #2: You can’t build a logical argument off a questionable assumption. You probably learned the basics of logic in school, although it may have looked scarily like this:
IF x = y AND y = z, THEN x = z
I’m sure you don’t go around citing the equation, but you probably use it all the time. It’s a simple way to bridge people from something they know is true to something we want them to believe is true.
“You like tuna sandwiches, right? Well, this is a tuna roll. So you’ll like this too if you just give it a try.” (Good luck with that one! LOL)
But if the child hates tuna sandwiches, the argument is useless.
In magic powder guy’s case, IF I agree that too much acidity causes cancer, he just has to show his product eliminates acidity from what I eat and drink, THEN I’ll believe his product prevents cancer.
Since I didn’t believe the first assumption, the rest of it didn’t matter.
Now, just to clarify, I asked him point blank, “So you’re saying this powder helps prevent cancer.”
Mistake #3: He said yes. He’s damn lucky I wasn’t with a federal agency! You cannot make health claims like that without oodles of proof. That’s why health claims are usually carefully worded, with some kind of disclosure statement nearby.
It’s the same with brick-and-mortar guy. If he doesn’t believe mobile marketing increases sales, it doesn’t matter how great your system or offer is, he’s never going to believe it will work for him.
You must either start with an assumption he agrees with or enter the facts into evidence before going any further. Otherwise, your claims will be unbelievable and the prospect won’t trust you.
What assumptions does your copy make? (Assumptions may be unspoken too–you assume they believe it, so you don’t even mention it.) And are you sure your prospective customers believe them?