Have You Taken Social Proof Just a Little Too Far?
I got a 15 page sales letter the other day from a marketing coach trying to convince me to attend his seminar. It was the perfect example of what NOT to do. If you want to attract more clients and make it easier for them to say “Yes” to working with you, you will want to pay particular attention to what I am about to share with you right now.
You may not know this but there are reportedly over 14,000 sales and marketing books on Amazon – and most of them (like the email from this coach) deal with techniques and strategies that cause your prospects to waste valuable time and energy thinking. Without realizing it, these techniques cause your audience to have to use their neo cortex (the thinking part of their brain) to process what you are saying.
While some of these techniques may work for some of the people some of the time, they are not reliable or predictable because they are designed to trigger the wrong part (the thinking part) of your prospect’s brain.
So, what do top sales and marketing coaches do to help their audience to decide quickly?
Clearly there are some principles that work – there is a process to marketing and selling products and services effectively. However, some of these principles (while valuable) have been taken to the extreme by many experts and coaches. In doing so, they dilute your message and make it ineffective. Without realizing it, these strategies will kill your ability to close sales because they will make it difficult for your audience to decide anything.
For example, I’m sure you have heard of the concept of “social proof”. This was first proposed by Dr. Robert Cialdini and it essentially means that before people decide, they will often look to what other people do before making their decision. It explains why customers will choose to go to a restaurant that is full and has a line up outside ,when the one next door is almost empty and there are plenty of tables available.
According to Cialdini, you will assume that the busy restaurant must be better because others have decided to eat there. Social proof is an important driver and on some level, it does help your brain to make decisions more quickly. Your customer wants to find a solution to her pain but she is also afraid of taking a risk. Social proof is one factor that can help to swing the balance in favour of your product or service.
However, too often this principle is taken to the extreme. Take my example of the marketing coach who sent me a ridiculously long sales letter. 5 out of 15 pages were designed to show you how many people have used and love his products. Does this seem like a bit much to you? Is it possible that his long winded letter (while paved with good intentions to provide social proof), might have had the undesired effect of causing the audience to engage the thinking part of their brains… and ask for more time to “think about it”?
Social proof is a great tool in your marketing belt but it is not as effective as understanding the 7 Stimuli that trigger the decision making part of your customer’s brain. Knowing these 7 simple and effective triggers, can transform how you talk to your customers and the results you achieve. And the 7 Stimuli which trigger the part of the brain that decides, are part of my simple, step-by-step process called Sales Seduction. Sales Seduction, is based on neuromarketing principles, and it can help you go from confusing your prospects, to convincing them.