The people whose business you seek to win have all of these psychic mental tentacles feeling you out, looking for any hint or sign that you are not what you say you are.
They are looking for any sign of incongruence that might tip them off that you are a fraudster or that you may pull one over on them.
Are you legitimate?
Are you what you say you are?
Can you deliver on your promises?
For this reason I have always advised my clients to build their products, websites, and services squarely on their strongest proof elements, namely their most persuasive and impressive credentials—including their strongest case histories, endorsements, testimonials, “reasons why” they offer better results and solutions, success stories, proven outcomes, expert status, areas of specialization, reputation within their industries, and especially a spirit of candor and integrity that never fails to delight clients and confound competitors.
Here’s the deal…
When you make your credibility an essential, highly visible part of your marketing, persuasion can flow like silk because your most commonly encountered enemy—skepticism—is largely swept aside.
“Preponderance of Proof”
Attorneys understand that in court, the outcome is determined by what is called preponderance of proof. That is, whichever side presents the most compelling evidence is likely to win.
In marketing, preponderance of proof is equally important. The more evidence you can present to support your claims and the more credibility you can establish, the more likely people are to believe you and buy from you. Proof can come in many forms: testimonials, case studies, statistics, demonstrations, endorsements, awards, media coverage, and more.
Applying this in a Marketing Context
The concept of preponderance of proof is just as important in marketing as it is in law. To apply this concept to marketing, you must build a strong case for their products or services. This can be done by collecting and presenting evidence that demonstrates the benefits of what you’re selling, such as customer testimonials, case studies, statistics, demonstrations, endorsements, awards, media coverage, and more.
For example, if you’re selling a weight loss program, you might provide before-and-after photos and testimonials from satisfied customers to prove that your program works. If you’re promoting a new software product, you might provide statistics that show how much time or money your product can save businesses that use it.
I have also heard of the case of a chiropractor who was able to increase his patient’s confidence in his authority simply by wearing a doctor’s white jacket and stethoscope, despite the fact that a chiropractor has no use for such items.
Actors who play doctors on television have been used to promote medicine, despite the fact that they have no real medical background or training.
In both cases, simple cues were used to create “credibility indicators” to increase confidence despite the fact that there was nothing real backing them.
Some other ways to provide proof of credibility include:
• Third-party validation (from authoritative sources – press, blogs, etc.) Association (associating with brands and figures people recognize)
• Sales records (facts and figures proving customer satisfaction)
• Commendations of users (testimonials, reviews)
• Official recognition (awards, distinctions, honors)
• Guarantees (willingness to let the quality of the product speak for itself)
• Background of the provider (reputation and successful history)
In short, the more evidence you can provide to support your claims, the more likely people are to believe you and make a purchase. By focusing on building a preponderance of proof, you can create a more compelling case for your products or services and increase your chances of success in the marketplace.
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