Prove It, Buster!


Last week I wrote about sales resistance and why our prospects don’t believe everything we say.

One way to overcome sales resistance is to prove that what you’re saying is true.  Beyond the shadow of a doubt.  So there’s no way your prospect can argue with you.

This is easier said than done.

Generally speaking, the easier a product claim is to prove, the more boring and bland it is.

For example, “Vitamin C boosts immunity and can help eliminate diseases like cancer” is reasonably easy to prove to a prospect’s satisfaction.  You can quote studies, statistics, anecdotal evidence, and so on.  The claim isn’t too far-fetched, so it’s easy to believe.  It’s also easy to sleep through.

On the other hand, “Rubbing aloe vera juice into your scalp helps regrow hair” is a harder one to prove.  It seems too easy, too available, too low-tech.  People want to see the statistics and the studies.  They want to hear the evidence.

In other words, they go looking for reasons to disbelieve your claim.

There are three typical ways to prove a product claim, which can be used in any combination:

  • Statistics — studies, science, peer reviews, published results.
  • Testimonials — what real people say about their experience.
  • Endorsement — you pay people to support your claim.

These are pretty standard, and you’ve probably used them — or seen them used — in a lot of ads and marketing communications.

Another method of proof you should consider is what I call the “common-sense proof“.  This involves drawing a simple parallel between your product claim and a concept that the prospect probably accepts without question.

Example (from my whitepaper “Avoid This Costly Yoga Mistake“):

It’s tough to give students a yoga class that will help them heal, but at the same time 
they find fun  and enjoyable.  That’s why it is absolutely crucial that yoga teachers
receive as much quality training as possible.  

Think about it: you wouldn’t go to a physical therapist who only had 10 or 20 hours
of training,  would you?
          … would you go to a doctor with a diploma from QuickMedicalDegrees.com?
          … or how about a nutritionist who only attended a weekend seminar before
  setting up shop?

See how that works?  There’s no person out there who would argue that a healing practitioner can be competent with only a few hours of training.  People know that doctors and therapists need lots of training.

My job is just to present the perspective that yoga is also a healing art.  And those who share it with the public need to be well-trained.

The power of this approach lies in the quality of the comparison between your claim and the indisputable truth.  If your parallel doesn’t make sense, or if it is weak, then the reader will mentally say, “Yeah, but that’s not the same thing as…”  Your proof fails the test.

But when your comparison makes sense… when your prospect thinks “Oh, I never thought of that!”… when the idea is both believable and fresh…

… then a common-sense proof can be an iron-clad persuasive technique!

The common-sense proof can save you hours of research trying to find statistics to back up difficult-to-prove claims.  Just find the angle that turns your claim into a “Duh!” kind of obvious statement.  It saves you work, and your prospects will accept your claims much more easily.  Win-win!

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