Are You Using Social Proof?

You have great features that really solve your customers’ problems.  You make them feel better, lose weight, learn new skills, or whatever else.  You’ve shown that you can identify with your buyers’ needs and shown how you can solve their problem.  Not only that, but you’re driving plenty of good traffic to your website.

So why aren’t you selling more?  In all likelihood, the missing piece is testimonials.

Almost daily, people hear complaints – often enough from themselves – about people trying things that didn’t work.  Sure, that could be because they didn’t use a tool properly (or at all), they never read the directions, or they had ludicrously high expectations, but they didn’t get the results nonetheless.  They feel like victims, having been “scammed”.  That is nobody likes buying products or services from someone who may or may not deliver.

Social proof is your solution.

If your product or service has been around for a while, make sure that you brag about the successes that your customers have had with it.  Have you had people thank you for winning their law cases, tell you how much they love their new home, or send you a letter talking about how your seminar changed their life?  Tell your potential customers about those successes.

What if your product is new?

This can be slightly trickier with a new product that you haven’t previously offered, but it’s not impossible.  If you are selling a new product or service, you have a couple of options.

One of the most effective ways to provide social proof in this case is by including testimonials about you.  What related things have you or your team done and received praise for?  Did you have another similar product?  Did you meet the needs of people similar to those to whom you’re selling?  Use quotes that are about you and integrate them into your sales materials.

Another was you can go about providing social proof is by getting testimonials about the type of product or service that you’re offering.  Be careful that you distinguish between what you are selling and what the testimonials are talking about, but do so in such a way that still gets the maximum benefit from what people have said.  For example, if you have a food product that is some combination of several foods or vitamins, consider using testimonials of those who have benefited from individual contingent parts.

If you really want product/service-specific testimonials but don’t have any, consider offering what you have to a small group of people in exchange for feedback.  Not only do you get the chance to improve what you’re offering, but you also get some great quotes for your sales copy.

This social proof is extremely important not only because it shows how potential customers can benefit from your product, but just as importantly it allays their fears of being taken advantage of.  If other people have gotten their desired benefits, that makes those benefits real in the minds of those reading your copy.

One final point: don’t fake testimonials.  Many companies are tempted to use them in their copy.  Not only can this get you into legal trouble, but it’s also unethical.  If you have a good product or service, you should have no trouble getting people to speak highly of it.

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