Who Do You Trust? You’d be surprised.
According to Compete, a marketing research firm, 71% of all consumers admit to being influenced by opinions of other consumers. 73% are influenced by “industry experts” which is, to some extent, more a function of perception than reality (one of the best ways to be an expert is by writing a book, by the way).
This validates the use of testimonials and third-party social proof, as often and as specific, as you can get it.
Here’s something else that’s interesting: People are influenced at different levels, depending on what they’re buying. For instance, 64% of all camera buyers depend on others opinions (I just bought a new digital camera and I know I was)… 51% of all mobile phone buyers rely on testimonials… and about the same amount of ipod or mp3 player buyers as well (49%).
But here’s what’s really interesting. When it comes to auto insurance and home re-financing, the numbers are much lower, in the mid-30% range. Yet, the actual cost of both of these items, not just yearly, but over a lifetime — is FAR FAR greater than the cost of a camera or an ipod, not to mention, the personal ramifications of the choices you make in these categories.
After all, if you buy the “wrong” ipod, you can just return it or get the right one next time, but… if you choose the wrong insurance carrier, the consequences can be detrimental to you and your family, right?
I have a theory why these statistics are skewed this way, and an opportunity exists as a result. I believe people are willing to do more diligence about ipods than automobile insurance for three reasons:
One: You buy an ipod because you WANT to, and because you get pleasure out of it. You buy insurance because it’s a necessary evil. So if you’re selling a product that’s a necessary evil, like insurance or dentistry, and you can offer your clients an experience that even REMOTELY resembles something fun and meaningful, you’ll be head-and-shoulders above your competition.
Two: For goods and services that are “necessary evils”, you really don’t find too many testimonials and other third-party material readily available. On the other hand, you can find LOADS of websites and reviews of things like cameras and ipods. Make this kind of info available to your prospects and you’re going to stick out like a ripe apple amongst a box of rotten ones.
And lastly, people who sell complex goods and services tend to communicate in a complex and vague way. It seems like the intellectual ability required to administer services is inversely proportional to the clarity of communication, which is why no one can understand what the heck doctors and lawyers are talking about. (Oh, and as a side note, never ever confuse intellectual ability with competency — the two are COMPLETELY mutually exclusive.).
In any case, if you’re selling something complicated or difficult to understand, you’d be very smart (and very successful) to make sure you’re communicating as if you were talking to a 13-year old child. Again, your customers will love you for it.
Because if they can understand what you’re saying… they can understand what they’re buying.
ONLY 8 DAYS LEFT!: If you want to see an example of CRYSTAL-CLEAR communication in a very difficult and frustrating situation, you’re going to want to get your hands on this month’s Offline Seductive Selling newsletter. You’ll see a LIVE example of this, PLUS get the breakdown (on page 2) of why I did this and that, and you can now test-drive the newsletter, FREE at http://www.kingofcopy.com/ssnl
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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