“Lose 40 pounds in 40 days, while pouring bags of Cheetos down your gullet!”
“Build a six-figure business while working from home for just six minutes a day — in six weeks or less!”
“Help me secure several millions of dollars from my estranged royal family, in Ethiopia — I just need your banking details!”
Have you ever read an offer and thought, “Um, that sounds wayyyy too good to be true?”
Your stomach knots up.
You scrunch up your face in confusion.
You read through the raving testimonials, the money-back guarantees and glitzy celebrity endorsements, but something just feels so … off.
Suddenly, you start picturing the business owner in question as a used car salesman with a greasy toupee and a white button-down shirt stained with tomato sauce. Ewwww. No thanks.
Your sales language might not be used-car-salesman-level-atrocious, but even so: I see plenty of well-intentioned entrepreneurs making ridiculous sales-y claims, on a daily basis.
It makes me want to yell “no no nooo!” at my laptop — and most of the time, your smart + sophisticated customers are thinking exactly the same thing as me.
To stop this grim fate from EVER happening to you, I’ve compiled the top claims that you need to avoid like the plague if you want to keep your sales pitch tasteful, not tacky.
Read on. Take note … and keep it classy!
TACKY SALES CLAIM #1: “I did it, so can you!”
This one drives me bonkers — and it’s used allllll the time.
Here’s the deal:
It’s totally cool that you walk your talk (and yes … people DO want to know your nitty-gritty back-story.)
But if “I did it!” is your sole piece of credibility, you’ve got a problem.
Let’s say you run a business selling organic bath soaps. You score some sweet media coverage in a couple of local papers, and one story gets syndicated nationally. Whee!
Because of your “I did it!” success story, you decide to start offering “media consulting” for other entrepreneurs who want national press coverage, too.
Everything starts out just dandy. Until …
:: Another soap company tries to get coverage by replicating your methods, but they don’t get the same results. Now they feel pissed + ripped off. (Uh-oh! Now what?)
:: A tech company hires you, but they can’t figure out how to apply your strategies to their industry (and you have no clue how to teach them, either. Frack.)
:: A client gets a write-up in The Wall Street Journal (yay!) but it’s a scathing review of their company (whoops.) They come to you for crisis management and you think … Crisis? Um … what am I, some kinda media consultant? Oh wait …
Sadly, the examples I just referenced are all true (horror) stories from business owners who came to me in tears, because they’d invested a ton of money + energy + hopes + dreams into someone with an “I did it, so can you!” sales claim.
(Fortunately, I worked in PR for almost 10 years before I started teaching my methods online — so I could help clean up the messes. Phew!)
THE FIX? Resist the temptation to leap from “I did it!” to “so can you!” in two seconds, flat.
Practice, tweak and refine your methodology with a diverse pool of guinea pigs before you start making big promises you can’t really keep.
Once you can back up your claim with tons of testimonials, it’ll be a zillion times more irresistible. (Not to mention: ethical.)
TACKY SALES CLAIM #2: “This is a value of $9,775, but you’re getting it for just $49!”
Oh, gawd. I know you’ve seen this one.
A sales offer that claims the product is worth nearly 10 grand … but because they are sooo-oo generous … they are offering it to YOU for a super-low, one-time price.
Does anyone really fall for this?
Do you really think any successful business owner would repeatedly give away something worth $10,000 for just $49? If their claim is true, they’d go out of business!
THE FIX? Emphasize the value of your offering — but do it like a sophisticated lady (or gentleman), not an over-zealous nutjob.
For example: in my upcoming workshop A Thousand Times, Yes! I use the following lingo to explain why it’s such a hot deal …
This is the first time I’m offering this one-day virtual workshop, so you get a very special price: $149. That’s it.
And while I can’t guarantee an eternity of bliss, I will say this: if you take what you’ve learned + weave it into your next business proposal, you can easily make back your modest investment — ten or twenty times over.
No icky claims. Nothing over-the-top. Everything is 100% reasonable + true.
TACKY SALES CLAIM #3: “Time is running out — act fast, or you’ll miss this forever!”
It’s a fact: human beings are motivated by urgency + scarcity.
If we sense that something is getting snapped up quick, we tend to act faster. If we know that we have a limited time frame to sign up, we’re less likely to procrastinate.
But … using phrases like “time is running out!” conjures up mental images of those people on street corners holding signs for furniture stores that are “closing forever” … yet still manage to remain open, years later.
And I’m betting you don’t want your brand to get shuffled into the same mental filing cabinet as “Big Daddy’s Ultimate Discount Bedding Supply Store.”
THE FIX? If creating a sense of urgency is part of your sales strategy, no problem. Just make sure it’s genuine urgency, not fabricated urgency.
And ease off the bombastic language — keep it simple and conversational.
I’ve successfully sold out offers for years by simply saying something like this:
“Just a quick, friendly reminder that [offer] is ending on [date.] You can get in on the fun now [link to purchase] or feel free to email me with any questions about the [offer] — I’m standing by with plenty of coffee + cookies to answer your Q’s!”
And there you have it: 3 of the slimiest sales-y claims to avoid (and how to fix ‘em.)
GOSSIP-FEST! What’s the ickiest, sleaziest sales pitch you’ve ever heard — or seen? (No need to name names … unless you feel compelled to warn the innocent masses!)
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Feel like your business ideas + offers are tired, ineffective, or even just a smidge … sleazy?
All is not lost. Spend one day with me, and take your signature business offer from tacky to tasteful. It’s MAKEOVER TIME! (Sorry for the caps. I’m just freaking excited!) http://thousandtimesyes.com