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When Exposing Your Weaknesses Increases Sales

Author: Bob Oros   |   November 27th, 2009

Research was conducted on the advertising of five products. They ran two ads – one said they were superior in all five products and another that claimed superiority in three of the five.

Which one do you think did better?  The advertisement that exposed their weakness did much better.

Why?  Customers have become immune to marketing and sales presentations that promise to be all things to all people. When you make a statement like “this may not be the product for you” your credibility has actually increased.  The customer has more trust in you.

When you honestly state a weakness, you are actually helping your customer make a good decision.

The advertisement used by Ford is a perfect example.  Ford compares itself with Honda and says they are superior in five models except one.  Ford does not make lawn mowers and Honda does.  In thier example they use it with humor, however, I don’t think they realize how powerful the technique could be if they used it with a tone of seriousness.

The fact that Ford could be big enough to admit that they are highly superior in certain models while admitting that they are not the leader in one or two categories (with justifiable reasons) their believability would be higher.

Used car sales people are experts at this.  They always have a “clunker” positioned on the lot as the one “you don’t really want.”  This is used to let you believe that they have your best interest in mind.

When there is even a small doubt in your mind about whether the product is right for them, let your customer know.  Let the customer know you will be personally checking to make sure that your product does the job and the customer is happy with the purchase.


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