There’s a line in the movie Jerry Maguire where Rod Tidwell (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.) listens to his agent Jerry (Tom Cruise) promise Rod fame and fortune. Jerry’s saying every hyped up fluff he can think of to sound like he’s the best agent for Rod.
Then Rod says the famous line, “Show me the money!” And that’s what your customers and prospects are telling you too.
Every time you make a claim saying your product or service is the best, you’re the smartest, fastest, easiest…you need to show them the money.
In other words, prove it.
Problem is, most people don’t prove it. They just say it and expect people to believe them and buy right then.
That’s like having a stranger walk up to you at a bar saying, “I’m the best thing that ever happened to you. Marry me.”
I’m guessing you need more proof than that before you jump on the marriage train. Likewise, your prospects need more proof before opening up their wallet.
Consider this copy I grabbed off the product’s website:
“Lipozene® is Effective!
There’s a lot of talk about Lipozene, but here are the facts:
Lipozene is not a pharmaceutical drug and is available without a prescription. Lipozene is an all-natural weight loss supplement. You can get Lipozene direct from the manufacturer.”
The claim here is “Lipozene is effective!” But where’s the proof?
Does the supporting copy “not a pharmaceutical drug and available without a prescription” prove it’s effective? Nope.
Does the statement “all-natural weight loss supplement” prove it’s effective? No again.
How about getting it “direct from the manufacturer”? Goose egg there too.
How did that copy leave you? Do you feel excited to buy Lipozene®? Feel like that’s the answer to the spare tire you’re tired of schlepping around? Does it feel safe?
Chances are, you’re not convinced this is worth putting in your body or lightening your wallet over.
Show me the money.
Give me clinical studies, compare results against other weight loss supplements or even plain diet and exercise programs, show me testimonials from doctors and patients, and so on.
In contrast, here’s an excerpt from a Children’s International sales letter:
“Believe me, children like Tatiana need your love. Because without it, their lives are desperate…”
- “Many of our sponsored children’s families live on open land, often next to large dumps or open sewers…”
- “There’s no sewage system, running water, trash collection or paved streets…only ditches filled with muddy, parasite-ridden water and garbage heaps with rats, flies, mosquitoes and wild dogs.”
- “Some families have so little money, they can only buy enough food for one meal…”
The copywriter does a wonderful job describing the desperation. He provides so much detail, you can almost smell the sewage running down the street and see the poor kids living by rat-infested garbage heaps.
Compared to the Lipozene® example, how did this affect you? I bet many of you wanted to reach out and help poor Tatiana.
That excerpt came from a donation letter, so it’s more emotional. But proof is needed anywhere you make a claim.
Here’s a less emotional example from an Aetna® Life Insurance insert/flyer where the claim is in the headline and the proof is in the supporting copy on the back side of the insert.
“Reduce your health insurance costs. Without skimping on quality.”
- Budget-minded Value Plans
- Affordable monthly premiums
- No deductible for generic prescription drugs
- No referrals needed to see a specialist
- No waiting period for routine physicals
Then the accompanying sales letter and brochure go into more details. All of the copy continues providing proof of their big claims (big promises) to reduce your costs and maintain quality service.
When proof overcomes skepticism, your prospect’s more likely to buy
For every major claim or statement you make in your copy, be sure to back it up with proof. You need proof because your prospect is very skeptical. They’re tired of marketing hype.
Worse, they’ve likely been cheated before. And they’re taught to trust no one trying to sell something.
By adding proof elements, you build credibility and trust. You show the reader you’re the reliable solution to solve their problem.
Common claims are:
- We offer the best ___
- We really care about ___
- We’re the #1___in the industry
- We’re the fastest___
- We have the most ___staff
You get the idea. Sounds kind of fluffy without proof, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t help you stand out from your competition.
When including proof into your copy, the easiest formula to remember is:
We can get more involved than that, but just following this formula will make your copy more convincing than many others that get shoved in my mailbox daily.
So go ahead and pull out your brochure, sales letter, or website copy. Highlight all of the claims you make, then count how many proof elements follow.
You may want to add a few. You may need to strengthen existing ones. Either way, stick with the formula and you’ll likely see more responses from your prospects.