When your potential customer decides whether to buy your product or service, there’s one big question on top of their mind.

“How do I know this will work for me?”

They want you to give them proof that your product or service will make a difference in their lives. Although most purchasing decisions we make are emotional, not rational, proof is important all the same – if only because it builds trust.

If you don’t provide enough proof, your prospects will say no.

Now, the bad news is, if your product or service is brand new, you might not have enough testimonials and endorsements under your belt to sway hesitant buyers.

But the good news is… there are actually numerous proof elements that you can use in your marketing, and testimonials are just one of them.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about 4 powerful proof elements that will enhance your sales message and make it much harder to say no.

Proof in the pudding

1. Demonstration

Remember those obnoxious late-night infomercials? They are full of ridiculous products that nobody in their right mind should ever need (just look up a few of the more outlandish examples)…

…and yet people buy them, sometimes in huge quantities. Why would they do that?

Successful infomercials show the product in action. It’s hard to be skeptical about something that you’ve just seen succeed with your own eyes.

Dozens of businesses have used demonstrations as a way to their customers’ hearts: from makers of bulletproof vests, to creators of kitchen appliances, to car manufacturers. You can do it for your product or service, too!

Tip: you can make use the demonstration element even if you’re selling something you can’t show in action: for example, a service or an education product. To do that, just show off some “before and after” results. Pictures are especially effective (as the fitness industry knows very well). If you can’t provide illustrations, another great way is to write an in-depth case study describing real results your customers had.

2. Credible Source

It may sounds obvious, but having credibility in your field can make your message more persuasive. Funnily enough, even appearing credible on the outside – by wearing a labcoat, for instance – makes people take you more seriously.

But on the off-chance you don’t exactly relish the idea of running around in a lab coat, what other authority-boosters can you use to enhance your sales message ethically?

Lots of them, actually! Individually and combined, all these things will establish you as a highly credible source, adding substantial weight to whatever you have to say:

  • A personal transformation – have you achieved for yourself what you want to help other people do?
  • A proven track record of success – have you produced comparable results before?
  • Endorsements from industry authorities – will other credible people vouch for you?
  • Industry experience – how long have you been doing this?
  • Formal credentials – what reputable organizations recognize your competence?

Tip: You will notice that formal credentials are pretty low on the list. That’s intentional – although being “certified” or “accredited” at something definitely helps, it’s no substitute for hands-on experience and a proven track record.

3. Testimonials

We’ve talked about the power of testimonials before. They take advantage of social proof, and have a more profound impact on buying decisions than even low prices. Having great testimonials can boost your overall sales dramatically.

Here’s the thing, though – even if your customer testimonials are by no means “perfect”, they can still give you more sales! Even downright bad testimonials and customer reviews still boost conversions, as revealed in this study by Reevoo.

It’s a clear-cut case where something is definitely better than nothing!

Tip: If you have multiple subsets of target customers, a good rule of thumb is to have one testimonial per type of customer. That way, you will give potential buyers a compelling emotional reason to trust in your product or service – if it worked for someone just like them, it must be effective!

4. Creative Guarantee

As we’ve written before, an unconventional guarantee that goes beyond the usual “30 days or your money back” can boost your conversions significantly by eliminating any perceived risks of buying from you.

A creative guarantee communicates confidence in your offer, and shows clearly that you stand behind your product and care about doing right by your customers. Even on its own, it can offset your lack of other proof elements, and be enough to close a sale.

We’ve written an entire post of the topic, so we won’t rehash it here. You can get inspiration from businesses like Zappos, Lifelock, and others to create your own compelling guarantee – and boost those sales!

There you have it! Armed with these four proof elements, you will be able to show to your potential customers conclusively why your offer is a great fit for them. And remember – you won’t just enjoy immediate benefits of more sales in the short term… You will also land multiple life-long customers that will buy from you again and again, for years to come!

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