Hello, Troy Moore here, and today’s post is on overcoming skepticism.
This is so important. And why should you learn on how to overcome skepticism? It’s very simple.
The 3 Things Needed
People need three things in order before they will buy from you. The first thing is they have to want what you offer. So it’d be pretty hard to sell a nun a Kama Sutra book. So that’s No. 1 — you have to give them what they want.
The No. 2 thing is they have to have the money, the disposable income to purchase what you are offering. So in this case it would be if you are offering somebody who really, really wanted a Bentley or a Rolls-Royce or some super high-end automobile, you’d say “Here you go. I know you want it. It’s right here.” But they’re like, “I’m on welfare. I only make $12,000 a year.” Even though they want it really, really badly, they can’t afford it.
So you need to give them what they want. You need to offer whatever that is in a package that they can afford it. And that can be a relative term. People will say, “I can’t afford _________,” when they really can. And other people will find ways to afford it if it’s just a little bit out of their means, but they want it bad enough. But if you make it too far out, there’s no possible way they can get it even though they want it. There’s several things I want right now that I just can’t get because I can’t afford them.
So that’s No. 2. No. 1 — they have to want what you’re offering; 2, they have to have the money; but 3 is they have to believe you’ll deliver on your claims.
So if you came to me and said, “Look, Jason, I know you want really bad a nice little place that you can retreat to in the winter so you can get the hell out of Iowa when it’s cold and go somewhere nice. So I’m going to sell you this awesome piece of property down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s great, and it’s only going to cost you $3,000.”
And I’m going to say, “Wait a second here. I’m skeptical. This sounds too good to be true. Can you show me that? Can you overcome my skepticism?” They’ll be like, “No, just trust me. Just trust me.” I’m not going to buy that because I don’t believe them.
So you have to make your claims believable otherwise you won’t get a sale even if somebody wants what you offer and they have the money to purchase it. So that’s where most of the sales are lost is on that third thing — is they do not overcome skepticism. That’s why it’s so important that you learn this.
So what’s the easiest way to overcome skepticism?
Enter the Guarantee
By far the easiest way is with a strong guarantee. This is absolutely the best thing. I talk to clients, and man, if you use a guarantee in industries that don’t normally use guarantees, you just kill it.
I used to sell flooring for a Carpet One, a Carpet One affiliated store. And basically Carpet One has the best guarantees in the industry, but the thing is you would never know it because it wasn’t in our advertising. We would barely ever even mention our clients unless they asked about these warranties, but they had a no questions asked. If you bought a platinum brand carpet from Carpet One, you had 90 days no questions asked. You could tear up the carpet and you would only have to pay for the installation. You didn’t have to pay for the carpet. You could replace it. So for no reason at all you could ask for your carpet to be replaced and you’d get a new carpet of the same value for free. But we never sold that guarantee, and we lost a lot of sales that way. It’s a powerful sales point. So you want a strong guarantee.
The best kind of guarantees are to tie them to specific results. So let me show you what I mean.
I just launched a product called 4-Minute Squeeze Page, and let me show you the guarantee for that. And actually there’s a couple good illustrations here how I do this. But boom — “Guaranteed to double your money back. How to create a 25 percent converting squeeze page in under 4 minutes.” And actually if you go down here and you look at the guarantee, you have absolutely no risk. This is how I tied it: “This package comes with a double your money back guarantee. If, in the next 56 days,” — a very specific number — “you can show me one squeeze page you created that took you longer than 4 minutes to create and it didn’t convert at 25 percent or better, just let me know and I’ll send you double your money back.”
So in this case I made the guarantee bold. So actually I did everything that I’m showing you here. I tied it to a specific result. If you can’t make it, if you can’t create a squeeze page in 4 minutes or less and have it convert at 25 percent, just show me in the next 56 days. So it’s tied to a specific result. So I’m not saying guaranteed your money back. I’m guaranteeing you’re going to have this amazing result or your money back. I made it part of the opening copy, which is I sold the guarantee right away. I’m like, “You can do this or you’re going to get double your money back.” And the thing is I made it stand out with the double your money back guarantee.
And so all of those things are super duper important because it’s absolutely going to sell out because I do something no one else in my industry typically does, which is offer you double your money back. I made it part of the opening copy, and I tied it to a specific result.
So when you’re creating your guarantees, you should do the same thing. And I learned this from Gary Halbert. So what you’re going to want to do is find all the great ads that have the best guarantees you can find that tie them to specific results and really stand out. Then what you’re going to do is you’re going to, whenever you have to write copy, you just look at those. And pretty soon you’ll be able to write it in your head like I do now.
Something I used to do in the past — and let me see if I can find a good example of it here. I have How to Write an Article in 7 Minutes or Less. And boom. In this case, I have a double your money back guarantee. I have it pointing there, and there’s actually a video of me talking about the guarantee. So that’s another way to make it stand out, and also, it uses multiple modalities, which we’ll talk about in a little bit here.
So the first thing you can do to overcome skepticism is to lead with a strong guarantee.
Enter the Testimonials
The second thing that you can do to overcome skepticism is create testimonials, and these are in order. Sometimes the testimonials is people have already seen your testimonials in the past. I don’t use a lot of testimonials when I launch to my list because they’ve already been exposed to my testimonials in the past. But if you’re starting with a cold crowd, it’s always good to have testimonials.
Sometimes if it’s going to delay you from getting it out there, just put it out there anyway and then get the testimonials later. But testimonials guarantee that you’re going to help you overcome skepticism. So the more, the better. So if you get too many, figure out another way to do it.
Here I use multiple modalities to make my testimonials stand out as proof. This video on the 7-minute sales letter — I show 16 pages. All these are testimonials. And the other thing about testimonials is you want to make them look like they’re real, too. That’s something that I forgot to put in here, but the “realer” the better. The more authentic, the better.
So in this case people can tell I did not make these up. It’d be very hard for me to make these testimonials up because they can tell they’re taken right from a forum, and I snapshotted them. So that looks a lot better than just writing them and reproducing them on the page.
So I did this again with the IM time management product, where here I took the testimonials, and I snapped them from my inbox to my Gmail account. In this case — boom. It’s right off of my e-mail Gmail account; so they got it.
The second thing here is I put these headlines above them so people could actually see the products. So if you look at it — the more, the better; the more authentic the better; and it’s optimized for skimmers. So even if you don’t read the testimonials, which a lot of people don’t do — “I’m sure I’ll be launching my next product a lot sooner now. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. You kicked Steve Pavlina’s butt. I was able to put together my first action plan into place right after we finished the class. I had a very productive night. The absolute best I’ve ever had the privilege to experience.”
So you’re going to see that this kicks some butt just by optimizing it for the skimmers without even having to read it.
Enter the Gathering
And then creating a testimonial campaign. This is something that you want to do if you’re going to collect testimonials.
So what you can do is before the launch you can ask for feedback on a forum. So find the most popular forum related to whatever you’re creating a product for and say, “Hey, I’m going to be offering this product, and I’m going to sell it in the future. But first I wanted to get people to have review copies. So all’s I want from you is some feedback on this product — what you liked about it,” and so on and so forth. “I’ll be giving this away to five or ten people.”
So when your product’s done, you give it away. You get some feedback and then you ask them once they give you your feedback, “Can I edit this and put it into a testimonial and put it on the site? Would that be okay?” And a lot of them will say yes — 8 out of 10 of them say, “Okay. Yeah, sure. No problem.” That’s how you get testimonials. It’s the easiest thing in the world.
What I personally like to do now because I favor speed is I launch it in a public format. So in this case you could either launch it for free on the blog and then have people post their feedback right on the blog to get the second half of the report or a bonus, or you could simply launch it in a forum where people actually can reply in a public format on the forum by giving you their feedback right there in the launch.
Or this is another one that I do. After the launch I send out an autoresponder asking for feedback. I basically say “What results have you gotten so far with __________?”
The Google eMail Trick
So with that time management product I’d say “What results have you gotten so far with the Internet Time Management product? Could you please tell me how it’s helped?” So I send that out four or five days after their purchase because it forces them to consume, but at the same time a lot of people will send me e-mails. They’ll say, “Man, Jason. I did this. I did this. I did this.” And then instant testimonial. In fact, I get so many testimonials I don’t even really use them anymore. There’s just too many of them. I actually have a little tab in my Gmail account here for testimonials. Somebody just sent me one not too long ago.
Here’s what it looks like in the e-mail. As you can see in the header “What results have you gotten with the time management system so far?” And look at this great testimonial that she gave me here. It was a super duper testimonial. This is the e-mail I sent. This is how simple it is. “Hello, Jason here just checking to see how the course is going for you. Specifically I’d like to hear your thoughts on it. What I want to know is what did you like most about the course? What results have you gotten so far with it?” This guarantees I get a good testimonial. “And that’s it. Could you please do me a favor and hit reply in the e-mail and answer those two questions?” It’s very simple. I’m telling them exactly what to do. “This type of feedback is what helps me keep making top-quality products because it helps me know what people want and what works best for getting them to take action. Thanks, Jason.” That’s it. That’s my testimonial campaign, and I get a ton of testimonials from that.
And the last thing is you can create a bribe. You can simply say, “Hey, I want your feedback. I want to get your testimonial, and if you give it to me, I’ll give you something special like a free report or something for free.”
So get your testimonials. That’s how you overcome skepticism.
Anticipate and Prepare
Another very important thing for overcoming skepticism is anticipating it. I learned this from Eugene Schwartz. He had a headline that said “Whoever heard of 17,000 blooms from a single plant?” In this case he could get 17,000 roses to bloom from a single plant, but that sounds so incredulous that you’re like “Yeah, right.” If you just came out and say “17,000 blooms,” they’re going to say “Okay. I don’t believe it. I’m skeptical.”
So you anticipate it with the copy. Let me see if I did that. At one time in my sales letter I had that. I use it a lot because I know people in the internet marketing niche are super skeptical.
So here’s my opening copy. First the headline — “How to Write a 400-Word Article in 7 Minutes or Less Including Research and Proofreading.” Here we go — perfect. “Dear fellow article writer, did you watch the video above? It’s hard to believe so many people would send me such raving unsolicited testimonials about my product.” It’s hard to believe — I am immediately addressing their skepticism and then actually go right into my pitch on the guarantee.
So there was another one: “Crazy as it sounds, I can ship you live lobsters from Maine in the mail.” There was a headline like that because it sounds crazy. So this is good words. It’s saying “Look, I know it’s hard to believe, but … Look, I know you’re skeptical.” I address that right in the copy when I’m writing my ad. I say, “Look, I know you’re skeptical. I understand that.” By anticipating it you’re able to deal with it and you’re reading their minds so you’re gaining rapport with them.
There was a product I wrote — what was that product for? Let me see if it was instant expert technology, where I addressed the skepticism in my guarantee. Okay, boom. “My special double your money back guarantee. Even though I sometimes make over $1,700 in a single hour, I still hate to risk even $27. Nor do I want you to feel like you’re taking a risk to happily involve yourself with my instant expert technology.”
So I’m telling them here. “Look, I know that you don’t want to take a risk. I know that you’re still skeptical regardless of what I say because I’m making some bold claims. So let me shoulder that for you.”
I wrote this product for a client of mine. It was for the dog food niche, and here’s what I said in my thing here — my own 100 money back guarantee. “I know you can’t tell what you’re getting until after you get a chance to review it, and there’s a lot of bald information being given to dog owners out there. I understand that. That’s why I don’t want you to feel like you’re risking anything when you happily involve yourself.” So I’m anticipating it. I’m anticipating their skepticism. “Look, I know you don’t want to risk this. Look, I know you’re still skeptical. And so that’s why I’m going to give you 100 percent guarantee.” So in this case I tie their anticipation to the guarantee.
The Smaller Commitment
The other thing you can do is start with a small commitment. This is great for overcoming skepticism. People are generally willing to suspend their skepticism if you’re only asking them for 7, 17, or $27, not 97 or 297 or a thousand dollars. So if you could start with a small commitment and deliver on it, then people are going to be less skeptical in the future.
I made a business out of this. I sell a lot of front-end products, and then I move those customers up the ladder to make bigger commitments later because I know I can deliver more value than what I can deliver in a $17 product. But I don’t try to sell them my $597 coaching program right off the bat. No, first I start with a small commitment to let them know that, yes, I’m a real human being; that yes, I deliver on what I say; yes, I overdeliver on what I say; and yes, if you go deeper you’re just going to get more and more and more of my good stuff.
So that’s the best way to start with overcoming skepticism. You can do that for free. You can do that with lead generation. You offer them something for free that’s very good, and then you say “Look, if you want to go deeper on this, we really deliver even more value to these people.” And so that’s a great way to overcome skepticism.
Share Personal Results
The fifth way is to share personal results. Again, I have a saying called “proof before product.” That simply means I don’t create a product unless I have proof for it in advance.
So almost all my products are created this way. So I basically share personal results. One of the products that has sold pretty good for me was the instant expert product, and that was simply my whole story. It was basically proof.
This is how I overcame skepticism. I said “13 months ago I was living with my dad in a tiny 2-bedroom apartment. Now I’m closing on a $120,000 home.” That’s Iowa prices; so that’s like $200,000 anywhere else. Then I go through how I mastered all these different skills and along the way intersperse testimonials to validate my own personal results so they can see I’m not just making a story up.
Then I talk about how I got into article writing — or ghostwriting — which allowed me to become good at article writing, which allowed me to make certain money, which allowed me to create these products. Then I created these products; so people wanted to know how I created them. So I showed them how I created products. Then I had to write sales letters for all the products; so I become an expert at this, this, this and this, and this and this and this. And all these things I became an expert at really quickly.
And that was my big thing. And notice how I’m still using a double your money back guarantee and all that other stuff.
But the fact is your own personal results are going to be a huge factor in overcoming skepticism.
If you don’t have personal results, there’s two options: You either go out and get them and then create the product, or you make somebody else the star of the copy. In this case you find somebody else, you interview them, and you share their results. Or you find public domain. You take that person who created the product initially and use their results as leverage.
But you’ve got to share some results, especially in a lot of these competitive markets if you’re going to overcome people’s skepticism.
Finally, use multiple modalities. These are basically all the things that you can use: the written word, audio, video, charts, and pictures.
Now I’m not a really big guy on charts because they just take too long for me, but it’s something to consider if you have a chart in your hand.
So the written word is the things that you talk about your guarantee; you talk about your testimonials and stuff. But for example, what’s stopping you from taking somebody, calling them on the phone, and getting their testimonial? I do this a lot now, especially with my higher-end coaching clients. I get them on the phone, record their testimonial, and what’s to stop you from making PowerPoints of what they’re saying so you have video testimonials from everybody? Nothing is stopping you. This is a really good exercise, and you can do this very quickly.
So then you can put the written testimonial underneath the video, if you had it transcribed; or you could have the audio and the video playing with the written words inside the video, and the audio is playing so they can hear it while they read it and while they see it in front of them. That’s a very powerful tool for engaging them on multiple modalities, and it’s going to make you whatever proof you have to overcome their skepticism even more powerful.
The same thing is true with guarantees. You can talk your guarantee out and record it — good. You can do it on video so people can watch as you speak your guarantee — very good. And then you could put the written word next to it, which is what I like to do, and that’s powerful.
I showed my testimonials in that video where I was reading them, just reading written testimonials. This is what this person said; this is what this person said; this is what this person said. So I was actually using pictures for the instant expert, where people could instantly spot out my testimonials because it had this nice little picture here; it had this thing going on here, that thing going on there. So people weren’t going to miss it.
But other pictures could simply be if you were showing — I have one for this product that I’m going to launch here soon with Robert Plank. I actually show a thing of my PayPal account. I’m showing pictures of my PayPal account. I’m showing me logging into my PayPal account. So that’s actual pictures in video format, but I have pictures of them, too, so they can see that.
Pictures, charts, videos, audio, and the written word are great. Anything you have for proof, you can make it even better if you somehow figure out how to present it in the written word and audio or video, a chart, or pictures. And all of these things together will overcome skepticism.
As you noticed, I don’t use just one; I use all of these. I tie a strong guarantee with straight testimonials. I anticipate their skepticism. I typically ask them for a smaller commitment up front before I sell them something big on the back end. And then I use my own personal results to fuel it, and I tie all these in with multiple modalities.
That’s all you have to do, and that’s how you overcome skepticism. Very simple, but extremely effective.