The definition of arrogance is when you tell me how great you are. This rarely works and is nearly always irritating to the listener. If you want to attract the most ideal prospects to you, it’s always better if someone else tells the world how great you really are.

Are you listening, Donald Trump?

The difference between confidence and arrogance is determined by the messenger-not the message. We all want to attract new and better clients. Don’t we have to show them why our product/service is the best solution?

Nope…Don’t do it.

100% of the time, it is better when others talk about you. Here’s an easy example; Suppose you are a realtor…a good one. A person tells you they are looking to sell their house. You sniff an opportunity and like a shark with blood in the water, you tell them,

“I’m one of the top realtors in the area. Just last year, I sold Sue’s house for 98% of her asking price in under 2 weeks and gave her a checklist for moving to a new city. She was very happy and I could do the same for you.”

BAM! You’re selling Amway.

On the other hand, what if a neighbor (We’ll still call her Sue) said,

“You know, Jane, Bob Wilson sold my house last year in under 2 weeks for 98% of the asking price. He not only took care of the closing details, but helped us with the logistics of moving to another city….that was a huge stress reliever…you should call him.”

The message is nearly identical, but when the message comes as a referral, your reputation is not only intact, but solidified and quite possibly sold by the endorser.

It’s a double win.

As entrepreneurs, how do you get others to “evangelize” our message? Is a simple endorsement, case study or testimonial enough? Is the pursuit of social proof the foundation of transforming that skeptic to a believer?

Look at a typical sales page and you’ll see words and pictures that are meant to convince you the seller has the greatest thing since sliced bread. Perhaps 1 out of 100 visitors might click or enter the sales funnel to learn more.

What happens to the other 99?

Why did they click away?

Is it really JUST a numbers game?

Yes…and no.

Most clicked away because they were being bombarded…not conversed with. You see, while the foundation of all sales is a numbers game (you’ll always talk to more people than actually buy from you), it depends upon how people heard of you in the first place. If they already heard about you and were possibly interested in your solution, you have a chance. If they came upon your sales page without knowing a thing about you, you have a longer road ahead.

If you are marketing your offer or message to people who don’t know you at all you will come across like that awkward guest at a dinner party… The “Hi, nice to meet you, let me show you something” approach is massively awkward, salesy and rarely works.

Why then, do we feel it is OK to speak like this online?

Does the removal of face-to-face conversation give us permission to spam people?

Don’t forget there was life before the internet.

Once upon a time, we actually spoke with each other. Go back to the roots of human communication and realize that offline social conventions should be the basis for your online marketing. Design and execute your marketing strategies with a conversational foundation and you’ll find seamless interactions and a higher conversion rate when you get around to making an offer. (Assuming you should make one at all…more about that in a moment)

For the past few years, marketers have heard the phrase “Content Marketing” or “Content is King” as the next generation of how to attract, influence and persuade someone to buy from you. While this is a breath of fresh air from the alternative “Have I got a deal for you” mentality, there is still a problem.

A massively big…huge problem.

With over 4,600,000,000 web pages out there, I guarantee your page is not only rarely found by your target audience, but there is a good chance your landing pages (if you have any) are not even indexed and optimized to influence your market.

If they are, it still doesn’t matter because, like that awkward insurance salesman at a cocktail party, your page is a monologue…not a dialogue.

When you talk about yourself, people naturally tune out.

When you talk about them, they are naturally interested.

…after all,

However, the medium of the internet is not very conversational. By its very nature, it is littered with monologues. Even this article is a monologue subject to your opinion, review or dismissal. (Please…leave a comment below and I’ll give you a cookie!)

In order to break the barriers of skepticism by your target audience, go back to the cocktail party and review the most interesting person in the room and apply a professional, conversationalist strategy to your marketing. There are 3 fundamentals of doing this online:

  1. Ask questions. Get other people talking about themselves. Personally, I’m rolling out more survey’s, polls and phone calls (remember those?) in order to have conversations with my ideal clients. The more information you get, the better you can design, execute and specifically solve the problems of your clients. More information is always better.
  2. Ask for testimonials in advance. My good friend, Ed Strachar, let’s his clients know in advance he expects a testimonial from them. In fact, his two-tiered pricing reflects this obligation. In my case, I always showcase my testimonials in my marketing, so my clients benefit as much as I do.
  3. Target key influencers. While the social proof of an ordinary client has that raw, unfiltered appeal, don’t forget people love heroes. Your audience follows, or may even revere people like Richard Branson, Tony Robbins or some other luminary. While these guys may not give you a video review, there are plenty of “B” players who will. In fact, with a healthy dose of several “B” list celebrities endorsing you, your market reach can exceed a single “A” lister.
Apply to get YOUR story featured in this upcoming Amazon Best Seller. Go to:

(NOTE: For an opportunity to be included as a story in an upcoming, guaranteed Amazon Best Selling Book, Conversation Marketing click here.)

In this blog post series (1 of 3), I’ll give you a handful of tips on each of these three areas.

Ask Questions
I recently purchased Ryan Levesque’s book, Ask. I’m not even 1/2 way through it and I highly recommend it. He’s not only mastered the process of engagement, he takes the typical “I’ve done a focus group” thing and turn it on its head. Even those who realize they should be asking questions are asking the wrong questions. Get this book.

Conduct a Poll
Per Ryan’s recommendation (and others), doing simple, binary and engaging polls will give you more than you could possibly hope for by simply doing the content marketing thing. When you do a simple poll, you get micro-commitments. People click on something you asked. They do this to validate their significance and to resolve the curiosity of what others are thinking. By creating a micro action (they clicked) you are creating the holy grail of marketing…taking action.

Equally important, when you ask the right questions, you learn something (maybe your original idea stinks!). When you audience tells you what they want, you better listen, it’s information that focus group companies charge tens of thousands of dollars for.

Technology to Consider
There are a handful of tools you can use to conduct your poll. I’ve used all of the ones mentioned below with a good degree of success…it all depends on budget, intent and what you are selling

  • Facebook. For conducting opinion polls on book covers, Facebook can be pretty good. Try and put the covers (2 or more choices) in front of a targeted audience that best represents your buyers. People are already on this platform, and little effort is required to illicit a response or opinion.
  • Survey Monkey. The free version is simple, easy to run and stays on their website (no programming). You can get solid, critical data from an audience, provided they click to your poll in the first place. Unlike Facebook, you’ll have to influence people to click away from what they are doing to go to your poll.
  • Mintsapp. I’ve just recently started using this software. It is elegantly simple and can be used as a stand alone survey, on Facebook or on your own website. The funnel aspect of directing the person to an offer or opt in after the poll is quite valuable.

In the next post, I’ll discuss details (and swipe files) on point #2…the best way to GET powerful testimonials, how to use them effectively and why volume trumps quality every single time….no, not that kind of Trump.

Until then…

-Doug Crowe

P.S. If you want to consider being referred yourself, ask me about being quoted in my upcoming book, Conversation Marketing. I need 20 stories of people just like you who have suffered, learned and/or triumphed in the art of conversation, marketing and influence. Click here.

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