Are You Using Hype or Honesty to Make Sales?

If you’ve worked online long at all, you’ve seen plenty of hype. It probably made deciding what you wanted to do to earn a living online that much more difficult. All those images of wealth, all the people claiming their massive success was a matter of months from poverty, or just a few hours a week of work. It sounds nice, but most people know with a little thought that it’s usually not that way.

That doesn’t keep people from wanting to use hype in their own sales process. It doesn’t matter if it’s a business product, a health product, a parenting technique or whatever else. It’s more fun to sell to the dream than to the reality.

That doesn’t make it a better idea, especially if you want to build a relationship with your customers.

There are many good reasons to avoid hype in your sales process. Perhaps the most important is that in the United States the FTC is clamping down on the claims you can make about your products. You have to be able to prove what you say, and you have to know typical results.

In home business products, I suspect typical results is the ebook gets read (well, partially, anyhow) and little to no action is taken. It’s probably similar in other areas.

Certainly there are people who go for hype. There’s a reason why people use it. It’s fun to brag about the more exceptional results people can get from what you’re selling, so long as you keep it honest.

But if you want to build a good relationship with your customers and don’t want to get in trouble for overstating the benefits or possibilities of the things you sell, don’t rely on hype. Go for honesty.

The single greatest thing about being honest about what you’re selling is that you aren’t likely to get in trouble with it. Not from the FTC and not with your customers. Give them more realistic expectations, and they won’t wonder why the miracles aren’t happening.

Ok, so that’s a little hype right there. You’ll always get customers who don’t understand why something isn’t working for them the way it does for others. Nothing works exactly the same for everyone. Still, you should have fewer problems when people know what to expect from what they’re buying from you.

The other great part about honesty is that it brings people back to you. If you tell them straight up what’s good and bad about what you’re trying to sell, they’re more likely to trust you. That gives you more chances to sell to them. Customers who come back are quite valuable.

This also means don’t use many of the common online sales tricks. Do you really need to use a bunch of exclamation points? Do you need to pretend that quantities are limited when they really aren’t? Keep it real and make the benefits of your product make the sale.

Yes, you can use a good sales page to manipulate people into wanting your product, whether or not it’s what they need. That will make you sales. It won’t build your reputation as an ethical marketer. If you want the long term trust of your customers, don’t dazzle them with b.s. Dazzle them with your upfront techniques that help them to buy exactly what they need.

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1 Response

  1. Dachai C says:

    Hello Stephanie! This article really speaks to many of us working from home. It can be difficult at times without the further complication of excessive hype. Think of your advertising as your home…Why over-indulge your home’s qualities only to have someone over to disprove the tale. Working from home is similar, but we have to worry about the neighborhood too. Great posting by the way!