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“Unbelievable truth” often fails in sales copy

August 21st, 2018 by Bob Bly

Recently I got an email about FN, a successful marketing
consultant.

In it, FN tells the reader: “I bill out at $2750 an hour. So in a
40-hour week, I gross $110,000 in fees.”

Although I know FN casually, and believe him to be ethical, his
claim of six-figure weekly earnings as a consultant caused me to
raise a skeptical eyebrow.

So I did the math.

If FN works 40 hours a week, well, I don’t know any consultant
who will every hour he is in the office.

For many consultants, billable hours comprise only 50% to 60% of
the time they put in.

The other hours are spent on what is known as “administrivia.”

It’s a catchall term for routine tasks such as reading emails,
handling paperwork, dealing with staff and vendors, paying taxes,
putting out fires — most of which they don’t get paid for.

Also, if FN works 50 weeks a year as a consultant, at $110,000 a
week, he makes $5.5 million a year — a claim that raised my
skeptical eyebrow higher while sending my B.S. alarm into red alert.

No doubt FN or his copywriter intend for these facts about his
achievements to build credibility.

But this type of outrageous marketing often repels prospects who
might otherwise buy — for two reasons.

First, the claims are so beyond what most readers have ever
achieved, they reject it as false.

Second, many prospects are turned off by brag-and-boast marketing
… when means you should think twice about doing it, even if all
you say is true.

One technique to soften the boast and make readers more accepting
of it is to use this phrase from Joe Karbo’s ad: “I tell you this
not to brag, but…”

Another is for the superstar to remind the readers that he too
came from a more humble start. Example: Joe Vitale writes about
once being homeless.

Bottom line: Even if your incredible claims of wealth and success
beyond compare are true, you should perhaps tone them down a tad
to avoid making the reader skeptical.

Of course, I may be wrong about this. I often am.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 at 8:52 am and is filed under Direct Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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