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Recently, I was at a seminar, hanging out near the merchandise table. The seminar coordinator, a little nervous about the lack of product sales, remarked that she wished one of the authors of an in-depth how-to DVD learning product was there to talk about the product. It was already the middle of the week and sales for that series was very weak at this seminar.
I suggested that she play a video on a loop near the product, allowing the attendees to see the author and learn more about the product. She took my suggestion one step further and displayed two videos at different times throughout the seminar, establishing a connection between the audience, the author and the product.
What happened? (Glad you asked…)
Sales of that particular DVD product more than tripled, almost selling out completely. Problem solved…and a huge smile on a very happy coordinator’s face.
How did the two simple video showings compel people to buy? By using a tried and true three-step process:
- Establish authority
- Demonstrate the product
- Use testimonials
Step One: Establish authority
Using authority as a tool to sell products and services has been around for decades. You have witnessed it in TV and magazine ads: Michael Jordan selling Nike shoes, Emma Stone selling Revlon products and Barack Obama pushing affordable healthcare.
Lately, though, the whole online marketing world is abuzz with the need to establish authority. And well they should be. With all of the noise and clutter presently on the internet, it is the sites with authority which are garnering all the business. Even Google’s latest releases of it’s algorithms are all geared towards the authority of a website and its content leading towards its ranking on search engine pages.
In my opening example, the author of the DVD learning product is a Roman Catholic priest. His DVD topic? A guide to deepening your prayer life.
By simply presenting two videos that established who the author was, why the DVD was created, users’ testimonials, and the author’s vast experience in matters of prayer, the DVD packages started selling like hotcakes.
This process can work for your marketing efforts, too, whether online or in print. Establishing authority usually includes the following components:
- Being customer focused – present solutions which are credible and effective
- Attracting referrals from peers within your community
- Word of mouth or online social sharing from your customers
- Use of a structured, confidence-inspiring and ethical sales process
Promoting authority components throughout your website, brochures and other marketing collateral can give your customer the confidence they need to buy your products or services. Authority, though, is not the only step in the process to sell more goods and services.
Step Two: Demonstrate the Product
A key element in the stellar sales of the DVD product above was an onscreen demonstration of what the customer would receive in the package and an explanation of the benefits to the customer.
A good product demonstration provides visual support and stimulates interest in the product. Some prospects who are more visual learners or hands-on learners will need to see your product or service in action to grasp its full value and potential. Using video or embedded slide presentations on your website will help deepen their interest and lead towards more sales.
Marketing assets like videos, brochures, pictures and the product itself will help to close the sale by providing tangible evidence to support what you are saying to customers when you are trying to sell them on your product or service. Showing what your product or service can do or even letting the customer experience it will provide the necessary proof they might need to overcome any built-in distrust they may have.
Finally, a demonstration helps you combat product-related concerns by the buyer. If the buyer questions key claims about your product or service, a demonstration can ease their concerns.
In the example of the DVD learning product, many copies were just lying on the table, not generating any interest on their own through packaging or content written on the packaging. But when the video played and the product was demonstrated, then the resources table started raking in the sales.
But demonstration on its own was not enough to sell this type of product. There was one more step needed to get buyers to part with their cash.
Step Three: Use Testimonials
Trying to get conference participants to part with $99 for a DVD program based on the author’s authority and a video presentation was not strong enough to generate sales. What sealed the deal were testimonials from current consumers of the program.
A testimonial is your social credibility. It’s the green flag that waves to your potential buyer telling them that your product or service will work for them just like it has worked for others.
Today’s consumers are used to researching products and services before they buy. The number one thing your potential buyer is looking for is how existing users of your offerings are rating your products or services. Plus, no matter what you are promising a potential buyer, they will believe what others have to say far more than you, especially if you have not established high authority in your market.
A good testimonial from a current customer who has taken the time to convey how your service or product is benefiting them is like liquid gold. Several such testimonials in your demonstrations or on your website will be the wind that pushes your potential buyer to purchase.
It certainly was so for the DVD learning product on prayer. The demonstration was filled with on-camera testimonials of users who had benefited greatly from using that system to deepen their prayer life. Once the video was finished, buyers flocked to the table and the DVDs sold out within hours.
Use Authority, Demonstration and Testimonials to Sell More
Begin today by looking at these three components of your marketing strategy and identify where you can strengthen each.
- If you are lacking in authority, seek out some referrals from peers or ask to guest blog on their websites.
- If you are fielding a lot of questions about your products or services, consider improving your demonstration through videos or slideshows.
- If your customers are leaving your site or store before making the purchase, consider boosting their confidence by providing more testimonials.
A few well-thought out tweaks to your marketing may be all you need to take you from mediocre sales to booming sales this year. Just get started.