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The Power of Honesty in Persuasion

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When it comes to advertising, it seems to be a universal tendency for a seller to amplify the good and hide the bad… it’s a by-product of our innate desire for self-preservation.

Like with all animals, the first function of this desire is to preserve ourselves in existence. But this instinct also extends to what we create, like our thoughts and ideas as well as our products and services.

We look through rose colored glasses at the features of our company or product and assume that everybody else sees them like we do. Reality check… they don’t.

Most people end up believing that to get buyers all they need to do is list off the amazing features of whatever they’re offering… and maybe throw a computer generated mascot into a Youtube ad for good measure. Bad idea.

Likewise there’s the tendency to gloss over or hide weaknesses and limitations of a product. The reasoning is: by keeping the weaknesses or limitations under the radar the seller can close the deal before the buyer really knows what he’s buying. Again, bad idea. 

People hate being sold. They hate liars even more.

Here’s the thing, if you’ve really got a great product or service, you can afford to be brutally honest with your prospects. If your product is actually a good product, you can honestly say, with all confidence, that your prospect will really be better off having bought it. 

Additionally, since your product is so good, you have no reason to fear an honest admission about the limitations of your product. Everybody knows there’s never been a perfect product since the dawn of mankind, and nobody expects it from you unless you make the mistake of presenting it that way. Be transparent.

The power of honesty is remarkable. It’s so rare in our modern-day, and people are so used to being deceived and misled by fraudsters and bad advertisers that the mere fact you’re willing to be honest with them is a mark of distinction. 

Not only will they feel better about your product because they know more about it (even if that “more” is not the most flattering aspect of your product), but they will also feel better about you knowing that you’re the real deal. You’re honest because you actually want them to be better off. No smoke screen, no tricks.

Advertising is not about hiding what your product is or presenting an imaginary version of what it is dreamed up in romantic emotional investment. 

Advertising is all about showcasing how your product will improve the life of your prospect in whatever amazing little ways that it can.

If your product is really worth buying, honest and persuasive salesmanship will leave your prospects breathless and with open wallets… and you’ll be doing them a favor by closing the deal.

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