When to Tell Your Customers about Your Weaknesses

Twenty-five years ago, when Jay Abraham and I were relatively young men in this business, we shared the tips and techniques we discovered. He’d give me his best new idea. And I’d give him one of mine in return.

One of the ideas he shared with me was already an old one at the time, but it was not something I had been using and so it was new to me.

He said that whenever he designed a marketing campaign he would make a long list of every possible objection the prospect could have about buying the product he was selling. He said he sometimes spent many hours composing the list. He included everything from pricing to terms to delivery and more.

Then he would spend even more time coming up with an answer to each of those objections. Sometimes it was easy. Sometimes it required a good deal of work. If necessary, he would add something to the offer. In some cases, he even changed the product in some way.

Every product or service has both benefits and drawbacks. Some of the drawbacks can make an otherwise good customer shy away from a purchase. Rather than ignore the drawbacks (and hope your prospects will ignore them too), bring them up and find a way to turn them into strengths.

Several years ago, I saw a clever example of how one company did this:

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, most of the animals like to sleep during the day. The only time you’re likely to see all of them up and about is very early in the morning. Disney’s solution to the problem? A promotion that read as follows: “The animals rest at various times during the day. This means that each time you visit us, you’ll see different ones than you saw the time before!”

And here’s a related tip. Rank your prospect’s potential objections from most to least important. Handle the most important one early in the copy. Handle the rest at the end. I can’t tell you exactly why this works. I think it’s because focusing too much on negatives early on distracts your prospect from the “big promise” of the promotion. But handling a big and immediate problem early on establishes your credibility. Then, after the prospect is sold, you can deal with the rest of them in one fell swoop.