Ep. #63: Low Confidence Offers

If you want more customers and more revenues, your offers must convey confidence. Today we’re going to discuss three features of a low-confidence offer, and how they keep you from getting what you want in business and in life. If you need some help and want to book a session to talk to me, go to richandthin.com, where you can access my calendar and schedule a free but very valuable call with me.


Welcome to Rich & Thin radio, the only podcast that helps you achieve the true freedom that comes from earning more and weighing less. I’m Kelly Hollingsworth and if you’re feeling ready to get rich and thin, I’m glad you’re here because that’s what we work on in this show.

If you’ve been listening, you know that we’ve been talking about the importance of making effective offers, and today we’re going to continue that work. What I’d like to discuss this week is that if you want more customers and more revenues, your offers must convey confidence. If you’re not conveying confidence, your customers won’t feel confident and customers who don’t feel confident don’t buy. So, today I want to look at three features of a low confidence offer and how these things keep you from getting what you want in your business. The first low- confidence problem I’d like to look at today is too much “how” and not enough “why.”

To illustrate what this problem looks like, I want you to imagine taking your very expensive sports car somewhere for service. It’s not running right. It has a clunk of some kind. So you go in for a consult and you say, can you fix this? And the service man starts talking to you about everything he’s going to do. It could be a service woman, but in this case it’s a man and he tells you step by step in painstaking detail the exact process he’s going to go through to try to eliminate the clunk. So you ask again, yeah, but is this going to work? Is it going to get rid of the clunk? And again, he walks you through the steps of what he’s going to do. What would you think in that scenario? If this went on for any length of time, eventually you’d conclude consciously or subconsciously, I’m walking into a crapshoot, maybe my car will get fixed and maybe it won’t.

Why would this happen? Because he’s talking to you about the process, but your brain is looking for assurances about the product of that process. Your brain is looking for assurances about the outcome. So if he’s talking about process and you want to hear about outcome, your brain’s going to recognize the mismatch and you’re going to wonder why he’s not reassuring you about the outcome and you will take your car to the mechanic who says, “Oh, that clunk, oh yeah, we can fix that. Give us a couple hours and then come back and get your car.” So I’d like you to pay attention in your own life and business and notice when you’re tempted to start walking someone through these step by step of whatever it is you’re offering to do for them. What you will find is that one of two things is going on, maybe both and both of them kill your offer.

The first thing that could be going on is that you are uncertain about the outcome. I saw an example in a movie last night that illustrates this really well. Ben Affleck’s got a newish movie out Triple Frontier it’s called. It’s about five special ops guys who are now retired from their military careers and they’re struggling both physically and financially. They’ve given what they view as the best parts of their lives, and much of their health to fight the war on drugs and now that they’re out of the military, they’re wondering why didn’t we grab some of that drug money that we slept around the world while we were getting shot up and risking our lives. They decide to go off the grid and nab the cash. That one, especially evil drug lord has stashed in his house, in the jungles of Brazil. And this is a big mission going on.

It’s fraught with peril because they’re walking into the house of a drug lord who routinely executes people on his tennis court, things like that. He has armed guards everywhere. So the outcome of this adventure is anything but certain. And Ben Affleck plays the character that these special ops guys bring in because he’s the process expert, he’s the planner. And in the movie there’s a scene where he lays out the scheme to them. First we’re going to do this and then we’re going to then the next thing and then we’re going to do the third thing. And they go through the process in their training to do this heist over and over again. Why? Because when the outcome is uncertain, that’s when you focus on the process. You go over it step by step by step. The second reason that we’re tempted to talk a lot about process in our offers is that we are backing away from taking responsibility for the outcome. We’re shirking responsibility for it. H

Here’s an example from my own life. When my husband and I were newly married and we were signing up for our dental benefits that year through his employer, I told him to just pick whatever he thought made sense and he kept wanting to explain to me the ins and outs of each plan. He wouldn’t make a decision until I’d heard all of the details and finally after days of me saying, just pick something. We don’t have 12 kids who need braces next year, and he was saying, would you just listened to this so I can make a decision. We went back and forth with that and finally we figured out that he didn’t want to feel responsible if the plan he chose turned out to be not the right plan based on our dental situation for the upcoming year, which we couldn’t possibly predict.

He was worried that I would blame him if things didn’t go well. So those are the two things. Those are the two reasons that we commonly want to talk a lot about process in our offers. We don’t think that our client can get the result they want or we don’t want to take responsibility for the result. We don’t want blame if it doesn’t happen, and I’m sure that you’re gleaning from this that, that’s not good for your offer. When we convey uncertainty and we conveyed that we’re not taking any responsibility for the outcome and we’re worried that we’re going to get blamed if it doesn’t go well, that kills our sales. So here’s an example of a recent success story where we eliminated process and started talking about outcome with a recent client in their marketing message and it’s going super well. The client specializes in making money when the stock market plummets.

He used to talk a lot about how he made that happen. I’m sure you can imagine it’s a pretty complicated how. It involves global macro events and trading systems and algorithms and economic inputs. There’s a lot that goes into this process. When he was describing this process to his customers, their eyes would glaze over and now he just comes right out and says, look, this is what I do. When the stock market takes a dive, I make money. Do you want in? And of course there are legal disclaimers that have to go with this message. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results, that kind of thing. But notice something important. The message feels so much more confident when he takes the focus off of the process and simply speaks about the product of that process.

Now think about your own business. Are you touting the product, the result, the outcome? Or are you going through lengthy explanations of the process? If you’re not sure, take a look at the extent to which you feel that you are agitating the problem that your business solves. With the example of my client who makes money when the stock market goes down, agitating the problem is reminding people when the stock market falls, it falls hard and it falls fast. Are you prepared? Because if you’re not, I can help you. In this podcast, we’re working on offers this year, so I always want to remind you, look, if you don’t have a compelling offer, you don’t have a business. So if you have few or no customers coming in the door and possibly you’re cowering in your pantry, crunching corn chips in frustration while you try to figure out this content problem on your own, let me know because I can help you fix that.

Are you similarly confident in the offer you are making for whatever it is that you do? If not, don’t expect your customers to be confident enough to buy. You must convey confidence. And the first tip I have on doing that is be very careful about the extent to which you’re talking about process. Give your prospect to the view from 30,000 feet. If the process is fixing your car, describe it in no more than three steps. It’s okay, you’re going to come in Saturday at 9:00 and drop off your car. We’re going to get under the hood and figure this out and then you can come back at 5:00 it’s that simple. If you’re talking to your customer about the wrenches and hoists and pulleys, whatever those are in your business, you’re exhibiting low confidence and that’s generally not just a habit of speech. Low confidence offers happen when you are feeling unconfident and if you can’t turn this around on your own, let me know because I am confident that I can help you with it.

The second low confidence problem that I have for you today is what I call precursor questions. This is where you ask the customer to think about something and decide something else before you make your offer. Here’s an example I see a lot. I always tell my clients who are commodity trading advisors, the best place to find customers is from other commodity trading advisors. These are people who know all about that business. They like what commodity trading advisors do and they have money to invest. So if you’re a CTA and you won a new customer, the first and best place to look is among your colleagues who are also CTAs. So what happens in these conversations, a common low confidence approach is before the offering CTA makes the offer, they ask the prospect to CTA, do you invest outside of your own trading program?

Do you invest with other CTAs? This kind of question is always a mistake. If you’re offering a great trading program, it doesn’t matter if the prospect CTA thinks they invest with other CTAs or not. All that matters is you’re offering a great trading program. Asking anyone if they would act on an offer before you make the offer is weak. It’s low confidence. It’s like a guy coming up and asking a woman, do you go on dates? It’s never going to work because the answer she’s going to give is maybe I go on dates it depends on who the date is with. The best offer I ever had in a dating context was a man who approached me in a restaurant, as I was having lunch, he walked up to my table and this was his pitch. He said, two questions, what’s your name and can I take you to dinner?

Precursor question such as do you go on dates or do you eat dinner would have ruined the offer and that would have changed the way I viewed him in that moment simply because of how he asked the question. We have to remember humans are humans, whatever we’re offering, they can sniff out low confidence in a sales setting just as well as they can in a social setting. This may seem like an isolated problem, but it isn’t. Whenever I’m working with a client on crafting their offer, this includes clients who aren’t commodity trading advisors and it includes all kinds of offers. It could be something as simple as asking for a raise or asking for a higher position on the firm’s website. I can’t tell you how many times in so many different scenarios, people are attempted to ask the prospector question that mires the prospect’s brain into some kind of muck before they make the offer.

This just happened yesterday with a client. She was making an offer to a company she does a lot of work with and I had her take the first stab at drafting the offer. What she sent me started with, are you still thinking of shutting your company down? There was a whole paragraph on that and then she said in the second paragraph because if you’re not shutting down, here’s my offer. Don’t do this to your prospect and don’t do it to yourself. Asking that precursor question mires your clients brain down in the muck to the point that maybe they can’t even hear your offer at all. Just make your offer and let them decide what they think about it. If you divert their brain into some big existential precursor question before you make your offer, you’ve lost them.

This brings me to my third symptom of a low confidence offer. Too many words. When that man asked me out on a date with his high confidence offer, he used 12 words, and what I’d like you to glean from this is that the more words you’re using, the less confident you appear. Something super important to notice here. That man who made that really high confidence offer asking me out to dinner is not my husband. He is not the best man I ever dated by far. I married the best man I ever dated. That man who asked that high confidence question wasn’t even close. So if you have a great product, but you find that you’re not attracting as many customers as your competitors who aren’t offering the same quality that you are, the first place I want you to look is at the quality of your offer and confidence is a big component of this.

The best competitor does not get the business. The most confident competitor gets the business. Always remember that. The other thing I’d like you to remember is that if you’re not feeling confident, it’s going to come out in your offer. If you’re not feeling confident that you’re going to get what you want, it’s going to come out in your offer and you’re not going to get what you want. There’s a three step process to creating a high confidence offer. The first thing is to decide what you want to clean up your thinking and get clear on why it’s warranted.

The second is to distill that into an effective message and the third is to communicate the message from a place of confidence using words that convey confidence. This is the key to wealth, my friend. It’s how you get exactly what you want in business and everywhere else in dating and in life. So if you’re not getting what you want, get in touch because all that’s going on is that there’s something going awry in this very simple three step process and I can help you. kelly@richandthin.com email me.

Before we close, I want to share one last thing for you this week. Using fewer words in your offer includes once you make your offer, shut your mouth. It’s so tempting after you make your offer to want to keep talking, but if you close your mouth, you convey confidence and you create a communication vacuum that will pull the other person into your paradigm of doing business with you. T

This is a magical technique in business, and it’s great for your body too. I’ve been shutting my mouth a lot lately on my dream weight to 105 pounds, and the funny thing is it really works. Rich & Thin all the way my friends! So I hope this is helpful. This is our only episode for this week because I’m going to some big conference. The Social Media Marketing World Conference in San Diego, something like that. I’ll be gathering information. I hope I come up with some interesting information to report back to you. In the meantime, if you need some help with your offer, please get in touch kelly@richandthin.com. Thank you so much. I’ll talk to you next time.

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