Today he said an interesting thing to me when proof reading my latest company statement draft for the my websites front page.
The line in question read:
"We are here to provide you a reliable, honest and cost effective way to..."
His response was, "I never trust people who have to tell me how honest they are".
This made me laugh as I couldn't see how it was any different to saying we are "reliable", but it set me to wondering. Does using this sort of language lumber me in with scammy style text used by cowboys and conmen?
Is there a better way to phrase it?
I know I am over thinking this but honesty is one of the main things I pride myself on as my industry is full of people lying pre-sale or feeding customers half truths to sell them a product that isn't entirely right for them.
It is a difficult thing to convey all the dirty tricks the competition are using without making myself look bad or to put objections in my prospects mind. One of my competitors tried to do this recently when everyone was jumping on the bandwagon of "exposing" stuff in their industry (no doubt the conclusion of a seminar and string of subsequent ebooks at the time). It didn't work out too well for them and they subsequently removed all the copy.
I was always taught never slag off the competition. Just give reasons why people initially considered them, but chose to use us instead. This has always served me well in my sales appointments so I think it would also apply to copy.
Really, what I am wondering is... how do I convey my honest approach effectively?
To give you an idea of some of the things my competiors do here is a list:
- sell wrong product for that customers needs as they dont have the right product
- sell the wrong product as salesperson is not trained well enough to identify the correct product they need
- sell a product that has expired or is very close to expiring
- make a promise of employment once they have completed the product (but then get out of it in terms and conditions)
- Include other fees as a bundle price but then make it very difficult to actually redeem these fees against what they are meant to be for
- Include clauses left right and centre that absolve them of all responsibility and put hidden fees on if customer wants to change anything
I could address each of these points but the thing is, even the dis-honest companies with ancient products and sales agents with zero training say they offer expert advice and up to date material. I feel I am just weakening my copy if I acknowledge the fact others are being sneaky.
I do offer a free demo and a money back guarantee which eases their risk and I guess goes as brownie points towards a "honest" image. My competition have started doing this also but hidden in their terms are lots of hoops and an adminitration fee for anyone wanting a refund.
Sorry for the overly long and rambly post. I could have said it all with "What are some good copywriting techniques to convey honesty and integrity".
Any comments that trigger some useful ideas or nudges in the right direction are greatly appreciated.