Last week someone friended me on Facebook.
He is a coach.
But not just any old coach; this guy calls himself an ‘expert coach.’ I have a problem with that. Shall I explain? It’s a copy issue, pure and simple. I hope you avoid making the same mistake.
So, let’s dig a bit deeper. But before I do that, let me digress a bit.
On the same day I accepted the friend request from the ‘expert coach,’ I reviewed some websites. It’s my job, yah. One of them was a roofing company site.
And there it was, in all its glory: ‘fast, friendly, service.’ One of my favs. Not.
They made the assertion a couple of times on their home page, but also repeated it ad nauseam throughout the site.
What’s the problem here?
Cliches – meaningless words that most everyone uses, none of which motivate people like me to pick up the phone. Which brings me back to my ‘expert coach’ friend. I see he also uses the expert coach epithet on his website and Twitter. So that settles it – this guy is an expert because he said he is.
He is using a time-honored technique – assert and repeat. Say it often enough, and people believe it. It worked for Hitler and other despots, so it must work in marketing too, eh?
Look, I could tell you I’m a goddamn rocket scientist. I could say it repeatedly, but chances are, if your half-smart, you’ll call me out on it; ‘it’s BS!’
Don’t Say It – Prove It
The name of the game is competence – you must demonstrate it over and over again. If you’re the bee’s knees, the top dawg, the cool banana – prove it. Enough of the hype and trash talk.
How Can You Make the Transformation?
You can do lots of things, but here is a simple tip: Cut back on the adjectives. Review all your messaging, then put a red line through the adjectives that describe you, your product, or service. Remove as many as you can.
Adorable, Delightful, Amazing, Incredible, Awesome, Pioneering, Ground-Breaking, Knowledgeable, Irresistible, Captivating, Stunning, Inexpensive, Attractive, Fast, Friendly, Glorious, Reliable.
Look at them in all their unadorned glory. What have they got in common?
Puffery. Self-flattery. Exaggeration. Hype.
Kapiche? The above list represents the tip of the iceberg. If you use bragging words in your sales pitch, you’re asking for trouble.
It sounds as hollow and empty as “expert whatever” or “reliable, fast, and friendly garbage-ologist.” Suppose someone else uses these words to describe you – as a testimonial, for instance – no problem. But don’t you do it.
Show – Don’t Tell
The strength of your argument will win people to your cause.
How do you build a strong case and demonstrate competence? Hmm, that’s a story for another day.