|This is an expansion of an earlier article – if you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the original post first.
If you want to read the entire Video Sales Letter article series from the beginning, start here…
It’s a total cliché but I’m going to say it anyway…
A good sales pitch is a seduction – you have to entice your customers to move toward the “Add to Cart” button, one sultry step at a time.
Rush too quickly to ask for the sale, and your audience will either reject you or fall back on the tried and trusted (read dreaded), “Maybe later.”
When you’re recording a Video Sales Letter (VSL) this is especially true because, ideally, your recording is going to be used with a variety of different leads. Some warm, some cold, and some who stumbled across your video without even knowing how they got there… We’ve all gone down the YouTube or Amazon rabbit holes more often than we can count. In fact, today I bought a $12 deodorant because of this very thing! Their VSL had me convinced I had to have it.
This means you can’t take anything for granted. You HAVE to take your VSL audience through your pitch, one step at a time. Skip a Plot Point here and there and, while you might end up with a shorter video, you’ll likely also end up with a crappy conversion rate.
If you’ve followed the previous 17 Plot Points (check out the links at the beginning of this article to see what you’ve missed if not), your audience views you as an expert who understands and empathizes with their problems, and who has created an awesome product that is going to cure their pain and make all of their dreams come true.
At this point, your audience WANTS your product…(1)If they don’t (perhaps demonstrated by a high drop-out point at this stage of your VSL) you either need to improve your product or do a better job of describing the benefits and features. See the previous article in this series – (Plot Points 15-17): Trust Me… I’m An Expert.
…but don’t confuse “want” with a willingness to buy.
Asking for the sale right now would be a disaster.
If only people were willing and able to buy everything they wanted. Then every business would flourish.
But your audience has limited funds and still needs to be convinced that your product is the right investment. Between here and your audience taking out their credit card, there are three important hurdles to be overcome:
1) Is this product right for me?
2) Is the price affordable and reasonable?
3) What risks am I exposing myself to by making a purchase?
Hurdles 2 and 3 will be discussed in a future article in this series, but today we’re going to focus on that first question: Is this product right for me?
No matter how great a job you just did at positioning your product as something exciting and easy-to-master, your audience will still have doubts.
Do I really have the skills to master this product/system?
Is it really as good as this expert is making out?
Am I a good fit or am I going to make a fool of myself?
These doubts and fears may be sitting in the subconscious as opposed to being asked out loud, but one or more of these questions will almost certainly be rattling around the head of every viewer.
The next three Plot Points will go a long way to overcoming these objections…
Plot Point #18: Testimonials – Overcoming Adversity
We all know that showing testimonials to your audience is about social proof; showing that your product has helped people, other than yourself, find success.
But on a VSL you need to apply a little more specificity.
The tendency at this stage is to throw every testimonial you have at the viewer in a desperate attempt to convince everyone that your product is bulletproof. But a long string of testimonials, without context, will just blur together into a meaningless mush.
You need to be smarter than that.
Testimonials on a VSL should be aimed, not like a machine gun, spraying everyone with bullets from every direction, but like a sniper, picking off carefully chosen targets.
What you’re looking for is a testimonial that demonstrates how your product worked for someone who was going through adversity.
Reread that sentence because it’s so important that you nail this.
When selecting the right testimonial to use, people have a tendency to look for a celebrity endorsement or for the testimonial that describes the most explosive results.
Testimonials of this type have their place, but it’s not here.
You’re looking for a testimonial where someone triumphs IN SPITE of hardship. Their results could be mediocre – it doesn’t matter – as long as they found a level of success even though they should, by rights, have accomplished nothing.
As an example, compare these two testimonials:
Jim is a professional golfer who earns in excess of $250k per year in prize money and sponsorship. He’s placed in many events on the tour but it was only after applying the ‘Elbow Drop’ maneuver taught in Module 8 of my “Giga Golf” system that he won his very first tournament.
Steve is a 74-year old golfing enthusiast, who had a solid handicap of 12 when he had to undergo major surgery on his right shoulder. Since his recovery, his handicap had dropped to around 20 and he was convinced that his best golf was behind him. But after completing my “Giga Golf” system, especially the ‘Elbow Drop’ maneuver taught in Module 8, his handicap has improved to just 9! This is the first time in Steve’s entire life, that he’s ever held a single-digit handicap!
They’re both great stories, but the beauty of the second testimonial is that it offers hope to every viewer that they can replicate this kind of success.
Most of your audience won’t be able to relate to the life and experiences of a professional golfer. The testimonial sounds good, but many will hear it and think, “Well… yeah, it’s easy when you’re a pro with time and money to spare.”
But the second example is about a social golfer who wanted to improve his handicap. And he did so, despite having difficult circumstances. That isn’t just relatable, it also demands a comparison. Now your audience is thinking, “Wow! I’m 54 and in pretty good health. If Steve can accomplish a single-digit handicap, despite being in his seventies and recovering from surgery, imagine what I could accomplish!”
For me, the ability to spend $12 on a deodorant came from the perfectly placed testimonial It was a girl I actually know, who notoriously struggles with B.O., and is a bartender that still smells fresh at the end of her shifts. SOLD!
It’s not about shock and awe, it’s about beating the odds and overcoming objections. And this is way more compelling and effective.
Keep coming back to this thought… it’s not about being a world-beater, it’s about reasonable results in difficult circumstances.
Once you’ve selected your testimonial, make sure that it’s written in such a way that fits all the elements of this formula:
User + Situation + Feature Used(2)This could be a feature you’ve not mentioned yet. + Result Achieved + Benefit Experienced
And then resist the urge to read the entire testimonial(3)Video testimonials are fine as long as they’re not overlong and the quality is good. Ideally, you should give the person delivering the testimonial the above formula to use as a guide when recording their comments. to your audience. You can put the whole thing up on a slide, but just highlight the key point and then move on to the next one.
Aim to present 2-3 testimonials in this style and then, if you have them, you can quickly display a whole bunch of testimonials, picking out key phrases to highlight from each one.
Because you’ve featured a couple of carefully selected testimonials first, racing through a bunch more will be more effective than just blitzing your audience from the start. In isolation, a stream of testimonials is just noise. But when they follow 2-3 powerful, deliberately focused testimonials, then EVERY testimonial after that is viewed as being equally potent .
On a VSL, testimonials have to perform a dual-purpose, hitting both social proof triggers and overcoming objections.
But we’re not done with convincing your audience that your product is right for them. The next step is to convince your audience that THEY are right for your product.
The coming article will show you how to accomplish this using a simple technique that is so powerful, it can turn prospects into buyers, and buyers into hardcore, lifelong disciples.
You can always see examples of our VSLs right on our sales pages. See the plot points in action for WebinarJam!