The Curious Secret to Getting People to Believe You
Ever wonder how you could get more people to believe you?
It’s easy, actually. And quite odd the way it works.
What’s the secret? Never tell a man more than he’ll believe.
Sounds like a moron statement, right?
Let me explain why it’s not.
The Law of Diminishing Credibility
There’s a law of diminishing returns directly tied to the law of diminishing credibility.
Even if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a home will triple in price in the next 5 years, if you have any concern that the buyer might find what you say hard to believe, it’s best to leave that information out.
See, the moment your claim passes the point of believability, credibility drops off like a rock.
In the 60’s some brilliant ad men took advantage of this.
Selling the Ugliest Car in the World
Remember the old Volkswagen sedan with the rag top that hadn’t changed in 20 years, the round top one?
One of the ugliest cars ever made.
In addition, it didn’t have any extra features that any ad man could talk about. Only later years did it have a gas gauge.
You could get so many miles on a tank of gas that you simply drove it until you ran out of gas and then switched to a small reserve tank that held more than enough fuel to get you to the closest gas station.
When the Doyle, Dane + Bernbach agency was given this account, they must have groaned.
What could you say about the car?
It only had two features: it was cheap to run and it was reliable. But everyone already knew that.
What more could they say about it?
Then they hit on a brilliant flash of inspiration: they decided to tell the truth.
I can imagine every ad man in America coming off their chairs and saying, “You are going to do what?”
Doyle, Dane + Bernbach ran a whole series of ads that said, “This car is ugly. It looks like a bug. A beetle.”
“This car is slow. You’ll be lucky if you ever get a ticket.”
The results of the campaign?
Phenomenal. People loved the campaign and sales shot up.
The truth. Simple, pristine truth is an astounding force. And these ad men had touched on a very important key of persuasion: if you point out the disadvantages, it makes everything else you say more believable.
How This Works in Real Estate
In real estate this might mean being frank with others about a house with some real issues, like its small, only has two bedrooms or one bathroom. The roof hasn’t been shingled in 25 years. It’s so old there isn’t central air and heating.
But once you have the disadvantages out of the way, then you can share the advantages.
“Quaint cottage with a historical background. Nice for one, maybe one-and-a-half, with ambition and muscle and a tad bit of cash.”
Isn’t that curious how that works?
By positioning the disadvantages first, you view the advantages in a whole different light. And it is a whole lot easier to swallow.
Besides, when we see an ad for a home that says “great home, lots of potential” don’t we immediately think, “Money pit.”
This rule of persuasion says this: never tell a person more than you think they’ll believe.
In fact, tell them the truth, share with them the disadvantages first, then move onto the advantages and you’ll have a captive audience.