Is credibility crucial to your marketing strategy?
Or is believability all that matters?
And can you actually create such intense believability, that customers will buy your products and services, even when you haven't created any credibility for yourself.
If you're just starting up a project; about to sell an untested product or service; or simply starting up in business, you'd be forgiven for worrying that credibility is everything.
The truth is, one heck of a lot hinges on believability!
Switch on your TV and watch the news
Tell me a little bit about the presenter.
Tell me that she probably drives a Lexus.
Tell me how she probably lives in a penthouse.
Tell me that she's probably taking home a few hundred thousand each year.
Tell me that you think she's successful and rich.
Then talk to her accountant
All he sees is an ocean of red ink. That so-called successful TV presenter is up to her fake eyelashes in debt. That TV presenter isn't exactly making more than seventy-five thousand buckeroos each year. And that car is a loan from a friend for six months. A loan that must find its way back.
Pop goes the bubble, huh?
But here's the important point. You mixed up the factor of credibility with believability. You assumed because that the term ‘rich' would go with ‘famous'. You assumed the term ‘Lexus', would mean ‘successful.'
And pray tell, what's all of this got to do with marketing?
When you roll out your marketing plan or marketing strategy, you automatically assume that you have to have specifics; that you have to have facts and figures; that you have to have testimonials and proof; and that you'll never get your marketing off the ground without all of the above.
And you'd be way off target
Because your customers need the believability long before they see the credibility. In many cases, believability is all that matters for clients to sign on the dotted line.
Believability outdoes credibility all the time
When I'm conducting a workshop or training course, I'll create a safe zone. The participants/audience must believe it's a safe zone, or they simply won't participate. I have no proof or credibility within the first few minutes. And so, everything I do or say, must give out the aura of safety.
When someone reads an article on Psychotactics
There's no credibility. When you first get to the site, you don't know any thing about me. Testimonials may or may not exist. The chances are, you don't even know the site you're on, because you simply clicked on a Google link. So there's zero-credibility. But then you read the article, and the lights go on in your brain. You still don't have proof that any of the material you're reading really works.
But you've already filled your brain with a tankful of belief.
The same concept applies to say a medical certificate in the doctor's waiting room. When was the last time you read any of those certs? You simply believe that they were issued in the name of the doctor and from a reputable medical association. But what if they weren't. What if good ol' doc was a quack, quack, quackity quack?
When you give detailed information
You can create huge believability. You don't need testimonials and credible sources backing you. I'm not saying, it's not necessary to have credible sources. I'm just saying that believability alone can have enormous firing power.
The leap from believability to ownership
And before you can say ‘hah', another very vital psychological concept slam dunks its way right in.
The moment a customer starts to believe, they cross over a psychological thresh hold. Now they own the idea. Once a customer owns an idea, they're even keener to defend their idea. Their belief can often turn to evangelism and fanaticism. And you don't need one iota of proof to back up your claims.
Hey, is credibility feeling lonely at this very moment?
Probably not. Because credibility knows that believability has its limitations. That while many may believe, there are those who want proof. And there's nothing like a strong dose of testimonials, specifics and other proof to create immediate conversion.
If you're starting up a business
Or a project. Or raising funds. Or whatever.
Don't go scrambling for credibility. First work on making yourself believable. Believability is perception. Perception is what really matters.
Credibility is proof. Proof seals the objections and the uncertainty. It's the conversion factor for the non-believers and the fence-sitters.
But believability must come before credibility.
Just as ‘b' always comes before ‘c.'