I looked at Mark.  What could I ask to stand out, show I was smart?

Mark was a star business professor, with a lot of experience, including selling a company to Apple.  I was a freshman with roomate troubles, in an advanced class that I had demanded entry to.

“Mark, what’s an important business idea I might not know?”

He looked me right in the eye:  “Give people a compelling reason to believe you.”

His words seemed too simple at first.  With time, I’ve gained perception and understand more what he said.  It’s 100% the key to success at marketing.

Why?

There are dozens of blogs on ADHD out there. Most I scan over and forget about entirely. One recently managed to really, powerful interest me in its content. What it did differently was include one magical word. SPECT.

SPECT, or single photon emission computed tomography, is a powerful imaging technique. Importantly, it’s something that’s real, interesting.  The author clearly knew something others didn’t, and came off as being sophisticated, smart and knowing.

Mentioning and focusing on SPECT, differentiates his blog and gives a compelling reason to read it.

Remember, give people a reason to believe in you or your product.

Another case.  Sam is trying to sell his brand of soap. He could sell it as boring old Sam’s Soap.  Or he could add an ingredient and sell it as Sam’s Soap with patented sud formula. Then his selling point could be how his formula cleans more efficiently, leaves less stains, and means you spend less time cleaning.

Adding a convincing reason to believe is how we humans fall for things.  In some ways, it takes very little to convince people of things that they want to believe.  How else could all those Nigerian email scams trick the smartest of us, lawyers and doctors?

What are good selling points?

Certifications, like ASA or MBA, are important for sure. They can be exclusionary, however. My plumber sure as hell better be certified.

Awards and results are great, depending on how relevant they are and how noteworthy. If you sell a product, and customers get amazing results, testimonials can be very powerful in making new customer. Case studies can also be extremely effective in conveying what you do and why it matters.  Best of all, in a case study it’s not always you who’s pitching, so it’s even more effective.

But coming up with an amazing selling point takes more.  It needs to be unique, crafted from the specifics of what you do. You have to dig into your soul, your mind, and come up with a creative way to convey your value.

A great example of this is Lifelock. The owner is so confident in his service that he widely publishes his social security number.  Talk about a convincing reason to believe his product is good!

Now, how can you do something similar?

Some questions:

1) Have you won any awards or any reviews or positive feedback?

2) Do you have any significant publications?

3) What offer can you make that saying “yes” is pretty much the only logical choice?

4) What makes you different?

5) How do clients and friends describe your services?

6) Did anything excite you lately? A work of art, an event or something altogether random? Now connect it with what you do!