(Photo by Christine)
Doubt is like a psychological cancer. First you have a smidgen of doubt, then you’re starting to focus on the doubt itself, until it can take over all of your attention. But how can you control doubt in your own business marketing?
First, start with your existing business relationships. If a prospect has any doubt about your capabilities, unless you have a plan to address it, the doubt will become self-fulfilling. That means that if you have any doubt about your ability to take care of your customer, either get some colleagues to help bolster your weaknesses or focus on your unique expertise, and leave what you don’t do well to others.
When marketing your business, if you’ve ever heard a client say, “I wish I knew about you sooner” – it’s time to plant the seeds of doubt in your marketing copy. For example, instead of simply saying your printing business has the latest equipment and offers 24 hour turnaround, tell people how much stress they can avoid dealing with you. For example:
- Doesn’t your dog deserve Alpo?
- Cooks who know trust Crisco
- When you absolutely, positively have to have it overnight (FedEx)
- Invest with confidence (T. Rowe Price)
- Imagine it. Done. (Unisys)
- Always low prices. Always. (Walmart)
The key to seeding doubt is to be able to understand the #1 emotional fear of your prospective customers. What keeps them up at night? If you can touch upon the fear (either directly or by hinting at it), then your marketing will resonate inside them and cause an emotional response. To be effective, you need a one-two punch: raise the doubt and show your offering removes the doubt completely.
If you’re in the throws of doubt, here are some tips to get you out of the potentially paralyzing downward spiral:
- Is there anything I can do about this doubt? If there is, take action.
- Have any of my assumptions changed?. If you already made a choice based on available information, and those assumptions are still valid, then a rethink isn’t of any use to you.
- Is my current decision good enough? There may be lots of ways to solve a problem. Has the decision you made resulted in a solution that’s sufficient?
- Why now? Why has this doubt come to your attention now? Is someone trying to specifically influence you or did you just make a key realization?