Why being refreshingly honest about your flaws can intensify your prospect’s desire to buy.

Chief Creative Officer

It was one of those times when I wished I’d taken that job at the bank instead.

What I saw as a thoughtful recommendation, my client heard as me asking him to funnel an angry army of wasps down the front of his trousers.

That couldn’t have been further from the truth for two reasons.

First, because I never suggest anything that hasn’t been proven by years—if not decades—of testing.

Second, because my brand of torment leans more psychological to make up for my lack of physical gifts. Here’s what happened …

The audience we were speaking to were prospects who had seen the product and decided not to buy. When I asked why, my client told me most people said it was “too expensive.”

And before I could shove an entire clementine in my face to muffle my reaction, I tore into my wildly unpopular view about price objections:

They’re a sham.

Nobody refuses to buy because the price is too high. They walk because they can’t see that the value is greater than the dollars they’re asked to hand over.

Cost is never the issue. To me, a price objection is just a sorry alibi for poor salesmanship.

So, rather than beg prospects to give us a second look, I suggested we do something they wouldn’t see coming … 

Take the blame.

Let them know we didn’t do a good enough job conveying our worth the last time around. It may not guarantee a sale, but brutal honesty about even a minor shortcoming can often get you back in the door.

My client still didn’t like it. But after some encouragement, my guidance began to feel less like force-feeding agitated insects into one’s lower garmenture.

Good news since I wouldn’t want those welts on my hands. Or worse …

My hands on those welts. 😅

It might seem counterintuitive to own up to your flaws in your marketing.

But here’s why it’s one of the boldest and most admirable moves a company can make:

💡 First, admitting to an area of weakness humanizes a brand. People aren’t perfect. So, it’s natural for a brand to be imperfect, too.

💡 Second, it disarms the audience. Since it’s rare for a brand to call out their shortcomings, readers find it refreshingly honest when they see it.

💡 Finally, owning your failings or vulnerabilities makes the rest of your pitch more believable. If you’re truthful about your flaws, your audience is more likely to view you as truthful about your strengths.

This doesn’t mean you should go sniffing around for any cracks in the foundation to broadcast to the masses. 

But if embracing your dirt can help you be more relatable to your reader, then why bury it underneath a mountain of self-importance?

Still, if you insist your immaculate brand is among the faultless few, there IS one huge upside …

This weekend only, take 15% off your entire purchase at West Elm with the promo code: DELUDED15.

Here’s a song to play you out >>>

See you next time. — Matt


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Chief Creative Officer
Matt is a professional storyteller. That used to be a thinly veiled way to say you still lived with your parents. But the truth is stories have existed since the dawn of humanity and they still have the power to move people, even if it’s no longer from the path of a charging mammoth. Throughout his career on both the agency and client sides, Matt’s work has been known to compel audiences to indulge in higher thread counts, abandon Lenten sacrifice, or move to the suburbs. He’ll even conjugate a noun if he has to. The bottom line: Matt is our agency twofer. Strategy and Creative. The Big Idea and Stealth Deployment. He’s a single expense yielding a dual return. And who doesn’t love a bargain?

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