I recently wrote about the power of word of mouth, and how men trust authority while women trust common experience.
Whether you're marketing to women or to men, having someone else speak on your behalf can be incredibly powerful.
Singing your own praises can come across as arrogant or egotistical. Women are especially sensitive to not appearing like they are "bragging." So getting someone else to "do the bragging" is a smart solution.
What's the best time for someone else to build you up? During your introduction.
The power of a persuasive introduction
Steve Martin has a great article – The Power of Persuasive Introductions. He cites Robert Cialdini's persuasion principle – authority. (which I explored in this post about word of mouth) He gives two examples of powerful introductions – one from an authority figure, but another from someone many would argue has little authority at all.
The first example involved a pilot encouraging passengers to listen to the safety instructions.
But towards the end of his remarks, he added six words that I have never heard before and I immediately became convinced that many more passengers than usual would be persuaded to pay attention and keep their seat belts fastened even if the seat belt sign was turned off.
The words he added were "like we do in the cockpit."
This is a great example of using authority to be more persuasive. But let's look at the second example which involves a receptionist at a real estate firm.
Customers interested in rental are told “Rental? I’ll connect you with Sandra who has over 15 years experience renting properties in this area.” Similarly, customers who want more information about selling their property are put through to Peter. “He is our head of sales and has 20 years of experience selling properties.”
The impact of this expert introduction had an almost immediate effect. The agency registered a 20.1 percent rise in the number of face to face meetings and a 16 percent increase in the number of customers who appointed the agency to market their property.
This is an example where even though the receptionist may not be an authority figure, that receptionist was able to share information about agency members' expertise.
Get someone else to share your expertise during introductions
This can be done on a website by using testimonials or endorsements right there on the home page, or on your landing pages.
If you're doing in-person sales, have a manager or co-worker present with you during the introduction so they can say a few things about you.
This is especially important for women selling to couples or men. While she may go along with you if she feels a connection, he may be wary of anything you say until you prove you know what you're talking about. So if you don't want to brag, have a higher up stop in to the office so you can introduce him/her to your prospective clients and let that higher up say something like, "Karen is one of our top advisers. She handles some of our biggest accounts and does a terrific job."
Plan more persuasive introductions by letting someone else sing your praises and gain more customers.