The Law of Candor, Admit a Negative and the Prospect Will Give You a Positive

It goes against corporate and human nature to admit a problem. For years, the power of positive thinking has been drummed into us and “think positive” has been the subject of endless books and articles.

So it may come as a surprise to you that one of the most effective ways to get into a prospects mind is to be candid and first admit a negative, then twist it into a positive.

Avis is only No 2 in rent cars.

With a name like Smuckers it has to be good.

Whats going on here? Why does a dose of honesty work so well in the marketing process?

First and foremost, candor is very disarming. Every negative statement you make about yourself is instantly accepted as truth. Positive statements, on the other hand, are looked at as dubious at best especially in an advertisement.

You have to prove a positive statement to the prospects satisfaction. No proof is needed for a negative statement.

“With a name like Smuckers it has to be good.” Most companies, especially family companies, would never make fun of their name. Yet the Smucker family did, which is one reason why Smuckers is the No 1 brand of jams and jellies. If your name is bad, you have two choices: change the name or make fun of it.

Avis is only No 2 in rent cars so why go with them? They must try harder. Everybody knew that Avis was second in rent cars.

So why go with the obvious? Marketing is often a search for the obvious. Since you cant change a mind once it is made up, your marketing efforts have to be devoted to using ideas and concepts already installed in the brain. You have to use your marketing programs to “rub it in.” No program did this as brilliantly as the Avis No 2 program.

The explosive growth of communications in our society has made people defensive and cautious about companies trying to sell them anything. Admitting a problem is something that very few companies do.

When a company starts a message by admitting a problem, people tend to, almost instinctively, open their minds. Think about the times that someone came to you with a problem and how quickly you got involved and wanted to help. Now think about people starting a conversation about some wonderful things they are doing. You probably were a lot less interested.

Now with that mind open, you are in a position to drive in the positive, which is our selling idea. Some years ago, Scope entered the mouthwash market with a good tasting mouthwash thus exploiting Listerines truly terrible taste.

What should Listerine do? It certainly could not tell people that Listerines taste was not all that bad. That would raise a red flag that would reinforce a negative perception. Things could get worse. Instead, Listerine brilliantly invoked the law of candor: “The taste you hate twice a day.”

Not only did the company admit the product tasted bad, it admitted that people actually hated it (now thats honesty). This admission setup the selling idea that Listerine “kills a lot of germs.”

The prospect figured that anything that tastes like disinfectant must indeed be a germ killer. A crisis passed with help of a heavy dose of candor.

One final note: The law of candor must be used carefully and with great skill. First, your negative must be widely perceived as a negative. It has to trigger an instant agreement with your prospects mind. If the negative does not register quickly, your prospect will be confused and will wonder, “What is this all about?”

Next you have to shift quickly to the positive. The purpose of candor is not to apologize. The purpose of candor is to setup a benefit that will convince your prospect.

This law only proves the old maxim: Honesty is the best policy.

Marketing is a battle of ideas. If you are to succeed, you must have a unique attribute to focus and describe your value. Without one, you had better have a low price; a very low price.

It takes a while but many Internet Marketing entrepreneurs learn the Law of Candor. They learn to identify their target market, focus on promoting products that will appeal and add value to their target market.

To accomplish this, they use various methods, tools, and follow a traffic formula to build relationships with their leads and customers. They build websites that create trust. They collect name and email addresses using an Optin form on a Landing Page. They use email systems with both auto-responders and broadcast capabilities in order to send messages to their leads and customers. These email messages frequently send information, provide knowledge, and occasionally promote an offering. Many Internet Marketing entrepreneurs learn that leads and customers do not like to be sold to however they will browse and shop. Over an extended period of time, skilled Internet Marketers are able to use hypnotic writing skills, in their marketing campaigns, to get leads and customers to take the action they want. This is how they learn to identify a target market, stay focused, and add value to their target market. They learn to leverage the equity in their list and be successful in the world that includes the Law of Candor.

It looks easy but marketing is not a game for amateurs. Marketing is not a battle of products. It is all about the strategy you use to benefit from the Law of Candor when you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive.

You can find out more about Internet Marketing and home-based businesses by reading updates that will be posted at my blog over the next few weeks.

Also, a great book to read is “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” by Ries & Trout. It is the source of some of the material provided in this article.

In closing, be sure to meet me at my website, WhoIsMikeFarrell, learn some tips about being No 1 on Google at aspenIbiz My Go-To-Market Partners, and learn how to be savvy with your money like the insiders at aspenIbiz The Conspiracy For Your Money Blog.

Finally, I would like to provide Best Wishes for a Prosperous New Year!