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Does your B2B marketing include Social Proof?

Why is this important? In general, when we are unsure of ourselves, or when a situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most...

Why is this important? In general, when we are unsure of ourselves, or when a situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to, and accept, the actions of others as correct. What does this mean? It means that people will believe what others do, if they are not quite sure what to do themselves. It means that if you haven’t completely convinced another company about your products and services, the people in this other company want to know what other people are saying, and have done, with your products and services. They want SOCIAL PROOF before they wil proceed.

So what is social proof? From Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion states that the principle of social proof is; “The greater the number of people who find an idea correct, the more the idea will be correct.” And there is another important condition for social proof. The principle of social proof works best when we are observing the behaviour of people we believe are similar to us.

So, why is social proof so important to your business, and how do you provide social proof for your business? Because you are trying to convince people who don’t know you, or your business, IE: your prospects; they need a way to feel assured that if they buy your products and/or services, they will be getting what you said they will get. They want proof. They want to mitigate as much of the risk as possible.

You can provide social proof to your business in several ways. One of the most common ways is to associate your business with a business that everyone knows and trusts. A good example of this is when a technology company has Microsoft or IBM as a partner. If these two trusted companies believe in your company to let your company become a partner, then your company must be trustworthy and reliable.

Another common method of social proof is with case studies and testimonials. These show that other companies trust you because they have done business with you, and have given you an endorsement through the case study and testimonial. However, there is a danger here. Many companies collect case studies and testimonials, but they are like their websites. They are too similar to everyone else’s case studies and testimonials. They are weak and commonplace.

Very few companies do case studies and testimonials that sell. If done correctly, case studies and testimonials differentiate your company from you competitors, and make your company stand out from the rest. They also help define your Unique Value Proposition.

If you want to stand out from your competition, stand out from the crowd, use social proof to convince your prospects to buy from you. Would you like to learn more? Contact me at any time.