Recently, a member of the SEO Copywriting LinkedIn group started an interesting discussion. He asked what group members thought about the overuse of words like “perfect,” when “fine” or “okay” would suffice.
He questioned the surge in hyperbolic speech and wondered if certain words were losing their meaning.
This got me thinking – first, about exaggeration, then about the changing definitions of words (don’t get me started on the new definition of “literally”), then about sales people.
Did I lose you with that last one?
How many times have you heard that this is the “best” product or that a lawyer is the “best” personal injury attorney?
This isn’t just a relaxed use of the English language. These claims are meant to entice you, the potential client.
But do you believe it? Unless you’re Buddy the Elf from Elf, who believed the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee” sign in the window of a random New York dive, you probably don’t believe these claims. In fact, claims like these may make you question the product or service provider.
Are you the best?
There is nothing wrong with boasting about your product or service. However, whatever claims you make should be backed up.
Don’t say, “We make the best widgets,” if you can say, “Our widgets were ranked #1 in customer satisfaction by Consumer Reports.”
Don’t use puffery, when you can prove your point with facts. People can tell when you are trying to sell to them and possibly mislead them. Phrases like “best online marketer” and “everyone loves our product” trigger people’s BS meters.
You can win more people over by using:
- Specific benefits that your products or services provide
- Customer testimonials (with full names, whenever possible)
- An irresistible unique selling proposition (USP)
Be the right provider, not the “best”
Take a look at your website. Are you using puffery to try to sell your product or services? It’s time to stop.
Pick one page and clear away the hyperbole and generic information. Give your readers something to believe and a reason to trust your products and services. If you do that, you may just become the best.
Photo credit: © Kmitu