We do not sell to virgins

We Do Not Sell To Virgins

by Pete Godfrey · 7 comments

We Do Not Sell To Virgins

We’ve all been burnt before; having been seduced into buying something, we were left disappointed, frustrated and maybe even a little angry. It’s the same with our customers. None are virgins when it comes to being ripped off. As a marketer, as a persuader, you must never lose sight of this fact:

People are sceptical and they do NOT believe a word you say until a level of trust is reached.

Trust is the biggest barrier to any sale. This is what stands between you and the money.

Here’s a big point to keep in mind. They want to believe you; especially when your pitch is perfectly targeted. You’ve whet the prospect’s appetite and she desperately wants to believe that this time it will be different; that this time the product will be as promised and she will get the results on offer. If your copy hits her passionate sweet spot (as Carlton would say) she will suspend her disbelief and be compelled to order.

However, there is one over-riding factor burning away inside her that may stop her buying at the last moment. It’s a sales killer. A murderer of profits that must be overcome. You see, above all, she is scared about making the wrong decision. Especially if that wrong decision causes embarrassment or loss of face. It’s a powerful foe we as marketers must banish.

So, you have to tackle this head on. Proof, case studies, testimonials, guarantees, admitting slight flaws in the product, telling stories, all help build the trust needed to make the sale.

Remember, we never sell to virgins.

Our customers have been disappointed before and they expect to be disappointed again. This is what we are up against every time we make a pitch.

But it’s not insurmountable. Just keep in mind your customers are like frightened deer coming out to graze in the early morning sunshine. Any noise, anything out of place can cause them to stampede.

It’s the same with your prospects. It’s called their Bull Shit Detector and for most it’s running on high every time they think they are getting pitched. If they spot something not quite right then you’ve lost and they’re gone.

Your number one job is to build trust first, before you start selling. Keep it in mind.

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About The Author

Copywriter, Sales Strategist - Pete GodfreyPete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

greg cassar April 20, 2010 at 11:18 am

great headline Pete, i love it. It stood out from the clutter in my inbox.


Pete Godfrey April 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Hey Greg, glad you liked it buddy…


Dean Kennedy April 20, 2010 at 11:29 am

It’s a great point Pete. When I see people that are desperately trying to sell, it’s quite evident that their build up has lacked the necessary proof and trust that makes the “next step” — the sale — fait accompli.


Pete Godfrey April 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Dean, love the way you said “fait accompli”… see if I said that, just wouldn’t sound right… but coming from you, it’s real elegant… thanks for your comment mate.


Glen Parker April 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm

So very true… in the IT services game, the average “touches” before a sale is… wait for it… 26. Yep. And that’s for the GOOD marketers!!! If you don’t got trust (or build it through your marketing systems), you got buckleys…


Lindy Bonnett April 21, 2010 at 7:02 am

Hey Pete

This is a very timely reminder as I am rewriting my web copy – thanks ! – and it also reminded me (with a laugh in my head) of those salespeople at the little stands in the middle of the shopping centres, usually the makeup and skin care people.

They never seem to realise that people like me go there at least 3 times a week – we walk past their stall at least twice each time – and yet they get all offended when I say ‘no, thanks’ (becasue they have such a high turnover of staff there’s a different one each time) !! To get my attention they’ll have to come up with a ‘today only’ offer or something different to give me a reason to even look, let alone buy, becasue I ain’t no shopping centre virgin and that’s for sure! lol.


Kevin Francis April 23, 2010 at 8:15 am


Great point and too often overlooked by marketers. Another aspect of this is, as you’ve often pointed out, that we don’t market in a vacuum. Especially in mainstream, very competitive markets, people have and are seeing many other offers.

Thanks for the post!


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