The Lure of the Promise: Selling the Dream

Money raining downWhy is it so many people are lured in by the promise of making 6 figures or $1 million?

In reality, according to the US Census, less than 6% of Americans have six-figure incomes.

And 75% of those are the result of dual-income households, not a single wage earner.

Only .3% or 3 out of every 1000 people make $1 million.

So why is it so easy to be lured in by promises of making the big bucks?  When on some level we know the odds are against us.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to dash your dreams or tell you it won’t happen for you.

However, I do think a good dose of reality never hurt.

And, hopefully that will lead you to focus on what’s really important…designing a business that will finance the lifestyle you want, and not just be lured in my some arbitrary dollar amount.

So why are so many people and programs promising 6 and 7 figures?

And why are so many people buying into these promises?

Let me address that with a few more questions…

Why do so many people buy lottery tickets when they know odds are they won’t win?

Why do people buy into weight loss program after weight loss program, even after they’ve failed repeatedly?

Why do some people attend every conference and jump from mentor to mentor or coach to coach, without any real results to show for it (and often end up going broke or bankrupt)?

One word: HOPE.

We want to believe it can happen for us. As long as there’s a chance, we’re ripe for the possibility.

There’s nothing wrong with hope. Unless you go broke trying to cash in on it. And a lot of people have in the last few years.

Look at the real estate bubble and all the foreclosures.

Look at the mortgage crisis and the crash of the financial markets.

The victims?

For the most part (I said for the MOST part) good people, trying to get ahead, who got burned. People who got in over their heads. People who believed what they were being sold. People who WANTED to believe it because it was a rosier picture than reality.

On some level, I can’t blame them. Heck, I was on that roller coaster ride myself until a few years ago. It’s easy to get sucked in.

But where does that leave us?

With a problem I believe needs fixing. A problem that can only be fixed by coming back down to earth, being honest, having integrity, and focusing on service more than selling.

I also believe we need more truth in advertising.

No, it may not sell like hotcakes, especially when you’re selling training or self-help. But, it will deliver. And your clients will be happy. They won’t end up disappointed, or worse yet broke and disillusioned.

Let’s face it, there is no magic pill, or quick fix, or secret system that works every time. There are many things for all of us to learn, apply to our life and business, and see how they work for us.

Yes, we can (and should) sell a Promise.

Good marketing is not about selling your process, you must sell a promise. But in my opinion, good marketing—marketing with integrity—is also not about persuasion or seduction. It’s about helping people see what’s possible (what’s really possible…not some pie-in-the-sky elusive dream).  It’s about delivering a message that resonates and connects. It’s about helping people make a decision if your product or service is a good fit for them.

So be careful what you promise. Make sure you can deliver on it. The results your clients get will be attached to you and your business forever. It may not catch up to you immediately, but I do believe it will catch up…good or bad. And, raving fans are the only way to build long-term success.

That’s my opinion, what’s yours?

Please post a comment and share.

About Debbie

After spending 32 years in marketing, Debbie now spends her time blogging, teaching online courses, doing volunteer pet therapy, and encouraging others to follow a more inspired path through life.

1 comment on “The Lure of the Promise: Selling the Dream

  1. Hi Debbie. Very refreshing to receive such honest information and advice. Yes, I would love to make a lot of money, but at the same time I want to give amazing value and be able to fulfill my promised. The change I am helping to create with my clients IS the reason for doing the work I do.

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