Whatever you might think about Donald Trump, there’s no denying that he is
a master of persuasion. How else could someone with that hair and those
beliefs have secured enough votes to win the presidency? One of the answers is that he has the ability to persuade people by harnessing social proof.
Social proof persuasion is when people make a decision based on their understanding that other people have already made that decision before them, thereby reducing the risk of making the wrong decision themselves. In other words, people follow the herd.
When Donald Trump says “Nobody listens to CNN any more…” or “Everybody knows that’s fake news…” he is subliminally persuading us that we are in a minority if we think or do the opposite. Other people are obviously better informed than us. We have been left out. It’s much easier and more natural, almost instinctive, to agree with the herd than to buck the trend.
You can harness social proof persuasion in your estate agency marketing really effectively by moving opinion from yourself to a third party. This delivers comfort to the reader that they are not alone, nor are they being sold to, especially when combined with some stats. For example:
Original: “We sell houses for the highest price in the shortest time” (really??)
Replace with: “Forty three percent of Warwick property sellers previously tried another agency before appointing us” (adding the local identifier “Warwick” strengthens the power of social proof)
You can use this on instructions as well:
Original: “We charge £200 for professional photography”
Replace with: “Most of our clients choose to go for our £200 professional photography package”
You might argue that “sold in your street” flyers work well, as they are clearly an example of social proof. “If next door sold through that agency, then maybe I can too..." That may be true, but there is so much more you could do with the same resource. Why not be more authentic, sincere and engaging in your newsletter, blog or web article, by including some interesting aspect of a local sale you created, eg how you went about selling a property when the seller wanted complete confidentiality. To upscale this to harness social proof, just drop a stat into your headline: “18% of Warwick vendors sell off-market.”
Real-life stories and advisory articles illustrating other people’s experiences are far more engaging than the “hey look at us” material used by most agents. In fact, nearly 80% of estate agents find that deliberately adding some form of social proof raises direct response levels by 62%*
Key point: “Your writing will be more persuasive when the reader recognises themselves, or other people who are similar to them, in it".
Why not ask me to write your material today - hundreds of other agents do!
(social proof, nudge nudge!)