Get Real: “Slick” Doesn’t Turn Prospects into Customers


Long before there is a sale, there is the prospect. To turn that prospect into a lead and then into a paying customer, you need to create a certain set of conditions. What are those conditions and what’s the easiest way to bring them about?

The Conditions

In his 1993 book Endless Referrals, author and speaker Bob Burg formulated what it takes to get people to buy from you: “All things being equal, people will do business with … those people they know, like and trust.”

In 1993, e-commerce barely existed, but the idea that Burg expressed is as necessary and as applicable to online business as it was in the pre-internet era.

Today, the best and easiest way to bring about the conditions of people knowing, liking, and trusting you is through video marketing.

To do this, you don’t have to be slick or try to get too fancy; you just need to be authentic.

Setting off the B.S. Meter

We’ve all seen it and we’ve all clicked away from it (or changed the channel): the slick, “golden-throated pitchman” continuously reminding you of how much you need his product. Or the guy who practically shouts at you so you can’t ignore him. Or the guy who tries to present himself as a successful or experienced “guru.”

For the most part, these approaches don’t work because we all have a sense, similar to the sense of smell or taste, that tells us when we are looking at something that isn’t genuine or which is merely slick hype. I call this sense the “built-in B.S. meter.”

When your meter goes off, you mentally shut the person out and back away: You don’t want to know them. You’ve decided you don’t like them and would never trust them with your money.

So, in your own video marketing, don’t try to be slick. Don’t try to present yourself as the kind of person you think people want to see. What they want to see is a real person.

So be real and be yourself. Let some of your personality come through. That’s what prospects will connect with.

How to Do It

Back in 2009, in my first videos, I tried to present the image of a successful businessman. There I was, in my high school blazer and a tie, being very serious and trying to get every word perfect. It was totally scripted and unnatural. The overall result was not only ineffective, but is so painful to watch that I stopped showing them a long time ago.

At a certain point I gave up trying to present this image of what I thought people would respond to. I stopped trying to be perfect. For one thing, MOBE started to grow and I no longer had the time to get every word and gesture “right.”

I know that talking comfortably in front of the camera does not come naturally to everyone. It didn’t come naturally to me and, even today, I can’t say I am 100% comfortable with it, but it’s a lot better than my earliest videos.

Here’s How You Do It:

  • Place your video camera about six feet (two meters) away, so that it captures your face and some of your upper body, as well as bit of your surroundings.
  • Utilize natural lighting (sunlight) or make sure your indoor lighting is bright enough so that your face doesn’t end up in shadows.
  • Look directly into the lens of the camera and pretend it’s actually your ideal prospect and you’re looking them in the eye. This is the “trick.”
  • Have an idea of what you’re going to talk about but don’t memorize anything. Just speak freely and spontaneously about your topic. Explain things in the same way you would if you were showing it to someone sitting there.

This will create a natural, “live” presentation that allows your prospects to see and hear you and get a feeling for your personality.

It may feel a bit weird at first, but stick with it. Do a video everyday—for your emails, YouTube marketing, your website, etc. It will become second nature and will build a true connection with your audience.

Matt Lloyd