The Hearsay Rule

Thanks to O.J. Simpsons's "Trial of the Century", millions more people now know something about the hearsay rule.

The Hearsay Rule puzzles many viewers and law students, but rests on a basic human principle: To evaluate what someone says, a person needs to see the speaker. The jurors must see the witness; they cannot just hear what the witness says.

Thisprinciple of presenting a legal argument also applies to presenting the argument for a service. Prospects need to see you decide about you. They want to see signals that convey who you are - even the subtlest signals: Your watch - is it showy? Your shoes - are the back polished, too? Your eyes - do they suggest you are not telling the whole truth?

The prospect is being invited into a relationship, and wonders - with whom?

Who are these people?

This is what the prospect is asking, yet most service companies ignore the question. They institutionalize their company instead of personalizing it. The prospect wants to see flesh and blood; the company shows brick and mortar - a picture of the building and some symbols for the service. Or the company shows stock photos of paid models shaking hands or meeting to discuss and important issue in this company, where none of them work.

Good salespeople know better. They know that if a prospect declines a face-to-face meeting but requests "some information about your company," they rarely will make the sale. They know the prospect must see them to believe them, and buy.

The salesperson knows this principles of selling a service, which is the principle behind the Hearsay Rule: People must see who is saying something to decode whether they will buy it.

Give your marketing a human face.