Remember the days when a handshake was binding?

I remember… about a hundred years ago… I went to an auction with my grandfather in a small town in Iowa.

My grandfather was the local Oldsmobile, John Deere, and Maytag dealer in town so everyone knew who he was.

I swear, at least a hundred people came up to my grandfather and said “how are you today, Alfred?”   And at least half of the people patted me on the head.

He had respect.

The auction was by a family that had moved out of town and they just turned everything over to a local auctioneer.

My grandfather bought the house.   And he didn’t sign any papers…the auctioneer came over, shook his hand and said that they would “settle up” later.

You still hear references to “a man’s word is his bond” and the like.

And we talk about how much everyone can trust us… but why then, is their so much mistrust and fear when dealing on the internet …online?

I remember when I first started selling online … it was all completely new to me and I really had no clue what I was doing.

So I was just myself.

And I thought everyone else was too.

And when I wanted to learn how to do something online or how to do better… well, where else better to go…than online?

I found out in a big hurry about copywriters and testimonials that had been purchased… and promises that were never kept.

But it makes sense, doesn’t it?

If your buyer can’t look you in the eye… it’s easier to stretch the truth a little, isn’t it?

And if you can’t look a seller in the eye… all you are doing is trusting a sales page that, in all likelihood was written by a professional copywriter… whose job was dependent upon how much money he or she generated.

It got to be depressing.

And it’s really common knowledge among many “internet marketers” that most products and offerings are nothing more than thinly disguised ways of generating quick money… they really have very, very little value.

And the talk at many of these conventions is… pure and simple… about how much money you can make… how easy a product is to sell to a business… when it should be about how well it works…or how much value it has.

We all know what our parents said about things that sound too good to be true, right?

So what do we do about it?

I don’t know about most of you but I personally remain leery of anything that is being sold on the internet… not physical “stuff” but anything that is informational or a “how to do… XYZ”   An informational product.

And everything is headed that way… empty storefronts and deserted malls tell us quite graphically that the digital age is here to stay… and that that is where the money is headed.

Is there an easy answer to tell what is true or false… if you are looking for answers or solutions online?

Let me share what I do…

  1. I ask myself “do I like what this person has to say?”   And candidly, I probably do because there are a lot of well written sales pages out there.
  2. I find other things that are written by the same person.   I don’t rely on testimonials or “reviews” or even negative comments because many of these are false.
  3. I find myself drawn to people with AUTHORITY… people that know what they are talking about.   How?   Via blogs, Facebook pages and other social media or even tutorials or coursework.     After reading more… do I still feel the same?   Do I feel that the person knows what he or she is talking about?
  4. Does the person give value of any kind without asking for payment? If he or she does, that is a big plus in my book.   And if I buy a product from them and it is far better than what I expected… chances are pretty good that I will buy the next product too.   Why?   Because the odds are pretty good that I will get what I pay for.   I might even follow his or her recommendations.   That’s what happens when value is delivered.

I think that value and over delivering are the digital equivalent of a handshake and a promise.

If you want to stay in business… and do it right… start with a handshake…and keep your promises.