The double edged sword, Your friends know you.
SInce your friends know you they do have a tendency to trust you, which is a good thing. But the fact that they know you can also be a bad thing. They have probably watched you go through trying to sell every soap, lotion and potion out there. They also watched you quit and chalk it up to another failed get rich quick scheme. When you find the one thing that works, they just aren't that interested because they figure it another future failed get rich quick scheme.
This is where you can harness the power of third party. Don't tell your friends anything, show them something that comes from someone else. There's all sorts of third party validation out there if you know where to look. It can be as easy as picking up the newspaper for some of us. In other cases it can be customer testimonials. For that matter you can find independent "white" papers on almost any subject under the sun.
Let's say you are in financial planning. Could you pick up a newspaper and find something showing a need for people to protect and grow their assets? Just try finding one that doesn't have at least on article that would show that. Instead of trying to tell your clients they need to protect their assets how about showing them an article on it. It's coming from someone else now. It's not you trying to make a sale but an independent entity giving them the information.
Now consider this in relation to your customers. A new customer does not know you, so they really have no reason to trust you and what you tell them. But seeing it from an independent source makes a difference, especially if it is a credible source. Which would have more impact to them? That is the power of third party, relevant information from an independent party that doesn't have anything to gain from your sale.
There are some third party validations that do have something to gain such as you corporate office. They may create websites, DVD's or other media for you to use but if it's done right that should be third party on the solution. Outlining the problem should be independent third party. Using the two together gives you more bang for your buck. Even if you are the one who will benefit from the sale, the problem and the solution should come from "someone else". Now it doesn't matter whether your prospect knows you or not, it's coming from a third party source.