I’m about to share some information that could destroy my business. What I’m about to tell you could cause sales of my new eBook to plummet, shakes of the head from peers and derision throughout the industry. I could even be banned from future conferences and subjected to a writ forbidding me from speaking of copywriting ever again.
I’m so nervous about what I’m about to say that I even phoned my indemnity insurers to check if I’m covered. They say I am…but I’m also nuts.
But it’s something I feel people have to know. They’ve been fooled by this myth we’ve created in the copywriting world for too long. The sales patter has to end and reality be allowed to breathe.
What is this sparkling powder keg of an admission?
What is this incendiary admission that will send shockwaves to knock down the hallowed pillars of copywriting, while my clients rush to block my commission cheques?
My admission is this – copywriting is easy.
There. It’s done.
The bottle is uncorked and the genie of truth freed to spread chaos and enlightenment as it deems fit.
For too long we’ve cultivated this image of the reverently wise copywriter – a uniquely talented being able to glimpse through a caffeine/alcohol/nicotine fueled haze to grasp words only a select few can see, words that penetrate the very soul of humankind.
For too long we’ve been told that copywriters are special people. Gifted individuals who, once handed a brief, will disappear into mahogany encased studies to be surrounded by leather bound tomes, piles of dog-eared moleskin notepads and framed quill pens of past scribes. There they will sit in solemn silence awaiting inspiration’s arrival.
Days, if not weeks, will pass. But eventually they’ll emerge on deadline day, emotionally drained and mentally stretched to their limits, but with the glint of victory in their eyes.
They’ll then hand over a document of such finely sculpted perfection that heaven help those who dare to change the merest subhead or comma.
But I’m afraid, dear reader, this is all a ruse.
It’s a carefully manufactured image to beguile unsuspecting business owners to stump up the trade’s eye watering fees.
The fact is that copywriting, and getting people to buy stuff, is easy.
Allow me to explain how you can sell more of anything without clever wordplay, magical mind tricks or any creativity at all…
How to Sell More of Anything
1. Discover your customer’s motivation – Telling your customer why they should buy your product is the wrong way round. You first need to know what it is they need solved. Listen to them and ask how you can help.
2. Don’t create the motivation for them – You can’t trick, force or beguile a customer into thinking they have a motivation that doesn’t exist. They may feign interest or admit what you’re saying to them about wanting more money and time is true. But if they don’t truly believe it in their gut, they aren’t going to buy. The motivation to buy is only something they can tell you.
3. Tell them the truth – Some say you have to put ethics on the backseat if you want to power towards success, to be willing to paint over the cracks and belittle the competition to get the sale. But with the access to information customers have these days, glossing over the truth or remolding it entirely is only going to make them lose trust in you. Lie to them once and you can forget about further business down the road.
4. Answer their questions – Copywritingshouldn’t be a magical dark art. You’re not trying to bully or fool people to do anything they don’t want to do. Instead you need to discover the concerns or doubts holding them back. You then nod your head and provide them with the answers that address their objections and remove the barriers blocking a sale. Answering questions enables you to replace bland statements dressed as facts with reasons why they should buy.
5. Give them what they want – When you know their motivation and have answered their objections truthfully, selling is easy. It doesn’t require you to outsmart them, exaggerate or overpowering them with the sheer force of your words. You simply state how your product fulfills their deeply felt motivation and why buying it is a beneficial exchange. Money is purely a means for customers to get the things they want. All you’re doing is encouraging them to get what they want in a way that switches the sense of loss from spending money to that of a sense of gain.
Ensure your website, brochure or sales letter does these five things and you can sell more of your products. You can also save the hundreds or thousands you’d spend on some wizened copywriter to do the exact same thing.
This post was inspired by The Secret of Selling Anything by Harry Browne – vital reading for every salesman, whether you do it face to face or in print.