Always Put Your Prospect's Interests up Front

There is an old saying – an apothegm – in direct-response advertising: "Don't tell me about your grass seed; tell me about my lawn." The idea is that copy that emphasizes benefits over features will sell better because customers are primarily concerned with themselves – not with you.

Below, copywriter Adam P. Goldstein contributes three examples of this principle. His examples deal with the way a marketer might sell his services to a potential client – but you can see how you could apply these ideas to any marketing or copywriting that you might be doing:

Example No. 1.

  • My Grass Seed: "I've worked on over 100 different newsletters in my career."
  • Your Lawn: "Chances are I'm familiar with your market – and if I'm not, my experience will help me quickly identify your product's benefits."

Example No. 2.

  • My Grass Seed: "I publish newsletters of my own."
  • Your Lawn: "I don't just operate on an other-people's-money model. I know what it's like to write the checks … so I'll always invest your marketing dollars carefully."

Example No. 3.

  • My Grass Seed: "I'll work for you on individual projects or on a contract basis."
  • Your Lawn: "You can build your business without building your payroll. Developing new products? Growing an existing product line? I can give your project the attention it needs."

[The above article, "Always Put Your Prospect's Interests Up Front," is from Michael Masterson's daily e-mail service, Early to Rise. For a FREE 2-week trial membership, simply visit Early to Rise]

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Published: October 28, 2002

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