Quick Tip:
Nailing That All-Important Conversational Tone

"A conversational tone sells." You've heard this dozens of times. But it's easier to say than accomplish. Here are tips from six AWAI Board Members on how to "talk to" your prospect.

MICHAEL MASTERSON: Keep the sentences simple. Keep the words simple. Use second person ("you" in all its forms). Don't worry too much about being logical and moving from one point to another in a very careful way. Readers are smart. They will follow you … so long as you are expressing one good idea at a time.

DON MAHONEY: After writing your lead, have someone else read it aloud to you. You'll be able to hear if the letter is conversational.

PAUL HOLLINGSHEAD: Use the "Barstool Test." Your copy should sound like you're sitting on a barstool, chatting with a friend, rather than lecturing him.

BOB BLY: To write conversationally, start with and focus on the prospect … not the product. This way, you'll be talking to a person instead of lecturing about a thing.

JOHN FORDE: Tape a picture of a real-life person on your monitor – someone who reminds you of your prospect. Write to THAT person.

WILL NEWMAN: Develop a robust picture of the prospect as an individual who reminds you of someone you know and care about. Write an informal, personal practice letter to that person – even to the extent of asking personal questions before talking informally about the product. Put that letter aside. Then, while you're still in the groove, start your real sales letter.

ALL: Keep refining your work until you get that all-important personal, sincere tone that touches your prospect's heart and mind.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: June 21, 2004

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