An Easy, No-Pressure Way to Make Your Copy Sell More
A lot of copywriters I know hate selling. They don't want to be a salesperson. They don't want to write copy that's "salesy." They don't want to do anything that could be seen as high-pressure or manipulative.
I understand that.
After all, meet me and you'll find out I'm a pretty easygoing person. I've never been aggressive by any standards. You might even call me a pushover.
And when I started my career doing telephone and in-person sales, I was anything but a "closer."
But I discovered something interesting. With my meek personality, I could actually sell as well as just about any of the so-called closers. Sure, some of them would beat me some days. But my averages were as good as theirs because my sales approach consistently generated results.
It wasn't until a lot later that I discovered what my secret was … And how well it worked in sales copywriting, too.
(Only recently did I connect the dots that this is also one of the favorite techniques of many top copywriters – including Joseph Sugarman, Ted Nicholas, Dan Kennedy, Gary Bencivenga, and Jay Abraham!)
Okay, here's what I discovered …
Education is a powerful form of salesmanship!
Okay, okay … I'm going to have to explain a couple of things here. Because I'm not saying you could take any good high school teacher and put them out on the street and they'd be a star salesperson automatically. It takes a bit more than that.
But there is a way to sell more by taking an educational approach – if you have the right steps to follow.
And I'd like to give those to you today.
Probably a lot like you, I never really wanted to "sell hard." And because I didn't, I unintentionally shifted my approach to finding out what a prospect would want to know about my product and offer, and then simply shared that information with them.
In other words, I figured out what they'd want to know before they made the purchase, and then I told it to them.
And surprise! Prospects actually liked the approach – and would buy as a result!
Because I had thoroughly researched the answers to their buying questions and was upfront in presenting to them without any hard sell, they were happy to have a conversation with me that frequently resulted in a sale.
There was no pressure. No hype. I wasn't seen as a huckster. Or a used car salesman.
I was just a guy who had some valuable information for my prospects … And a good offer to boot. I was happy to explain it all. And inevitably, I'd give them a chance to buy.
Now I apply the same approach in my sales copy, and it's leading me to writing promotions that break clients' sales records and earn me great royalties, too.
5 Places to Use Education in Copy to Boost Sales
So you get it. You can sell more, without hype or pressure, by adopting a more educational approach to selling. That's good news. Now let me show you how to put that lesson into practice.
There are actually five places in your copy that you want to use education to increase sales. And here they are with a "how to" description for each:
- Educate about the problem.
Your prospect has problems. Tons of them! (Don't we all?) And it's your job to help them find the solution. (Wait! Before anybody throws a fit: I'm classifying unfulfilled needs, wants, and desires under "problem" here. So if your product fulfills a desire, it's solving the "problem" of an unfulfilled desire.)
Your first educational goal in making the sale is to make clear what the problem is – and why it's such a big problem.
So, for example, I used to sell newspapers. One problem that can be solved, or eased, by a newspaper subscription is the high cost of groceries. You could lead off in selling a newspaper by saying, "Did you know you're paying too much for groceries? That's right. In fact, the average resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, could save at least 10% off their weekly grocery bill while eating the same foods."
Well now, that's a problem that wasn't at the front of my mind, but now that I've been educated that it's a real and solvable problem, I'm sure interested!
- Educate about the solution.
Now it's your job to educate the prospect that a solution exists and specifically what the solution is. Continuing with the newspaper example, you could reveal that using grocery coupons and specials could save the average local resident 10% or more off their grocery bill every week.
So you'd say … "That's right. You could be paying 10% less every week for your groceries, and it's easy, too. A recent Wednesday issue of the Lincoln Journal Star ran ads from five different local grocery store chains with an average total of $543.73 savings PER AD.
"Now sure, you're not going to get every deal or use every coupon. But the average savings per item was actually 11%! So by simply reading the ads, using the coupons, and buying what you were going to buy anyway when and where it's on sale, you can save more than 10% – $15-$20 or more per week – off your weekly grocery bill."
(Note, I'm making up these figures, but I'm sure the average town newspaper has similar figures. Sure makes a $3.00/week newspaper subscription seem cheap, doesn't it?!)
- Educate about your company and methods.
So you've presented the problem and the solution – educating the prospect about the benefits they'll receive by following along with your solution. Now it's time to demonstrate your credibility in providing the solution by educating about your company, methods, and anything else that proves you are best equipped to solve their problem.
Continuing the newspaper example, using stats from Wikipedia … "The Journal Star is uniquely equipped to bring you Lincoln's best grocery deals, along with everything else you care about that's going on around the capital city. Serving over 80,000 households every week, we're the leading newspaper in the city and have relationships with the community going back decades. Whether it's grocery deals or local news, you can count on us to bring it to you in the comfort of your home."
- Educate about your product.
The more complex your product, the more valuable it is to educate your prospect about it. I recently watched a 90-minute DVD before I bought a home beer brewing setup. I was happy to sit down and be educated as part of the sales process.
While a newspaper may be fairly straightforward and well understood, it may be worth educating about what sections it contains (besides the ads in this example), who it features, and especially about delivery services offered.
- Educate about your offer.
After you have gotten your prospect excited about your product, it's your responsibility to educate them as to how they can get it. This is where you have to put on your salesperson's cap, but don't worry because you don't have to sell hard. Simply describe the terms of your offer in a clear, direct, and easy-to-understand way that makes it hard to say no. And don't forget to include a guarantee or risk-free trial period.
So your newspaper sales pitch may conclude with, "You can take 21 days to try our home delivery service at no risk. Just say 'Yes' today and we'll start your delivery 7 days a week. We'll also send you a bill due 21 days after your subscription starts. If you're not completely satisfied – and haven't saved at least double your subscription price off your weekly grocery bill – you can simply write CANCEL across your bill and send it back. Otherwise, send in your payment and you can enjoy our daily delivery service for just $3.00 per week for the next 13 weeks. We make it risk free to try so it's easy for you to say 'Yes' today."
Try this on the next piece of sales copy you write. Instead of upping the over-the-top promises and using far too much hyperbole, up the education factor. Make sure you take your reader through the natural educational points outlined above. And see what kind of sales results it generates.
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