Whether you’re wet-behind-the-ears or a seasoned copywriter, your craft will benefit by remembering one thing:
You’re nothing more than a salesperson.
There’s an old saying in “business” that, “a copywriter is a salesperson sitting in front of a typewriter.” True, few of us are using typewriters these days. The principal, however, remains unchanged.
We’re in sales. I know this. You know this. We all know this. Yet why does much of copy out there, especially ads produced by expensive agencies, seem to miss point?
If all we’re doing is sales, albeit transmitted through a written or broadcast medium, then we’d better know what we’re doing.
While studying creative writing, I learned this storytelling maxim: every character has a motive for being in a scene. The same is true in a sales situation.
The salesperson’s motive is simple. He wants to make sale and get his commission. But what does potential customer want?
First, what type of customer are they? Are they ready to make an immediate buy? Are they information shopping, looking for a great deal? Are they even looking for our product or service?
Ask Questions, then Shut-up and Listen
When selling to prospective customers ask questions that get them to reveal their needs. It’s a mistake to sell product on tip of your tongue. “Model X” might work, but if you listen you might discover that more expensive “Model Z” is what customer really needs. Once you know why prospect is there--whether they have an unresolved need, an emotional reason for buying, or they’re just shopping around--tailor your pitch to their specific reason.
Now when you make pitch, tell how your product benefits customer, rather than rattling off product features you think he cares about.
When You’re Finished, Close Door
By this point your spiel should be unforced. You know customer’s “hot-buttons” so everything should be smooth sailing.
After you’ve explained last product benefit, you (as salesperson) are obligated to close deal. The way you do that is simply to ask, “Are you ready to make your decision?” or “Is this product you’d like to buy?”
Hopefully answer is yes. If not, then you ask, “When would you be ready to make your decision? Can I contact you then?”