A sales person has the benefit of meeting his prospect face to face, and will be able gauge his pitch according to visible response signs displayed by his prospect. An experienced salesman will instinctively know from the facial expressions and body language of his prospect, whether he’s hitting the right buttons. This is usually indicated by the prospect’s head nodding up and down combined simultaneously with a beaming smile and wide-eyed appreciation.
A telesales person has much less to go on. They can only judge response to their sales pitch through the prospect’s answers to questions and the actual tone of their voice. Most telesales people find their job easier when they try to imagine the look on their prospect’s faces while they’re talking to them. But, the deciding factor will almost always come down to the tone of voice deployed by both parties.
The Internet and Direct Mail Marketer have no such advantages over their prospects. They can’t see them and they can’t hear them. Their only weapon in their armory of sales pitches is their written word.
How we communicate through our written words holds the absolute key to successful selling online and offline. Whether it’s a sales letter, an email or ad, the written words must convincingly convey the sales message directly into the prospect’s mind. But first, you have to get your prospects to actually read your message, and usually this very first hurdle will claim many, many casualties.
Getting someone to read your sales pitch will almost certainly depend on your headline. Your headline is your introduction. Your ‘hello’, your ‘hey you’ and your ‘listen up’. If your headline doesn’t grab the attention of your prospect within two seconds, it’s goodbye and farewell.
Other important aspects of a ‘killer’ sales message are sub-headings. Sub-headings are generally used to maintain interest throughout the copy. But they’re also included for the benefit of prospects that first scan your message before deciding to read it in full. To some degree, they’re almost as important as the headline itself.
Then there’s the body copy. It’s here that your copywriting talents and skills should really shine through. Here you have the opportunity to use any words in the English language to describe and explain in fine detail, the benefits and features of your product or service on offer. And the English language is positively rich in adjectives, so there can be no excuse.
But the real secret to creating captivating copy is to use ‘sense’ words. That is, words that arouse the senses. Touch, see, smell, taste and listen is what we instinctively do every day. They represent our human survival mechanisms and for the most part, we trust them. Other mammals rely on them totally.
When you use sense words in conjunction with emotionally fuelled trigger words, you can elicit all kinds of responses, which can be carefully channeled into the heart of your message for maximum impact. Harnessing words for profit in this way is a skill, and it’s a skill that every online and offline marketer needs to fully comprehend.
Learning to write outstanding and emotionally charged sales copy is not an essential requirement for business success, but recognizing the effectiveness is.