Expert Copywriters kind of remind me of the Wizard of Oz. Many of them are a little quirky and most seem to be very introverted.
Instead of hiding behind a curtain like the Wizard of Oz, they inconspicuously spend their time in the comfort of coffee shops, internet cafés, and their home offices behind the veil of their computer screens.
Whereas the Wizard Of Oz pulls levers to create an illusion of a powerful, scary wizard, Copywriters seemingly magically generate millions of dollars in revenue for companies through the power of the written word.
They create magnetic messaging in brochures, direct mail campaigns, websites, internet sales pages, emails and a lot more by typing away on their keyboards.
Copywriters are some of the best salespeople I’ve ever met. Even though, most of them would never be caught dead participating in traditional face-to-face sales.
Studying the art and discipline of Copywriting will make you a better salesperson.
Here are 5 important copywriting principles that all salespeople can adopt to become much more effective in their careers.
#1 – Be Ultra-Specific With Your Messaging
Imagine you are attending a wedding reception and the catering staff brings you the following menu for you to review:
How excited are you to eat?
Now compare that menu with this one:
Doesn’t this menu seem more appealing and create more desire to eat?
They’re describing the same foods but doing it in very different ways.
There’s a saying in Copywriting that I always butcher but I’m going to use it anyway because it communicates the point I want to make.
“Nobody in a story was ever shot with a gun. They were shot with a Smith & Wesson .38 with a 38 Special load bullet.”
The point is, specificity creates stickiness with your message.
Instead of saying something like, I help golfers get in better shape. Create your message with specificity.
Maybe you increase the strength of the muscles around the spine and trunk so recreational golfers can swing their drivers more quickly and with better accuracy.
Polished messages don’t sell. Specific messages sell.
#2 – Communicate One Main Promise
Copywriters tend to write with kernel sentences.
Kernel sentences make a single point…
See what I did there?
Your prospect can only process one or two big ideas at one time. When a salesperson tries to communicate a long list of everything the customer will get when buying, the customer becomes confused.
Communicating one main promise eliminates the paradox of choice that occurs in the mind of our prospects. As several social experiments point out, having many choices may attract attention, but it also paralyzes customers from making a decision.
Principle #3 – Join The Conversation Occurring In The Mind Of Your Customer
Great Copywriters are relentless with obtaining what they call “Voice of Customer Data”.
Voice of Customer Data” is where a Copywriter will find as much information about their customer as they possibly can and add it to their messaging.
For example, they might visit Amazon.com and read all the reviews about a specific product. Or, visit a Facebook group or Reddit thread where people are discussing a topic. By listening to what people are writing about a topic, they can discover common themes, obstacles, objections and the voice of their customer.
When they create their sales messaging, they add the exact wording that customers use to describe a product or service.
Customers who see the sales messaging will think that the advertisement is “reading their mind”.
As a salesperson, you should be focused on understanding your customers. How they think, what they’re interested in, even how they speak.
You’ve probably heard about the social experiment conducted on restaurant patrons that demonstrates this point. In the experiment, researchers documented the size of tips given to restaurant servers based upon how they took a customer’s order.
During the first scenario, a server took an order without saying anything. In the second scenario, the server took a customer’s order and said something like, “Coming right up!”. For the last scenario, a server repeated the order back to the customer verbatim and even tried to use a similar speech pattern as the customer.
In one restaurant, servers increased their tips by a whopping 70% just by repeating a customer’s order back to them verbatim.
Principle #4 – Measure And Test
Great Copywriters are meticulous about testing their messages.
They understand that even if they think a message is going to resonate with their audience, they might be wrong.
So, they do a lot of testing.
A/B Testing is an extremely common testing procedure in Copywriting and Marketing. This is where two messages will be presented to a customer or prospect with one subtle difference. It could be 2 emails that are the same in every way except for the subject line. Or, two landing pages that are the same except for the color of a buy button. The testing options are limitless.
Many salespeople fail to set up systems for their sales activities with prospects and customers. As a sales trainer, I like to ask salespeople questions about what’s working with their sales processes and what can be improved. The most common answer I receive is, “I don’t know”. If you don’t have any systems set up, it’s almost impossible to identify what’s working and what’s not with your sales activities.
Having systems like this allows salespeople to measure what’s working well and what’s not.
Principle #5 – Keep It Conversational
One of the main principles in Copywriting is to “write like you talk”.
Nobody is going to be compelled by an advertisement that reads like a high school English term paper.
The language they use in advertisements is very conversational. There aren’t a bunch of formalities and rules.
Want to start a sentence with the word “And”? Go ahead!
Think you should end your sentences with a series of periods like this…No problem!
Salespeople come off as being fake when they use language that’s too polished, promotional, or full of technical jargon.
Using conversational language will allow you to connect better with your customers and enforce the perception that you’re a human being, not a salesperson.