Put your hand up if you’re in sales?
Put your hand up if you’re a copywriter?
If you put your hand up for the second question but not the first, think again. If you are a Copywriter, you are also a salesperson. That is the point of copy: to sell.
This is where people go wrong. I hear it all the time. “Oh, I’m not a salesperson, I’m a coppppppywriter, did you hear that? I write coppppppy.” They always emphasise the word ‘copy’. I get where they’re coming from, we’ve been conditioned to think salespeople are annoying.
When I say salesperson, you imagine someone on the phone pestering you to buy their latest product.
It’s not nice when you think you’re a wordsmith to find out, you are actually a salesperson, I get that. But until you come to learn that you are, in fact, a salesperson, your copy is not going to improve.
There is a difference between writing good copy and writing well. Writing good copy involves selling something to someone or persuading them to think the same way you do. Writing well involves understanding theory.
You tell someone you’re a copywriter they say wow, you tell them you’re a salesperson and they think of this guy.
But you don’t have to tell people you’re a sales person, you just have to know inside that you are.
If you cannot sell your product to a person in real life, how do you suppose you’re going to sell it online?
One exercise I do with my clients is to get them to sell me their product. The catch? The only words they are allowed to use are the ones on their website. Do you know how many times I have been blown away and considered buying something from someone? NEVER. They find it difficult, some are even embarrassed by their copy because it’s just not what they would say out loud, so why, oh why would anyone ever want to read it? If they don’t want to read it, how do you expect them to be persuaded to buy something because of it?
There are FOUR steps I want you to take. Once you’ve taken these steps, you should understand the purpose of copy but also understand how you can start writing copy that actually sells.
Step 1: Tell yourself you are a salesperson. Write it down. like this
[NAME] – Copywriter & Salesperson
When people land on your website you have a chance to sell to them. You only have one chance. Don’t fool yourself into thinking If they don’t understand it they will come back. They won’t.
Step two is to reach for the sale. Have it in your mind.
Don’t focus on writing the best piece of content you’ve ever written. You’re not looking to win a literary award. Focus on ensuring your copy sells.
Don’t try and be everything to everyone. If you have created a piece of software, don’t spend vital selling time trying to explain everything about it, listing endless reasons why everyone should buy it. When you sell, keep one person in mind, your ideal customer and pitch to them and them only. If you do this, they are more likely to buy from you.
Intercept their questions, get to the point and cover any um’s or ah’s they may have. Ideally, to sell something successfully you need to have been a customer. Would you buy this product if someone else was selling to you, why or why not? Tackle the why nots, and make sure they’re covered in your sales pitch.
- Perhaps you wouldn’t buy it because you think it’s too expensive. Write down that the price has been reduced.
- Perhaps you wouldn’t buy it because you don’t trust the person. Add testimonials.
You might think what you have to say is cool or interesting but look at everything you’ve written and ask yourself this question.
Is what I am trying to say in any way going to push these prospects towards a sale?
Step three: Use the language of your audience. If you’re selling something light-hearted, do not use technical language you only understand if you read your copy alongside a thesaurus.
IF PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY, THEY WILL NOT GIVE YOU THEIR MONEY.People think copywriting is about buzzwords, or token phrases used to improve conversions. THIS IS NOT THE CASE.
I read a book once called 150 copywriting words that sell. No one could write a good book of 150 copywriting words that sell unless they wrote one for each website that existed. There are no “set words that sell” because it’s different for each business or website.
The best way to know what words to use is to simply take the words your customers give you and rewrite them into something that’s your voice. Think about it.
Your customers are the ones who are talking about your product, they are also the ones buying your product. Use what they say to sell to other people. Salespeople have, for a long time repeated what their customers have said to them. It’s just the way it works.
Here’s an example of two conversations. The first one did not convert, but the second one did. I wonder why.
Salesman BOB: Hello, sorry to bother you, I have a hoover here it’s really good for getting up dust, I would love to show you more about it.
Homeowner 1: I’m sorry, we use a brush because we find it’s better at tackling the carpets.
Salesman Bob: would you say brushes are better for carpets?
Homeowner 1: Yes I think so, my old hoover used to get clogged up, it didn’t work well. If your hoover had magic suction plates I might consider it, but thanks for you time. Goodbye.
Salesman Bob: Hello, sorry to bother you. I just noticed you had carpets in your hallway. I’ve got a hoover here and if you like I could show you the magic suction plates. They’re a lot more effective in getting up the dust than say using a brush. It’s free of charge.
Homeowner 2: Oh wow, that does sound really good. I’ve been looking for something like that, sure if it’s free why don’t you come in.
*30 MINUTES LATER*
Salesman Bob: There you go. I know how aggravating it is having to switch from a brush to a hoover, but this hoover just has it all, as you can see. Thanks for your time Ma’am.
Homeowner 2: How can I buy this? I would like to buy one today!
Do you see. Use the words of the customer, get in their mind. Let them know that you think the same way and they’re much more likely to give you their money.
STEP FOUR: Make sure the customer can buy with ease.
Don’t fall at the final hurdle here. You have them hooked, they want to buy your product or service, but where is the buy button? Let me tell you a secret, your customers are fickle. You might have won them over with your copy, but the minute you ruin their experience, they are unforgiving. They will not return.
- Request them to fill in 20 form boxes including giving you the name of their first friend, childhood pet and mother’s maiden name
- If you can cope only knowing their postcode, then only take their postcode.
- Ever heard of PayPal? Use it as well. Give them more than one way to pay.
- They’re trying to buy, they’re happy to buy, don’t distract them. Let them make the sale
- Let them know they can trust you. So far, you have made them like you or your product, but remember this relationship has only been there a short while. The lady bought the hoover from the guy because she trusted it would work as she SAW it in action.
Where to go from here:
- Look at the content you’ve already written and question whether you had sales in mind when you were writing it. Remember, you’re not writing a poem, you’re not trying to write a novel or epic piece of academic content, you’re trying to sell.
- Write a list of any barriers that might stop someone buying your product and make sure your copy addresses all of these barriers.
- Let me know if you have managed to do this. I would love to hear your experiences. You can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org