It’s Not What You Say (It’s How You Say It)

by Michelle Salater on March 26, 2012


Imagine you live with a roommate. Imagine this roommate has beer, but you’re all out—and you want some. Now you could ask directly for a beer and get either a “yes” or a “no,” or you could ask in such a way that it’s almost impossible for your roommate to shoot you down.

You could, for example, mention that your roommate looks stressed, and that she could probably use a beer. You could then offer to get that beer (to much thanks, undoubtedly). And then, when you’re pulling the bottle from the fridge, you could ask if it would be okay if you got one for yourself, at which point it would be pretty tough for your roommate to say anything but “yes.”

Writing Copy that Leads to “Yes”

So how can you write online marketing copy  so that your prospective clients would feel like fools not to buy from you? Try following these simple rules.

1. Focus on your readers’ needs and wants. When you’ve done sufficient market research, you should be crystal clear about what your target audience needs and wants. Get your readers’ attention by tapping into those needs and wants. Try using the second person (“you”), and be as specific and concrete as possible in your message.

2. Make the first move. Offer to do something for your clients. If you can’t offer to get them a beer, suggest they download a free report, listen to a telecall you’ve recorded, or take a quiz to see what their life needs to make it sparkle. Once you’ve freely given to your prospective clients, they’ll be more likely to reciprocate by giving money to you.

3. Know where you’re going when you start. When you offered to get your roommate a beer, you knew full well you were going to ask for one for yourself, and the same should hold true with marketing materials. Don’t ramble on about your background, your qualifications, or even your free offers unless you know exactly where each of those things will lead your client. (Hint: if you don’t know how the pieces of your marketing puzzle fit together, it may be time to develop a new marketing strategy .)

4. Plan a backup route. Not every client will follow the path you laid out, and some nights your roommate will say she’s not in the mood for a beer. Plan for such situations by including a backup plan in your copy. This might include an alternate offer (such as a free strategy session) or redirection to another webpage.

5. Say thanks! Be sure to have some way to follow up with clients who take you up on your offers, even if they’re free offers. Sending thank-you emails, follow-up questionnaires, and other support materials helps you maintain and build relationships that might convert down the road.

What techniques have you introduced to hear “yes” more often from clients?

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