How TO WRITE sales copy when you don't NEED to?

19 replies
I have a loyal readership at my website where I feel like I don't need to sell them on anything (people have been reading my site for years). They trust me and buy without too much convincing. I don't have to try too hard to sell or try to convince them. If anything, I feel like having sales copy, downgrades the relationship from friend to customer. Maybe it's not because they're all "friends" but because they don't like a hard sell?

But still, I feel like I should at least try to sell them or pitch or at least boast about my products on my product page.

I hope I'm being clear...
#copy #sales #write
  • Have you ever gone into a shop and the owner or salesperson is super knowledgeable and enthusiastic? They don't slap items on the counter like some retail salespeople. They bring out each item like they made it themselves, holding it carefully. They love the merchandise and can tell you how it was made, where it was made and why it is so valuable or different.

    You are in the hands of a pro. They are transferring their knowledge and enthusiasm like a mind meld.

    Are you being sold to? Of course. But it is so well done, so real, so professional, so much fun, so enjoyable, before you know it you are standing out in the midday sunshine with a watch you didn't really need.

    Sell them like that.
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7575722].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author blackli0n
      Originally Posted by Joe Ditzel View Post

      Have you ever gone into a shop and the owner or salesperson is super knowledgeable and enthusiastic? They don't slap items on the counter like some retail salespeople. They bring out each item like they made it themselves, holding it carefully. They love the merchandise and can tell you how it was made, where it was made and why it is so valuable or different.

      You are in the hands of a pro.They are transferring their knowledge and enthusiasm like a mind meld.

      Are you being sold to? Of course. But it is so well done, so real, so professional, so much fun, so enjoyable, before you know it you are standing out in the midday sunshine with a watch you didn't really need.

      Sell them like that.
      Genius...the way you explained it was perfect and I understand clearly what you're saying. I'm pretty excited to go give this a shot! THANK YOU!
      Signature
      wpjohnny.com - Make Money with Wordpress
      Passive income since 2007. Trying to consistently crack 5-figures/month. find what you love - dream big - work hard
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7575784].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ASCW
      Originally Posted by Joe Ditzel View Post

      Have you ever gone into a shop and the owner or salesperson is super knowledgeable and enthusiastic? They don't slap items on the counter like some retail salespeople. They bring out each item like they made it themselves, holding it carefully. They love the merchandise and can tell you how it was made, where it was made and why it is so valuable or different.

      You are in the hands of a pro. They are transferring their knowledge and enthusiasm like a mind meld.

      Are you being sold to? Of course. But it is so well done, so real, so professional, so much fun, so enjoyable, before you know it you are standing out in the midday sunshine with a watch you didn't really need.

      Sell them like that.
      Dear lord that is such a great way of putting it.


      A lot of people associate long copy with over hyped claims that is typical in the IM niche. When it doesn't have to be this way at all.

      When you watch one of Frank Kern's sales videos you don't feel like he's trying to overwhelm you with hype. He's just a dude walking you through a process that's going to help you.

      When you look at some of the most successful ads in history, they don't shout. But calmly walk you through what the product will do for you, etc.

      Take a look at the Gary Halbert coat of arms letter to see what I mean.

      http://www.theryanmcgrath.com/coa.pdf

      When it comes to selling to your list. You don't need hyped up claims. You should approach it from the angle of.
      "Hey I'm that guy you trust. And I've found something that I think you'll appreciate. You see...
      blah blah blah.

      Sales pitch"
      Signature

      Site being revamped.

      If you want help with copy stuff, pm me.

      Cool.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7681407].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Corey Geer
    Originally Posted by blackli0n View Post

    I have a loyal readership at my website where I feel like I don't need to sell them on anything (people have been reading my site for years). They trust me and buy without too much convincing. I don't have to try too hard to sell or try to convince them. If anything, I feel like having sales copy, downgrades the relationship from friend to customer. Maybe it's not because they're all "friends" but because they don't like a hard sell?

    But still, I feel like I should at least try to sell them or pitch or at least boast about my products on my product page.

    I hope I'm being clear...
    Not entirely.

    So you're saying you have a loyal fanbase that buys things without too much convincing or selling, but you feel you must sell them?

    That's mistake #1 - Don't consider your clients or prospects "friends". Business is business and that's how it stays for me. When you regard customers or clients as "friends", they'll want to talk forever and their expectations of what they expect from you go way up. My friend as a web designer had people calling him constantly when he was freelancing because he got way too close with them.

    They would all want to talk about their site for an hour, they'd constantly want changes, etc. The second he switched to a strictly business relationship and started billing them for the time spent on the phone as "consultations", the calls started slowing down/nearly stopped, giving him way more time to work on things that were profitable. Even more than that, all those edits, revisions and changes they wanted... they wanted for free. So he started charging for them and let's just say they started to become more happy with their delivered and final product.

    I'm sure some people like to only do business with friends but not me. I'm not in the business for friends, I'm in it for the business aspect. The only true friends I want are like minded individuals for the intellectual stimulation and the mutual business benefits they offer.

    As far as the selling goes, the only time selling them something is going to downgrade the quality is when it's regarded to as "spam" or just bad. If you're selling something relevant and your copy is convincing, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Does your list/client base have a problem that they need solved? If so.. bingo.. people are never going to be mad if you offer to help them solve a problem.

    People buy things to get away from pain or move towards pleasure. Figure out what kind of pain the clients of yours want to get away from or what kind of pleasure your clients want to move towards.

    Examples:

    Moving away from pain

    Debt - People want to make money online because they want to get out of debt.
    Living Paycheck To Paycheck - While this is a content style of living for some, some people consider it to be a terrible nightmare they want to escape.

    Moving towards pleasure

    Moving - This could go either way. Some people want to make enough money to move to a tropical place so they can either get away from their current place they hit or to move towards pleasure.

    Of course, these are just geared towards the make money online niche but it can apply to pretty much everything. Once you figure that out, you'll then know what you can sell to people and have them convert without seeing you as a sell out or spammer.
    Signature

    Skype: Coreygeer319

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7575730].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author blackli0n
      Originally Posted by Corey Geer View Post

      Not entirely.

      So you're saying you have a loyal fanbase that buys things without too much convincing or selling, but you feel you must sell them?
      Not so much that I feel like I have to sell to them but I feel like I should at least stand up more for my product which I'm very proud of. I basically want to say all sorts of nice things about my product without feeling like a salesman.
      Signature
      wpjohnny.com - Make Money with Wordpress
      Passive income since 2007. Trying to consistently crack 5-figures/month. find what you love - dream big - work hard
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7575779].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        Originally Posted by blackli0n View Post

        Not so much that I feel like I have to sell to them but I feel like I should at least stand up more for my product which I'm very proud of. I basically want to say all sorts of nice things about my product without feeling like a salesman.
        You can do a series of interviews with your happy customers about
        what they like about your product.

        Or have some kind of competition to see who can make the coolest
        testimonial video about your product or anything like that.

        You can put those on youtube and embed the videos on your site.

        You may find that and a brief sales letter for your product under
        each video is all you need to sell a pile.


        Conversion is based heavily on the relationship you build with the prospects
        you send to a sales letter anyway.

        One more tip.

        Whatever way you're communicating with the people on your site now
        can you use that same method to promote your product?

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7589490].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author blackli0n
          I do like the video testimonial idea, AndrewCavanagh.

          My products deliver visual results and I think people would be interested in seeing how others have improved themselves through my products. I promote my product with a banner on the side of my site and mentioning the products every now and then in email (twice a year). Nothing more than that.
          Signature
          wpjohnny.com - Make Money with Wordpress
          Passive income since 2007. Trying to consistently crack 5-figures/month. find what you love - dream big - work hard
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7636352].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author misterme
          Originally Posted by blackli0n View Post

          I feel like having sales copy, downgrades the relationship from friend to customer. Maybe it's not because they're all "friends" but because they don't like a hard sell?
          I understand completely. You're more the trusted adviser than the sales person. AndrewCavanagh's ideas fit well with what you have in mind here. Sell by showing real people using your product, telling their stories of what they did with it, how they used it, etc.

          The Frank Kern reference was regarding his "experiment" where he didn't pitch the product - he actually pitched a lifestyle that resonated with his audience. And then he asked them how much they'd be willing to pay for something that could make them realize their dream life style. It had to do with triggering implicit needs.

          In effect, that's what you'd be doing: see these people, people like you, who bought my stuff. See what they did with it? See how they put it to use? See how it worked for them? Hey, here's a link to it if you want to get it. Very soft sell.
          Signature
          "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7639430].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ERPLeadsWriter
        Originally Posted by blackli0n View Post

        Not so much that I feel like I have to sell to them but I feel like I should at least stand up more for my product which I'm very proud of. I basically want to say all sorts of nice things about my product without feeling like a salesman.
        So basically, you want to show how happy you are about what you are offering. Is that right? On that note, Joe Ditzel is right to tell you that your passion will be what keeps you from appearing like a salesman.

        You see it seems to me that you not only know your stuff, you enjoy it. However, I will just add that passion can sometimes cause you to overwhelm your audience (maybe not intentionally but still). If you're looking for a warning signal, that would be it (and I say this as someone who still has more experience being on the buyer's end than the seller's).
        Signature
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7641323].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ronorr
    Don't sell them too hard if you don't need to. Just give them solid content and educate them on the process and they'll appreciate your honesty and knowledge.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7575791].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Corey Geer
    Hard selling does come across pretty desperate. One example of the best soft selling I've ever seen was a Frank Kern seminar.

    At the beginning of the seminar he told every single member of the audience, "Do not buy anything from me.. I'm not selling you anything. I don't want your money." He basically just BSd and talked for an hour then at the end he said, "I want to do an experiment."

    "Raise your hands if I were to sell you something today for $1,000." A lot of people put their hands up. "Ok, raise your hands if I were to sell you something for $5,000 today." Quite a few people still had their hands up.

    Subconsciously he was still selling to them by proving he was an authority on the subject but he put them at ease at the beginning by saying DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM ME.

    It's kind of like approaching a girl at a bar. She sees some random guy approaching and the first thought is "Oh god.. another winner coming over to hit on me." Sure enough, the majority of those guys try aggressively to get her out of the bar and into bed. the guys who are just calm, cool and relaxed usually put them at ease and cause them to put their anti-creep guard down.

    A lot can be said by acting like you could care less if they buy anything from you or not but don't be a dick about it. From what I've seen through the eyes of my friend who works for a pretty well known national web development firm, their salesmen are neutral. They don't try to sell anything but they don't turn perspective clients into their friends either.

    While I'm going to agree with if it ain't broke don't fix it, I still believe everything could use improvement. There are a lot of tweaks you could try out on the site to see if you have more conversions or less conversions.
    Signature

    Skype: Coreygeer319

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7576010].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author verial
    You can write sales copy without being a "salesman."

    If you truly believe that what you are selling will be helpful to your readers, then you would be talking about it in an enthusiastic way. Let your sales copy be an extension of your voice.

    Like you said, your readers are your friends. Then, talk to them in that voice. Tell your friend how much your new product/serve will benefit them. Tell them how the price your offering is beneficial to both of you -- give a discount or a coupon code.

    Getting read to write sales copy is not flipping a switch. You don't suddenly switch from Blacklion the friend and personable dude to Blacklion the sleazy used care salesman. People who write in a salesmanlike voice would be better off doing mock commercials for Saturday Night Live or somethin'.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7636428].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Originally Posted by blackli0n View Post

    I have a loyal readership at my website where I feel like I don't need to sell them on anything (people have been reading my site for years). They trust me and buy without too much convincing. I don't have to try too hard to sell or try to convince them. If anything, I feel like having sales copy, downgrades the relationship from friend to customer. Maybe it's not because they're all "friends" but because they don't like a hard sell?

    But still, I feel like I should at least try to sell them or pitch or at least boast about my products on my product page.

    I hope I'm being clear...
    It might help if you show us the site you're selling from. I'm assuming it's not your blog

    It would give us an idea of how you're selling currently.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7637109].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author cjp214
    Yeah, I think the key for you is to not create an imaginary distinction between "writing sales copy" and all other forms of communication between you and your blog readers.

    You say you and your readers are friendly.

    O.K. Then, how do you talk to your readers normally? Imagine you're talking to a friend (in person). Let's say you get to talking about movies. You saw a movie recently that you really enjoyed, and you think your friend would enjoy this movie, too. How would you recommend your friend go and see this movie? Let that conversation play out in your mind. See how low-pressure and natural it is?

    Now, replace the movie from my example with your offer.

    Hope this helps,

    Corey
    Signature
    ...............................Do Your Ads Turn Your Prospects Off?
    I Play with Words that Grab Prospects by the Collar and Make Websites Sell

    ………See How Here (Keyboard Jockeys and Wannabes Need Not Apply)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7638382].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by blackli0n View Post

    If anything, I feel like having sales copy, downgrades the relationship from friend to customer.
    How is that a downgrade?

    Are you in business to make friends or customers? People don't buy from friends, they buy from experts. People usually don't expect to pay their friends for their expertise either. Respect your clients, demonstrate trust, show compassion...but be the expert first and foremost.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7639112].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    Gary Halbert said that after putting out tons of free information through his newsletter for years, he'd actually get people emailing him asking to buy something. It was a cross between wanting more and feeling obligated. If your readers already buy from you, there's no need to feel nervous about selling to them, because you're giving them something that's useful in their lives. Right?

    You remind me of someone just being introduced to salesmanship, worried that they'll come across as "sleazy" if they try and sell someone a product. You know that's not true. If what you have provides value, then let people know so that they can benefit! You're not forcing their hand or anything.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7639571].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author blackli0n
    Guys, these were such amazing responses. It's definitely changed the way I look at things and will help me increase sales and benefits for my readers. THANK YOU!
    Signature
    wpjohnny.com - Make Money with Wordpress
    Passive income since 2007. Trying to consistently crack 5-figures/month. find what you love - dream big - work hard
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7679879].message }}

Trending Topics