Cover All the Bases

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When writing a letter, an email, or a blog post, it’s easy to get in a hurry and caught up in what you’re trying to say that you overlook something that may not have been obvious to you, but is to the reader, and that can make you look foolish or less than professional, or may even cost you a sale. Attention to detail is very important, whether it’s in the copy you write, or the pictures or graphics in your ad or sales letter. And if you Photoshop a picture, it’s even more important not to overlook the details!

Some time ago, one of our consultants lamented that he had done a postal mailing to some business owners and didn’t get the response he had hoped for. As we talked, he told me that he had sent out 1,000 letters and only got two responses for a CD that he was offering. He said that he sent the CDs out in the mail and even followed up with phone calls to see if there was further interest for his services; but to his dismay, the prospects wouldn’t even take his calls.

I asked him to send me a copy of the letter he sent out. When I read it, much of it sounded familiar, but it didn’t flow properly… it seemed disjointed and didn’t lead me to a predictible and desired conclusion.

I asked him where he got the letter, and he told me that some of it came from one of the letters I had written and that he received in training, other parts came from some copy that he had gotten from some of the more than 20 reports that we provide, and some ideas came from what he found on my website.

Of course, my question to him was why he took from so many sources rather than just using the letter I had written, and perhaps modified it a little to better fit what he wanted to communicate to his market. His response was that he liked the way the other information sounded and wanted to use it.

I explained that there is a system, a process, a psychology for how words, thoughts and ideas fit together to lead a person from where they are to where you want them to be, and that simply piecing sentences together because you like the way they sound may not allow you to accomplish your goal.

Very briefly, when attempting to move a person from where the are to the decision you want them to take, you first need to grab their attention so they’ll want to read what you have to say. Then you should establish rapport with them so they can relate to you and see that you understand them and their situation, what pains they’re experiencing, and what they would like to change.

Then you offer a solution… help them see where they could be (what’s possible) and if they don’t make changes, see what it’s costing them to stay where they are.

Marketers call this process, “Problem; Agitate; Solution.” You identify their pain-point (Problem), show the cost of not taking action (Agitate it), then show them how to solve it (Solution).

This discussion isn’t meant to be a course on copywriting… I’m just pointing out that there’s a proven process for communicating with people that helps move them to the decision you want them to take. Piece-mealing thoughts together just because you like the sound of them, or because you think they fit, may just be one of the fastest ways to lose money on your mailings, and potential customers or sales.

Be sure to think things through carefully before writing a word. Who are your prospects or customers? What are their problems, challenges, wants, needs, or desires? How can you let them know that you understand their situation and that you relate to them? What can you do to help minimize or eliminate those conditions? What action do you want them to take? What will happen if they don’t take that action? What will is cost them in time, money, stress, frustration, or future consequences? What are you going to say to them to get them “off the dime” and take your recommended actions? How is the best way to communicate with them.

Can you see that moving someone from where they currently are to a much better place isn’t just a matter of throwing a bunch of nice sounding words together… that there is a process to follow if you want predictable results?

If the consultant I mentioned in the above example would have just used one of the tons of examples, templates and scripts we provide in our TopLine training, I’m sure he would have had a much better response to his effort. In many cases, the templates work as-is. In others, you may want to tweak them slightly to fit a particular situation that you’re working with.

The point is, if you have a proven, time-tested system, why would you want to try and reinvent the wheel? If it’s already working, then you’ll save a ton of time and much effort and frustration by using what’s already working for so many others.

If there is anything I can do to help you in your consulting practice to get better results, or if you’re interested in learning more about how so many TopLine consultants are generating such high incomes, please contact me. I’ll be very glad to spend whatever time you need to help you achieve the success you want  and deserve.

And… please leave me your comments. I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts.

Martin Howey, CEO
TopLine Business Solutions


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