Archive for March, 2008|Monthly archive page

How Does Snowboarding Relate to Copywriting?

When you don’t have much time off work, escaping from stress is vital. Standing on the peak of a mountain, feeling on top of the world with nobody around is invigorating. For me, it’s essential to let everything go and clear my mind.

There’s been discussion on how to overcome writer’s block at a forum I frequent. Snowboarding is the perfect release before coming back to reality with a fresh and open mind. Ideas start to flow and new perspectives on selling come to mind. It’s amazing how well physical activity gets my creative juices pumping. And the same can happen for you. Give it a try!

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The Easy Sale

This is the sale where the person you’re working with is already sold. They’ve bought before and see the value in your product. Your job here is to keep them that way. You don’t have to pitch anything to them, you don’t have to pressure them, and you don’t have to overcome their objections. They willingly buy what you’re selling and that’s a beautiful thing.

The lesson here is that if you can turn first time buyers into repeat buyers, your business will be successful. Keep your clients and customers happy and they will come back to you. When you see a new face, treat them as you’d treat your best customer. You never know, that new face might become your new best customer.

Gotta Love Professional Development

I finished a copywriting course and received a portfolio one sheet that looks great. If you’re interested in reading an excerpt of my sales writing, check it out here:

Christopher Dean Portfolio One Sheet

Enjoy! And comments or feedback are welcome!

“Just” and “Probably”

Sure, these words don’t say much in most contexts. In writing, they weaken your statements. In sales, saying “probably” isn’t smart.

Using the word “just” is another story. In sales I use it all the time. It makes price sound like less of a burden, less significant. People feel like they aren’t spending an insane amount of money if you tone down what you’re saying. “It’s just $24.99.” Or “It’s only $19.99.” This simple wordplay helps move customers closer to the sale.

Is it just me?

Or do foreigners spend more money more willingly? I’m not saying I’m taking advantage of foreigners. It’s just that they complain far less about rates and paying extra for more service. Almost every American wants more for less.

How to Sell Stronger

How do you sell a product, tangible or intangible, that costs almost ten times more than what you’d normally pay for similar products? Tell a powerful story that demonstrates the value. Compare the cost to an even greater dollar amount of what could potentially be lost. Apply these tactics, and you’ll see more sales.

How to Improve Sales

Selling is persistence. Not only in going after a sale, but in constantly honing your sales ability. Coaching is also an essential ingredient. Listening to a constructive critique of how you sell, overcome objection, build rapport, and close is very powerful and enlightening.

Tell Them Everything

During a rental with a previous customer, she told me she was supposed to receive a credit from her last rental. She said she was told her rental would be right around $20 a day since that’s the amount her insurance company would pay for. Insurance companies pay for rentals when a customer’s car needs to go into the shop and in this case, she was using her own insurance company with a $20 a day max. Anything beyond $20 was her responsibility.

The reason she wanted a credit back was because the actual cost of the rental per day was about $26. She was aware that she had to pay tax on the rental and possibly a dollar or two of the rate, but she believed she was charged too much. I explained to her that the rental rate was probably closer to $22 per day (it turned out to be $21.99 after I looked it up). I had to clarify also that with each insurance company we have specific contracted rates. She thought we were just going by standard Hertz rates. I also had to explain that rental tax, at 18.6%, is much higher than normal Washington State tax. By breaking everything down for her, she understood why the bill was a little higher than originally anticipated.

At my Hertz location we average 5-6 credits per week. People call up because they believe the charges were too high or they simply don’t understand their bill. Clarity in presenting your service is essential. By explaining exactly how things work, you put the customer at ease and they feel well informed. Not only is it good customer service, but it saves you from wasting time and energy filling out forms to credit money back.

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is one of the keys to sales. Today I was tired and didn’t put much behind my sales presentations. I still sold a few people, but my enthusiasm was low.

Be energetic, sell to more people.

Polishing a Sales Letter

Over the past couple months, I’ve learned how to polish a sales letter. For best results, it’s good to follow some guidelines to write effective copy. I’ll list a few of these tips here:

  • Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • Cohesiveness
  • Effective sales message
  • Language matched to what the target audience uses
  • Make the page easy to scan, let the most important messages stand out

These can be applied to any type of marketing piece, not just sales letters. If you’ve been looking for ways to improve your advertising, these tips should help you strengthen your writing.