“Each piece of content you create should lead your readers further down the path to purchase. Typically, sales and leads won’t happen until a prospect has had multiple points of contact with you, so don’t expect sales after a single blog post.” — John Rampton
Everything starts with a sale. Whether it’s for tangible goods and services, or fundraising where you have to sell a cause, prospects need to be convinced to take an action.
It doesn’t take very long as a copywriter to realize that making sales through the written word can be very challenging. Especially in these trying times we’re going through. During an economic downturn, people have fewer dollars to spend, so naturally, it’s more difficult to convince someone to reach into their pocket and part with their money.
Without sales, though, you don’t have a business.
Making sales really comes down to just a few guiding principles. And if you adhere to these, you’ll not only be ahead of most of the people you’re competing with, you’ll have solved people’s problems by offering them the right solution, at the right price, and at the right time. And that, my colleague, will have them coming back to you the next time they need help.
While these seven keys to more sales are rooted in general sales principles, it is quite easy to adapt them to what we copywriters do with the written word.
Now, let’s review some of these simple principles…
1) Talk less, listen more
The average salesperson spends most of their time pitching their offer and handling objections. Most salespeople do both by means of a whole lot of talking — or writing, in our case.
Although there’s merit to this approach in some situations, for the most part you close sales with your ears, not with your mouth. In fact, if you spend 80% of your time listening and only 20% talking, you’ll see your closing rates quickly rise.
Here’s why: When you pressure someone, they immediately put up a wall. They feel the need to defend themselves and resist your attempts to change their opinions. As a result, it becomes very hard to connect with them in a way that facilitates a deal.
But if you simply listen and hear people out to see what their problems are, they’ll see you as a friend who wants to solve their problem. Not only will this make closing a sale much smoother, but it will also get you the right clients. Instead of selling to just anyone, you’ll be selling to people who need you the most. This will enhance your reputation and ensure people don’t think of you as only interested in making a sale. They’ll see you as someone who truly cares, which always brings results.
How do you listen to what your customers are saying online? You study what words and phrases they’re using to search for your product or service. You visit blogs and websites where people are venting their complaints about the problem they’re trying to solve. You join social media groups that delve into the subject and keep up on what’s being discussed. And if possible, you interview likely customers yourself and find out exactly what their challenges are.
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