Little kids are naturally skilled sales people. One reason is because they don’t easily take “no” for an answer. Say “no” to a child’s request, and without hesitation, they offer one ingenious option after another in hopes of negotiating a deal.
If they can’t have a cookie before dinner, they ask for half now and the other half later. If you say no to that, they offer to eat more peas in exchange for a cookie later. If you still say no again, they offer to eat more peas in exchange for half a cookie later…and so on.
It’s pretty impressive how creative we get when we have nothing to lose or any limits in our mind.
Kids are also wonderful sales people because they ask a lot of questions. Usually in the simple form of, “Why?”
And that’s where your sales skills come in.
As you probably experienced, kids don’t usually let you get off with the first answer. They ask “Why?” several times, drilling you down to the root cause until you get so frustrated, you either tell the unabashed truth or you give in.
That’s great practice for your sales writing because your prospects and customers are the same way…
Customers and prospects want to know why.
The human mind doesn’t like unfinished business. We like answers that close our thinking loop. It’s why we’re so drawn to intriguing headlines that tickle our curiosity. Headlines like this one from copywriting legend John Carlton:
“Put me in a tee box with Tiger Woods, and I’ll out drive him every time!”
How a Skinny Little Golf Genius From
California Accidentally Started
Hitting 425-Yard Tee Shots!
Even if you don’t golf, don’t you want to know how the skinny genius does it?
Our brains just don’t like to be left hanging with unfinished thoughts. It makes us feel a bit incomplete.
When writing, we tend to know our business so well, we take the details for granted. So it’s easy to leave the reader hanging by making claims without explaining why. Trouble is, each time you leave the reader hanging, they feel slightly uncomfortable deep inside.
Before long, this discomfort builds up until they get so annoyed, they stop reading. They might not know why they stopped reading. As a result, you lose credibility, and you lose your chance for a sale.
To prevent this, make your claim/statement, then immediately follow with the reason why. To illustrate, here are a few examples where I put the reason why in italics:
Excerpts from Dr. Shallenberger’s Real Cures newsletter:
“Mary and I are convinced that these changes are due to the coconut oil. Why? Because any time Steve misses a dose, his Alzheimer’s symptoms immediately start to return.”
“Enjoy all the fish you want without worrying about mercury. This natural supplement flushes mercury from your tissues and body…”
“The good news is that over 90% of cases, adrenal fatigue is not permanent…All you have to do is take remedies that strengthen them, while at the same time giving your adrenals a chance to rest and rebuild.”
Proof vs. Reason Why
If you read my earlier article about showing proof, you’ll notice adding a reason why to your statements or claims is a closely related concept. Both proof elements and reason why are mandatory for building your credibility and convincing the reader you have the solution to their problems.
For instance, if you say you have the best customer service, you could show it this way:
- 25/7 customer service by certified technicians
- Technician visits guaranteed to arrive within 45 minutes after call
- 98% customer loyalty rate
- Best service in industry award from 2005-2011
- Testimonials of customers gushing about your service
Try reviewing your latest ad, direct mail piece, or a page on your website. Highlight where you make statements or claims, then highlight where you explain why.
Would your explanation convince a skeptical buyer who suspects you’re out to cheat him? Do you provide enough proof elements to convince him you’re the real deal?
If not, add in what you need. You don’t need to go overboard, just give enough and make sure they count. Stay away from the fluffy stuff.