I recently wrote some home page web copy for a client. Let’s call her Amy. I used my standard sales letter type approach.

After I sent her the copy for her to review, I sat back and waited for the email I knew was coming.

It didn’t take long.

‘Gerry, this copy is way too long.’ (Uh huh, I thought, and I asked her what she meant.)

‘Most people won’t read it. They’re way too busy. And besides, our business is different.’

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I’d be going away next Saturday to golf for five MONTHS – instead of 5 days.

If YOU believe what Amy said is the TRUTH, please lean in and pay close attention. I guarantee it will put money in your pocket – quickly.

First of all, you don’t need most people to read your copy. You only want it read by qualified prospects you can help.

Like most of us, Amy is often in a situation where she sells face to face. And she’s good at it. Knows how to get her prospect’s attention. Convey genuine interest. Build rapport builder. Ask meaningful questions. Meets concerns and misconceptions head on in a thoughtful way.

In short, all the things that MUST be addressed to keep a prospect moving toward a sale.

Okay. Now, here’s where so marketers go astray when it comes to website marketing and selling.

What do they think happens to attention getting, rapport building, questions the prospect has along with concerns or misconceptions?

That somehow, the prospect –most of whom they have never met – will put all those things on the shelf because they are using a website to get information so they can  fulfill a need or want?
Kinda like, ‘ya know, it’s just a website.  Forget all that stuff I would normally ask about if I was talking directly to a salesperson. Just give me a graphic or two and a few lines of copy. That’s all I need to make an educated buying decision. Just tell me how I pay.’

Uh, uh.This approach stops the selling process dead in its tracks – before it even gets started.

Selling is selling. There’s only one thing that’s changed when your prospect shows up on your site and that’s that you’re not there to read body language and answer questions and concerns.

Can you see the challenge?

You would never meet with a prospect, flash a few pictures of your products and services, mumble a couple of feeble ‘pick me, pick me ‘ statements and expect him to pull out his wallet.

And yet, that’s exactly what business owners expect their website to do.

Your website IS you – with one hand tied behind your back.

Not only do your prospects want all their questions answered and concerns addressed, their BS meter has a hair trigger.

The ONLY way to put yourself in position to make a sale is to provide enough sales copy – not the brochure stuff you see everywhere – that satisfies your prospect’s need for information.

The higher the ticket price, the more copy you need.

This may be a rude awakening for some but the fact is, an oversized graphic, three little boxes with images and a few lines of copy ain’t gonna win the day.

I explained all this to Amy. And she grudgingly agreed to try the long copy approach.

The result?

Almost 80% of the people – likely qualified prospects – who started reading her long copy home page, finished it.

Whether you use this approach or not, you MUST make sure you address the questions and concerns your prospects bring with them to your site.

Selling is selling – online or off.

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