When I tell people I’m a direct response copywriter, it’s not unusual to get a few oooohs and ahhhs. (not as many as I’d like but…)

Anyhow, as the person I’m talking to thinks about my copywriting skills and then holds them up against their own, I can almost see them envisioning a wide gap between the two.

In other words, they think I’m light years ahead of them.

But the truth is, it’s not nearly as far as they think.

Here’s why:

In 1905, John E. Kennedy, then a relatively unknown copywriter, described advertising as ‘salesmanship in print’.

Many of my clients and prospects are good salespeople . Otherwise, they would not be running successful businesses.

So it stands to reason that If you can sell, you can write effective sales copy.

You just have to think about making sure your sales copy takes into consideration all of the important elements you consider in a selling situation.

That’s what we’re going to cover today.

Your hear a lot of copywriters, content marketers and social media communicators talk a lot about conversion rates but they rarely discuss the basic ingredient behind a successful promotion – good salesmanship.

And they don’t tell you how to do it.

I think part of that is because many of them have never worked a patch or, in short, been a salesperson with a territory themselves.

If they had, they would naturally be able to see the relationship between the two.

I have a successful 20 year sales career in telecommunications and advertising that I draw on as a copywriter and it’s a huge leg up.

To write effective sales copy, you need the same characteristics and qualities a good salesperson has. You need to understand psychology. Be curious. Compassionate. Knowledgeable. And, have an unwavering laser like focus on your prospect’s needs, not your own.

You also need to know how to anticipate and address objections.

Then, blend those elements into your copy.

Tell a story in a human voice that connects with the reader.

Let the readers know you understand what they wants by speaking to their needs.

Use emotion in your copy. Stir up their passion. Be enthusiastic.

Back your offer up with logic. People buy based on emotion but you need to make sure you equip them with facts they can use to validate their buying decision. (My wife could have a field day with me if I simply told I forked out $300 for a three-wood because I liked the look and feel. Being able to blurt out it was 40% off helped me weather the storm.)

Anticipate and overcome objections. The same ones you hear face-to-face. Don’t ignore them.

Make sure you follow through by providing other information, links, and contact information that would be useful to the customer.

OK, so where do you start?

Whenever you are writing a sales letter or any sales related content, focus on the following:

1. What do you want your web copy, sales letter, blog post or newsletter to accomplish?

2. Who is going to read what you wrote?

Understanding your intention and knowing who your audience is will allow you to accomplish your sales objective.

Not as big a deal as you thought, huh?

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