Salesmanship shouldn’t be a dirty word. Many people outside the marketing industry tend to think making sales involves scamming consumers into buying things they don’t need. In reality, this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth.

Salesmanship shouldn’t be a dirty word. Many people outside the marketing industry tend to think making sales involves scamming consumers into buying things they don’t need. In reality, this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Making sales the right way doesn’t involve being intrusive or pushy; it centers on being a good listener. That involves building a connection with the customer, understanding their needs and offering a proper solution. Yet if you drive prospects through a website or print ads, how can you mimic a salesperson’s ability to convert? The answer lies in copywriting: the ability to write words which bring in sales. As stated by famous copywriter John E. Kennedy, advertising is “salesmanship in print.” Copy allows businesses to pre-qualify prospects’, build interest and get people to buy into a brand—all without being face to face. There are plenty of similarities between salesmanship and copywriting, so if you’re interested in finding the right words to show off your offerings, consider the following 3 tips:

1) Talk like your customers

Businesses often lose all sense of personality as soon as they write for the web or print. “We love working with our customers to find the best solutions,” becomes, “Our customers are driven to discover groundbreaking network pathways that optimize the results of their employee output.”

Drop the jargon and SAT vocab! Some companies fear they’ll be seen as “unprofessional” if they loosen up, but the problem is that no one actually speaks like this. Elaborate language is alienating for visitors who want to find answers in plain English. A good salesperson is always considerate of how knowledgeable a prospect is and caters their pitch so that every detail is easily understood.

2) Avoid hype

Despite what some ads propose, an app won’t increase your productivity by 500%, and that workout bench won’t give you a six pack in a day. Businesses shouldn’t play down their strengths, but they should also avoid sounding too good to be true. The irony is that even if a product is outstanding, a wise salesperson tempers their claims.

Ramit Sethi, a New York Times bestseller and personal finance advisor, previously released a course called “Earn1K.” It taught people how to earn money by offering freelance services or starting a business. Truthfully, Ramit’s testers had been able to earn up to $10,000 utilizing his tactics—but after surveying prospects, he realized that calling the course “Earn10K” was too unbelievable for new customers.

By setting their goals lower, Ramit was able to garner interest for his product while still providing value well above client expectations.

3) Get emotional

Consider a “functional” purchase, like a lawnmower. Most people would want to ensure it’s well-made, easy to push around and that it cuts grass evenly. But what’s the hidden benefit? A beautiful yard that will impress family and neighbors, raising one’s comfort and social status.

No matter how often people use logic to justify a purchase, the truth is that all marketing and sales are emotional, whether you’re speaking to a CEO or a college student. In speech and in copywriting, it’s important to talk to these hidden emotions that drive purchases. One way to do this is by separating features from benefits. Features are the nuts and bolts of a product: a couch has an adjustable back rest. Benefits are the personal joys people derive from features: the customer can lead a better, more active life because the couch eases their back pain.

Try using these tips the next time you need to advertise your business, or contact United Creations to discuss how our team can create the ideal “salesperson in print” for you.

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