Introduction - Why Your Sales Copy Produces Poor Results
Look through any baking cookbook, or take a peek at your spouse's cookbook. Find your favorite cake, and look at the recipe. Look at the ingredient list. If you bought the best ingredients, could you bake your favorite cake?
No, you would have to follow a recipe -measuring carefully since you are baking.
Writing sales copy is a lot like baking. You need to follow a recipe. Yet, most advice in this area consists of: buy fine ingredients; concentrate on grammar, sentence length and punctuation.
Tom Sant is marvelously different in focusing our attention on selecting recipes before ingredients in his The Language of Success.
"Over the years, I've come to believe that the worst mistakes in business communication have nothing to do with grammar or spelling or sentence complexity."
You can have masterful control over sentence construction and yet fail to communicate.
"Instead, [mistakes] stem from using the wrong structural pattern, one that is not capable of achieving our purpose."
If we don't follow the correct recipe or format, we will obtain a poor result. This is critical to avoid if we are writing to persuade, convince or educate our clients.
"For example, if we deliver flat, accurate, factual content, thinking that the facts alone will persuade our customer to buy, we have profoundly misunderstood the way [human] communication works."
Solution - Tom Sant's Recipes for Success
In his remarkably clear and concise book, The Language of Success, Tom Sant identifies for main business formats, or recipes, for successful communication.
He has recipes for how to write:
- to Inform
- to Evaluate
- to Motivate
- to Persuade
Each of the four formats, Inform, Evaluate, Motivate, and Persuade, has at least five sub-formats and examples.
For example, in the Motivation category, Sant has rules and examples for:
- Employee Morale
- Supplier Responsiveness
- Investor Commitment
- Giving Bad News
How to Use Sant's Recipes
Like using any recipe, you have to practice. Here is what I have found useful. Identiify what format you want to use, look at Sant's example and then re-write Tom's example.
For example, I have used Sants' recipe for writing Nuture messages to create interest in the IAFD's newsletter program, Building Rapport - Watch Your Revenues Soar.
It is really the oldest trick in the book: First, I hand copied Tom's language, and then I rewrote each paragraph until it sounded more like me and less like Tom.
Copying is critical because you are using those parts of your brain which control writing and speaking. You are more likely to embed this into your own neural network doing this instead of just skimming Tom's writing for the "good bits".
This is Tom's language for selling an attorney on using client lead nuturing program. The paragraph structure and emphasis is mine. (I expect people to skim more when reading text on a monitor, like you are doing right now.)
"For example, suppose you're an attorney specializing in probate issues with a practice aimed at helping families establish self-directed trusts to preserve their assets.
Why would a client come to you instead of a different attorney? Maybe because you were recommended? Maybe because she met you through some kind of community service work or social activity? Or maybe because you have regularly provided useful information that people appreciate?
Jim Cecil, the guru of nurture marketing, has found that sending out two or three messages doesn't have much impact on business. But by the time you have sent out eight or nine, good things start to happen.
Customers and prospects will have a "top-of-mind" awareness of you and your business after getting that many messages from you, so if they need the kinds of products or services you provide, they think of you first.
Sales will start to soar."
This is terrific language. If you want more clients, read and you read this, it is hard to walk away from this advice. (You can compare Tom's language to my take on nuturing messages, Building Rapport - Watch Your Revenues Soar.)
It would be the wise and thoughtful business writer who bought Tom Sant's The Language of Success immediately.
Start practicing right away, get better results, using the The Language of Success.
Links to Tom's Book are affiliate links. Should you buy the book from Amazon, you will be supporting the IAFD. Thanks. Here's to a better way to write.