One of the most essential texts for anyone who needs to convince others for a living (especially direct response copywriters) is David Hoffeld’s book The Science of Selling. If you haven’t read it, here’s a quick summary:
The selling process should mirror the way our brains actually buy. Fortunately, we have a lot of science-based information on how this works, so we don’t have to rely on evidence that’s anecdotal (that’s the problem with most sales books … they’re based on anecdotal evidence rather than scientific studies).
Hoffeld finds that the buying process consists of a set of six mini-commitments and a positive emotional state. When these seven “ingredients” are present, you’ll have a sale:
1. The buyer commits to changing.
2. The buyer commits to changing now.
3. The buyer commits to your industry solution (as opposed to DIY or another industry).
4. The buyer commits to trusting you or your company.
5. The buyer commits to your product or service (as opposed to a competitor’s).
6. The buyer commits to spending the money.
These six commitments plus a positive emotional state equals a purchase.
So how can we implement this in our copy?
In my last email I talked about “Reason Why” copy and the benefit of using the word “because.” Give your reader reasons to commit to each of these six factors. Answer the questions in their mind:
“Why change?” Because …
“Why change now?” Because …
“Why your industry solution?” Because ….
“Why should I trust you?” Because …
“Why should I choose you over your competitors?” Because …
“Why spend the money?” Because …
Objections are really just functions of the buyer failing to commit to one or more of these reasons why. The more you can elicit commitment to these factors–and top it off with a positive emotional vibe–the more sales you’ll have.
For more information (and about 20 pages of references to scientific studies) check out the book The Science of Selling. It’s worth it.