How To Sell Without Selling
Over the years I’ve had many a member worry that they were not good enough “salesmen” or “saleswomen” to make money online.
It’s an understandable thought, but the truth is different.
While there is absolutely an art to persuasion, in most cases being a Zig Ziglar level salesman is not necessary to make money online.
Let’s talk about how to sell without selling and how one of the greatest ad men ever did just that.
One of the greatest salesmen to ever live was David Ogilvy.
Starting out as a chef in Paris, he eventually moved to New York and founded Ogilvy & Mather, one of the most profitable advertising agencies in the world.
Here’s the thing about Ogilvy; for all his selling prowess most of his ads were statements of facts.
Just look at his world-famous Rolls Royce ad, pictured on this page. It’s a headline, sub-headline and 13 points of fact.
This way of writing ads still works today!
If you are worried that your selling skills are not up to the job, or just hate the idea of “selling” on principle, here are proven ways to sell online … without selling!
Make sure your ad copy (be that a solo ad or sales letter) includes the following.
A compelling headline
The headline can be simple. The headline has one job and one job only, to get the reader to read the ad.
To do that you can state the main benefit of your offer (lose 10 pounds in the next 14 days) or create curiosity (as in the Rolls Royce ad).
If you are tempted to make a headline long, follow this guideline – keep your headline to under 17 words.
The “under 17 words” guideline has been proven in testing to be highly effective.
Some of the best headlines ever were much shorten than 17 words, so don’t feel that you need to use 17 words.
If you need help writing headlines please refer to my article on headline writing here.
A real world reason why
Your prospective customer cares about one thing. They care about what’s in it for them.
- How will they benefit from what you offer?
- How will their life be better if they buy what you sell?
The key here is to make the reason why they should buy be both realistic and highly desirable.[social_quote duplicate=”yes” align=”default”]Knowing the reason why a customer should buy is the first step to creating a great ad, and it’s something you can do in less than five minutes.[/social_quote]
- Make a list of how a person’s life would change if they bought the product you are promoting and the product worked to its maximum effect.
- Prioritize the list, putting the most valuable benefit at the top of the list.
- Make that #1 reason your “reason why” in the ad you write.
If you do this with all the products you promote your sales should increase almost immediately.
The reason for this is that you will be speaking in the language your customer understands best. You will be telling him or her what’s in it for them.
And that is what they really want to know.
People love lists. Love ’em. So be sure to use lists in your sales copy.
Notice in the Rolls Royce ad how Ogilvy used a simple list to sell the product?
His ad is basically a list of reasons why the car is superior and why you will love owning it.
But he does not beat the reader about the head and scream out benefits in 36 point type.
No need for that.
He simply states the facts and leaves it to the reader to come to the conclusion that they want what he is describing.
This is a powerful, and effective, selling technique. Plus, it respects the reader because he is not telling them what they want but rather letting them choose.
And we all want to choose for ourselves, right?
A call to action
Finally, you need a call to action. So let’s talk about that for one moment, and let me share some guidelines.
First, what is a “call to action”?
It’s that place in your ad where you ask the reader to take an action, like “click here to learn more” or to buy.
There are many ways to do that, enough so that I will save that for another article. This one is getting long enough as it is! 🙂
Here are some guidelines.
- If your ad is under 200 words, you can use one call to action to get the job done.
- If your ad is more than 200 words you want to have a call to action once every 200 words.
- Start your calls to action with an active word. “Click here to learn more” is okay but “Start saving on your car insurance is better.
These are guidelines, not rules. But they work so give them a try.
Writing great ad copy is an art, no doubt there. But far too many people believe they can’t write great ads because they don’t have the gift.
Nothing could be farther from the truth
Ogilvy started as chef, then sold stoves door to door, then entered the advertising business at age 38.
He learned how to write great ads by trial and error. In the process, he earned a fortune and built a huge business.
The good news is we don’t need a fortune or to build an Ogilvy & Mather. We just need to make a high six figure income and enjoy our lives. 🙂
Doing that, and serving others while doing it, now those are beautiful things indeed!