Improving Sales According To A Copywriter

by Amanda J Evans on February 16, 2010

Today I am delighted to bring you a guest article by copywriter Michel Fortin.  This article is titled Superior Value Equals Superior Sales and I’m sure there is some information that you can use in your freelance writing business.

Without further ado, I give you Michel Fortin.

Superior Value Equals Superior Sales By Michel Fortin

If your car needed repair work, would you go to a garage that offers free estimates? You likely would. Today, most garages offer them.

Not only has it become a customary practice, but also everyone expects a free estimate from mechanics.

However, here’s an interesting scenario. Let’s say your car broke down at the worst possible time, and you are in a terrible hurry. (If you’re like most people these days, you are.) Plus, you specifically wanted a free estimate.

If you had to choose a garage quickly, which garage would you choose? Would you go to the one you only think that offers free estimates? Or would you go to the one you know for sure that does? Especially if you don’t have much time?

As simple as it may sound, by communicating something that’s usually taken for granted by your target market, you will be chosen more often. Rather than claiming superiority, like “we’re #1,” you’re implying it by demonstrating what makes you superior.

A mentor once told me, “Implication is more powerful than specification.” In marketing, it means that you should imply your superiority rather than claim it outright.

If you claim superiority, your claim appears self-serving and whatever you do say is suspect at best. But if you imply superiority, your claim, although not directly stated, is accepted as more credible, genuine, and, paradoxically, concrete.

People will unconsciously assume that you are superior. You are communicating your superiority, not in some marketing piece you wrote or paid for, but in that most elusive yet vital of places in all of marketing…

… Your target market’s mind.

So, rather than outright stating that you are superior (e.g., that you’re the “best,” that you have a product of superior or high quality, that you offer greater service, that you provide better rates, etc), explain specifically why you are superior.

In fact, the most critical word in marketing contains only three letters. It’s the word “why.” It is much better to communicate why you are original, special, or unique, or why you are better, different, or superior than your competitors, and not the fact that you are.

In other words, the point is that you should imply your superiority by specifying, as much as possible, what exactly makes you better than anyone else and not that you are superior. This approach is far more powerful, and the effect lasts longer.

By implying your value proposition, it pierces through your market’s natural psychological barriers, as people hate to be sold to. They hate making a bad decision. They hate being patronized. And more importantly, they hate being taken advantage of.

Realize that what makes you special, unique, or superior doesn’t have to be your product in itself, although it certainly can be. But the easiest way to make your product unique is by what you add to it — specifically, to its value — as to appear superior.

Simply stated, you may offer something that everyone else does. But you could also offer something more, above and along with your product, than no one else does.

Let me explain. Your product is composed of three distinct levels:

1. There’s the core product (the product’s main benefit),

2. The actual product (the product itself and its features),

3. And the augmented product (the product’s value, such as the added value — additional features and benefits — you specifically bring to the table).

The latter of the three is probably the area most marketers fail to adequately communicate. It’s also the easiest area you can use to develop or enhance your USP (or “unique selling proposition”). And it makes your product or service stand out among the crowd.

Here’s an example. People may or may not know that you provide a certain value-??add. A value-add is an extra product benefit or service added to your core offer. And, more often than not, they only assume that you do, especially if it’s the norm in your industry.

Claude Hopkins, author of Scientific Advertising, revealed how he dramatically boosted Schlitz’ brewery sales by making their beer appear unique using this method.

In the early 1900s, a beer’s purity was important to consumers. Knowing this, most breweries claimed — but never really proved — that their beers were the purest available.

But instead of merely claiming purity, Hopkins would trumpet the reasons why Schlitz was purer than the rest. After a tour of the brewery, he began writing his sales copy describing in meticulous detail Schlitz’ vigorous purification process.

According to Clayton Makepeace, Claude Hopkins described:

“The 4,000 foot-deep artesian wells from which Schlitz drew its water… the wood pulp filters that ensured the water was 100% pure… the spotless plant and “clean rooms” with their filtered air… how Schlitz’s bottles were sanitized with germ-scalding steam… and more. But Hopkins did leave out one little fact: Pretty much every brewery made its beer just like Schlitz did!

By being the first to tell the public about Schlitz’ generally assumed (or in this case, ignored) purification process, everyone was convinced Schlitz really was the purest beer anywhere. It’s the main reason why it became the top-selling beer at the time.

Plus, the copy did double duty. Competing breweries’ purity claims simply made them appear as copycats — or at the very least, it would remind the public of Schlitz.

By turning the assumed into the assured in the consumer’s mind, even with a name in which people are assured that you do offer that particular service or benefit, your market will choose you over your competition many times over.

In other words, don’t claim it…frame it in the consumers mind.

— About the Author —

Michel Fortin is a direct response copywriter, marketing strategy consultant, and instrumental in some of the most lucrative online businesses and wildly successful marketing campaigns to ever hit the web. For more articles like this one, please visit his blog at http://www.michelfortin.com/ and subscribe to his RSS feed.

I hope you have enjoyed this guest article.

Until next time,

Keep Writing

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Amanda J Evans

Freelance Writer/Ghostwriter/Author
I am a writer and author living in Ireland with my husband and two wonderful children. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and love working in the self help and spiritual genres. My other specialist area is online gambling and I have been writing for this genre since 2007. I am always available to discuss project ideas and collaborations as well as book writing.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 George Angus 02.19.10 at 5:34 pm

Great guest post, Amanda.

Hi Michel,

Such sage advice. I think folks are actually repelled by (perhaps dubious) claims crowed from the rooftops about being superior and number 1. I take my car to a garage because they do great work and value my business. I think a good copywriter provides the same kind of value.

I’ll bookmark this one.

George

2 Amanda 02.19.10 at 7:37 pm

Glad you liked it George.

I found the information amazing too.

Amanda

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