1. Make Sure Your Copy Is Read By Developing A Powerful Headline.

I received a call the other day from a consultant, whose specialty is improving the performance of corporate websites. He told me he had been advertising his services in two magazines and that the results had been disappointing to say the least. He wanted to know how to generate leads, “more of them”, from his advertising.

My first question seemed to make him uncomfortable. I asked him if there is a market for his services. After a moment, he regained his composure and began to assure me there was a very viable market for his services. If this is the case, then why was he having trouble selling his services? He seemed to be advertising in the right places. After several more questions, I think I discovered the reason his ads weren’t working. I think it is the main reason why so many ads don’t work well.

Most ads simply do not give the reader a reason to read further, and they turn off the reader because the copy is all about the advertiser and not about the reader.

The web consultant’s ad began with his very attractive three-colour corporate logo and the headline “Web Improvement Consulting,” followed by a description of his experience and why he was so good at what he does.

Street Smart Marketers avoid the two fundamental mistakes made here: assuming their readers understand the need, and not offering their readers any reason to read on.

The prominence of our consultant’s three-colour logo added nothing except cost, as he is a new unknown brand. If you must have your logo on your advertising, place it towards the bottom, along with your contact information. Street Smart Marketers know the reader is not interested in who you are until she is interested in your offer.

I then asked the consultant, “If owners of websites have been surviving quite happily without your services, what would make a website owner read this ad?”

He told me he could show almost every website owner how to generate more traffic by understanding a few key principles and making simple changes to the site to reflect these principles.

He knew that! But his prospects don’t even know they have a problem, so why would they seek his help?

I suggested a different headline that would encourage the reader to at least read the next sentence. ” How Four Common Mistakes Can Make Your Website Up To 45% Less Effective As A Lead Generator.”

Readers may not know if they need a web consultant, but they would almost certainly be interested in finding out if something they are doing is sabotaging their efforts to produce business. Thus, I also suggested a sub-heading describing an under-performing website, so readers could relate to what he had to tell them.

I believe, having read the headline, there is a greater chance readers would read the sub-head that followed.

Simply changing a headline has been shown on many occasions to double, triple or in rare instances improve response rates by as much as 21 times. The role of the headline and each subsequent sentence is simply to get the reader to read the next sentence.

Effective advertising is like a soap opera: each sentence should leave you wanting more, so you read the next sentence to see what happens! The content of our consultant’s ad was less-than-inspiring consultant jargon that most business people would not relate to, so it is unlikely that anyone even read the whole ad let alone generate leads.

Street Smart Marketers know how to write effective advertising and therefore know how to generate leads. You not only need a great headline; you also need to understand the underlying needs, fears, desires and wants of your target market, and include the information in your copy. If you do that, you will grab their attention and draw them through your advertising until they reach your call to action.

  1. Marketing and Selling Go Hand-In-Hand

From time to time when I find something that may be of interest to my readers, I like to include them.

I contend that most businesses are both poor marketers and poor sellers. All of us need to sell better. It is something you can continuously improve, but something you never entirely master. This is a brief tip from Kelley Robertson that will be helpful if you want to be a better salesperson.

The Critical Skill

The ability, the desire, and the patience to listen are necessary if you want to achieve greatness in sales. Unfortunately, most sales people tend to talk more than they listen. Here are three strategies that can help you improve your listening skills in both face-to-face meetings and when speaking to people on the telephone.

  1. Plan. Prepare a list of questions to ask your prospective customer. Make a commitment to yourself that you will uncover the answer to each question during your meeting.
  2. Think. Before you speak in a sales meeting ask yourself if what you are going to say will add value to the conversation. If the only thing you are going to talk about is your product or service, resist the temptation to speak.
  3. Limit distractions. It is very easy to be distracted by noise, people walking by, telephones, etc. Focus your full attention on the person you are talking to.

Action step: During the coming week, concentrate on speaking less than you listen, particularly when meeting with clients, customers or new prospects.

If you are interested in improving your selling skills, Kelley Robertson can help. I think his material is really useful to anyone wanting to become a better salesperson. If you would like to subscribe to his free e-zine “The 59 Second Tip”, here is the link.

How to generate leads for your business can and will make the biggest difference in your bottom line!