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Why copywriting is like selling (Part 1)

One of my earliest clients was a guy named Roy Chitwood who owned Max Sacks International, a sales training organization. In working with Roy for several years I attended so many workshops that his catch phrases became drilled into my brain. On the value of training: “School is never out for the sales professional.” On the role of the sales department in the organization: “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”  On the importance of planning: “If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter which road you take.”

Unlike copywriting, personal selling is a contact sport. Salespeople have to psych themselves up to get over rejection and put on their best face for the next appointment. Having an organized system to apply to what may appear an informal activity helps them stay on task (“Once selling becomes a process, it ceases to be a problem”).  This may why there are so many sales training courses and methods; most of the students I met in Roy’s classes had taken several courses from different trainers and used them agnostically for inspiration.

Very much like copywriters, salespeople have the job of getting prospects excited about and desirous of a product or service they may not have realized they needed until a moment ago. That’s why it is so helpful to apply the “rules” followed by professional salespeople to your own work as a copywriter. In my class, I spend quite a bit of time on the copywriting/selling analogy and I’m going to do the same here, over the next several posts.

The relationship between copywriting and selling should be seamless in a well-run company: your lead generation efforts serve as the front end of the sales effort, and serve up a steady stream of prospects (or “suspects” as another mentor, Ray Jutkins, used to call them since they have not yet entered your sales process). The better you’ve done your job, the more interested they will be in learning more about your company’s product or service.

Excerpted from my new book, Copywriting that Gets RESULTS! Get your copy here.

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] to wriggle out of doing the work at hand. As with the professional salespeople I talked about in my last post, applying a system or methodology to an informal process can help you stay focused. It can also […]

  2. […] 4. “Why copywriting is like selling (part 7)” by Otis Maxwell ( * NOTE: Click here for Part 1 of the 7 part series * 5. “Annual Checkup: Who Owns Your Domain Name, Really?” by Kishau Rogers (Websmith […]

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