ABC – always be copywriting!

There is a movie that is legendary among those that specialize in the hard sale. The movie is “Glengarry Glen Ross,” and it was a 1992 movie starring some screen legends, and based on a play.

Several forlorn salesman, selling miserable shoddy land deals, are lousy salesman.

So, the main office sends a motivator, a “killer” of sales, into their sales room to motivate them. That “killer” is played by Alec Baldwin and I have to say the speech is interesting, but I always was repulsed by the hard sales tactics.

(the clip from the movie of Baldwin’s character trying to shame the other salesmen into selling harder, is a classic movie clip and available on Youtube, ** warning ** rough language!)

In the speech, Baldwin’s character stresses the importance of “always be closing!” And that is a often-repeated line in lots of sales training.

I have modified his advice, to be “always be copywriting!”

The trick to writing interesting, compelling, and most importantly sales worthy copy, is to get practice writing copy!

The best way to become better at quickly writing compelling copy, is to just get into a habit or campaign of writing a lot of copy!

The raw material for copywriting is data, information, and stories. This means that the copywriter must be immersing himself in research and information on his products, services, market, and customers. If customers grip in online forums, then the copywriter should visit those forums and “mingle” among his prospective customers.

The copywriter should be consuming his own company’s information, literature, and reports to gain insight into what he is actually trying to sell.

The copywriter should be interested in his industry, and know who the main competitors are, and what they do to stay in their prominent position. Then the copywriter explain in words how his company’s products and services are different, even if only in subtle ways.

As the great scientific ad man Claude Hopkins said, “the advertising man who spares the midnight oil will never get very far.” Then he goes on to discuss the research methods surrounding an ad campaign for a food product, which included questionnaires sent to prospects (this was in the early 1900s) and visiting prospects in person to see how they did business.

As for storytelling, the copywriter can get access to stories through fiction books and also biographies, and less importantly movies and television. But fiction books and biographies remain one of the best ways to implant a number of unrelated – yet interesting! – stories in the brain, that can then be woven into sales copy. Stories sell!

In summary, a copywriter and advertising pro must put in the time understanding the market and the prospect, and also consume content that allows for storytelling in the copy.

Then, the copywriter must put in the time writing lots of copy to start hardwiring those connections in the brain to the typing fingers.

It’s a great deal of fun, for the right person!

Much better than having the Alec Baldwin character “from downtown” berating us for not closing on cold calls!

If you want to hire a copywriter that can immerse himself in your industry and research, then craft copy with compelling stories, go here:
http://connectcopywriting.com/contact/

Secret to Selling the Schlitz

This ad shows the "cooling room" with chilled pipes and filtered air at the Schlitz Beer brewhouse.  Claude Hopkins used story telling and scientifically proven advertising methods to help Schlitz sell more beer.
This ad shows the “cooling room” with chilled pipes and filtered air at the Schlitz Beer brewhouse. Claude Hopkins used story telling and scientifically proven advertising methods to help Schlitz sell more beer.

“Welcome to our cooling room,” said the brewer as he brought his guest Claude Hopkins into the room.  “Wow!” said Claude Hopkins, the advertising copywriter, as he looked at the amazing cooling room.

Claude Hopkins was trying to get some on-site inspiration on how to help Schlitz sell more beer.

In the cooling room was a large aquarium-like structure with glass plate walls.  Inside were chilled pipes, and beer dripped down from the top of the room, onto the pipes, and cooled beer was collected in the bottom of the aquarium.  The air inside the aquarium was filtered.

“It’s very neat, but most of the other brewers have those cooling rooms,” said the brewer.  “Cleanliness is key to our brewing process.  Here we clean every pump and pipe – two times daily! – and we actually clean every single beer bottle four times,” the brewer explained.

“Impressive!” said Claude Hopkins.

“Yes, but most of the other brewers do the same things,” said the brewer.  “Here is water flowing in from our 4,000 feet deep artesian wells.  Even though we are located next to Lake Michigan, we choose to get more pure water from these deep wells.  But, most of the other brewers do this too,” the brewer said.

“Next, we have what we call our yeast cell here in this lab.  This yeast has evolved over 1,200 experiments so that we have the perfect flavor.  But, again, most brewers have their own yeasts as well,” the brewer said.

Great examples of how to use easy to read chunks of text to sell!  In the center of this ad are small, easy to read bullets about the product.  We use this method all the time.
Great examples of how to use easy to read chunks of text to sell! In the center of this ad are small, easy to read bullets about the product. We use this method all the time.

“Ok, but no other brewer is telling these stories!” Claude Hopkins explained.  “You are all battling each other by calling your beers ‘pure,’ but how about we describe exactly how pure your beer is!” Claude Hopkins said.

Later that day, Claude Hopkins wrote up his notes from the experience.  He used those notes and the experience of that tour to pen a variety of advertisements for Schlitz Beer.

Because those advertisements educated — and entertained! — people were very eager to try Schlitz Beer because they were amazed with how it was made.  Schlitz shot up from fifth place in beer sales to first place in just a few months!

That shows you the power of a story.  The power of explaining what it is you do, and how you do it.  “The more you tell, the more you sell,” goes the saying inside the copywriting world.

And, it shows the magic that can happen when an outsider comes in, and tells the whole world about what it is you do!

Claude Hopkins would later go on to write the book Scientific Advertising, which explains how to sell using scientifically proven methods.  These methods still work today, even in the so called “new media” and social media age!

At Connect Copywriting, we know about these scientifically proven methods to sell, and we use them when we write our copy.  To put our “outsider” writing services to work for you, go here.