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Episode 036 - Sales Skills For Copywriters

Published by: David Garfinkel on 12-23-2017

I was at a marketing conference and ended up sitting next to a woman named Maya who had the most unusual briefcase I'd ever seen. I asked her about it and she said,

I got it at the Coach store. I was planning to spend no more than $300 but the Fashion Advisor asked me some questions, and she recommended this one, based on my answers.

I nodded. Then she said,

I ended up spending $700. And I really hate the salespeople at the OTHER stores. But Connie wasn't a salesperson at all. She just found out what I was looking for and showed it to me. I simply HAD to have it!

I bit my tongue and did my best to keep a straight face. I didn't want to burst Maya's bubble by pointing out that Connie was a GOOD salesperson, and that's why she didn't see her as a salesperson at all. But Maya's attitude about salespeople would have made it very hard for her to be successful as a copywriter. That's what we'll talk about today.

Copy is powerful. You're responsible for how you use what you hear on this podcast. Most of the time, common sense is all you need. But if you make extreme claims… and/or if you're writing copy for offers in highly regulated industries like health, finance, and business opportunity… you may want to get a legal review after you write and before you start using your copy. My larger clients do this all the time.

Why Sales Is So Important For Copywriters

One A-lister who has thought about this a lot told me that success in copywriting ultimately boils down to:

one-third writing

two-thirds sales ability

If You Have A Background In Sales

It helps, but even there, you have differences. The mindset is the same in copy, but the techniques are different.

If You Don't Have A Sales Background, Check Your Attitude

If you have a negative attitude towards sales, succeeding as a copywriter is going to be very tough for you.

If you're open to / interested in / sales, there's hope for you.

Three key sales skills for copywriters

1. Lining up: prospects, your offer, what sets you apart

Prospects: understanding them well. Their world. Their values. How they talk. What their biggest problems are, that they can't solve, that your offer can help them solve.

Your Offer: What you have that solves their biggest problem or problems, and how it solves them. You really need to know this inside-out.

What's Unique, Valuable, and Preferable About Your Offer: What can they get from you, they can't get anywhere else. Or, how is what you have: better, cheaper, more convenient, faster, simpler. In other words, preferable. You need to know about the other offers your prospect is looking at, to be able to get this across believably.

When you have knowledge of your prospects… your offer… and what sets it apart in a favorable way, then you can line these things up and come up with some really compelling copy.

2. Anticipating And Answering Objections.


There are about half a dozen basic objections most people will have about most offers:

1) It costs too much

2) How do I know it will work (in general)?

3) How do I know it will work for ME (specific)?

4) What if something goes wrong?

5) Will I be able to use it myself?

6) What do others say?

You'll be able to come up with answers to these objections a lot more easily once you have the basic knowledge and understanding of the three areas from the "lining up" section, above:

1 Your offer

2 Your prospect's mindset

3 Competing offers your prospect will consider, and specifically why yours is better

3. Increasing two things: desire, and a sense of urgency. Both, of course, in your prospect.

Desire: The more you can make your prospect want it, the easier it will be to get them to buy.

The key here is, you're not just selling a product or service, or even just the first- level set of benefits.

You're selling your prospect a better LIFE.

Urgency: One way is with devices in copy

Limited Quantity


Price Goes Up (worked with me on Tuesday)

The other form of urgency is more internal to the customer:
The danger of doing nothing. What will your life be like if you don't get this offer?


1. Line up customer, product, unique value of product

2. Anticipate and answer objections

3. Increase desire and sense of urgency in your prospect

Keywords: sales skills in writing

Garfinkel Coaching