It was incredibly awkward…
This guy was one of the direct mail greats. A copywriter whose name you’d recognize.
He was up on stage. And he’d just delivered a tremendous presentation about what worked in direct response.
He spoke from experience. He had decades’ experience building multiple direct response businesses. Generating millions upon millions in sales.
By the end of his presentation, everyone loved him.
Until he started his pitch…
Because he’d structured his pitch in the same way he might pitch in a 24-page direct mail letter.
He had all kinds of “but wait, there’s more!”-type language thrown in.
He had these obscene values he placed on all the elements of his offer, along with similarly-obscene price drops.
He was over-the-top.
And not in a cheeky, I-know-what-I’m-doing-and-this-is-fun-but-also-serious way. Rather, it was as if someone who was really awkward at selling was reading his direct mail copy to you, face-to-face, and really wasn’t comfortable with anything they were saying.
The energy and excitement that had filled the room at the end of his presentation was GONE by the end of the pitch.
I think a few people were so enamored by his credibility that they bought. But the numbers could’ve easily been 10X what he got, if he’d simply said something like, “If you liked my presentation, I have a bunch of additional resources that go much deeper, and if you buy them in the next 45 minutes, you can get them at 75% off their retail price.”
Like, almost zero pitch would’ve been better.
Because when he pitched from the stage, his “voice” was totally off.
And if you’re looking at some of the classic copywriting teachers to inform the voice you use in today’s multimedia selling environment, you’re going to make a similar mistake.
First, let’s talk about your selling voice in videos and webinars…
Note: My coming webinar on How To Create Webinars That Sell is filling fast. But you still have a shot at getting in — preregister now and arrive early to grab one of the 100 spots. You don’t want to miss it.
Here I’m grouping two types of video — live-on-screen video and webinars — because the rules are very similar. And actually, you can group in any live one-to-many selling situation — such as speaking to a live audience — because these rules apply there as well.
If you’re selling LIVE or if the prospect SEES YOUR FACE, your pitch has to be incredibly candid.
You cannot be over the top. You have to be direct.
Yes, you can absolutely make big promises of a ton of value.
You can make a big offer, and cut the price down to a fraction of the value they’ll get.
You can enforce urgency, and scarcity.
But you have to be 100% REAL, straightforward, and CALM when you do this.
If you have anxiety because you are being a little more over-the-top than you would be when making the same pitch to a good friend, it will set off alarm bells in your prospect’s subconscious.
Again, you really should have a generous offer, a great deal, real urgency, and other standard mechanisms of a good direct response pitch.
And you should absolutely present these in a confident and direct way.
But you have to treat it like you’re face-to-face with a good friend. That should be your tone. That should be how you present it. That should inform the language you use.
Because the more the prospect feels like they’re “with you” while you’re giving your video pitch — whether via webinar or because they see your face on screen — the more critical it becomes to speak to them like you would if they were with you.
If you’re selling via video sales letter (VSL), you can and should amp it up — a little…
Here your voice is coming through. But the sales message is also being presented on screen. So the prospect is both reading it and hearing it.
You become the voice of the words, as much as you are also a human being they are interacting with.
And so the feeling is different.
While you should still use conversational, friendly, and candid language and tone, you need to turn it up a little bit.
(Side note: DO NOT try to sound like a voiceover artist or radio announcer though. That tone kills sales. Instead, your aim is to sound like a human being wrapped up in a thrilling message.)
Dramatize the bad and the good. As you tell your problem-solution story, really feel the agony of the problem, and the desperation for a solution. Feel the emotion as you think you’ll never overcome the challenge. Feel the excitement as you do discover a solution. Feel the thrill as you realize you can share the solution with the world.
And when you present the offer, get excited about it. Get excited about how much value they’re about to get. How their life is about to be completely changed. How you’ve managed to pack so much value into such a low-priced offer.
This isn’t bold, flashing text with too-many exclamation points.
But it is EXCITEMENT where appropriate. There is an element of DRAMA.
In the end, you must always come back around to that candid, calm humanness. Remember that you’re one kind person talking to another. But because of the nature of a VSL, you can and should turn it up a bit where the message calls for it.
If you’re selling via text, that’s where you go over-the-top…
You can go too far. But most marketers who are concerned about that won’t go far enough.
The tone of language should be dramatic.
The layout should put EMPHASIS on important points. It can even GET LOUD!
Design can be used to call things out, make them more exciting, and generally add to the entertainment value of going through the pitch.
And this is where you can use all those old tricks of direct mail, to really make your pitch more exciting.
You don’t want your copy to look and read like a nonfiction book — that’s deadly, dull, and boring.
You probably don’t even want it to read like an article — unless that’s an explicit advertorial strategy to get more readership.
You want your copy to grab attention and build excitement in every way it can — while always making sure it’s backed up with a solid offer and solid sales strategy.
Here’s a rule to remember this all…
The more they see and hear of you, the more you should feel like a friend, or a friendly stranger, delivering a message you are passionate about.
The less they see and hear of you, the more you can benefit from really embracing the voice and tone and tricks of classic direct response selling.
It’s a big wide spectrum. And depending on everything from your market to your personality to your offer to 1,000 other factors I’m not even thinking of, you have to ultimately land on whatever is right for you. But the rule above is a strong overarching rule that will usually steer you in the right direction.
And if you want to learn even more about How To Create Webinars That Sell — for yourself or your clients — I’m doing a free training webinar on the topic on Monday, November 4th, at 12 PM (Noon) US Central time…
Yes, I’ll be talking about messaging and tone. But there are other factors that can be even more powerful and important in generating response. Especially how you structure the campaign around the webinar. That’s why I’m also giving away a free PDF copy of my campaign map, to all attendees. This is the same campaign map I used to generate over $400,000 in sales — and $14,000 in royalties — from my very first client webinar campaign. And it’s still the map I use today!
There are 100 spots — that will be first-come, first-served on the day of the webinar. And based on early registrations, there could easily be a few people left out in the cold. So you’ll want to preregister now and show up at least 7-13 minutes early.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,