BRAD’S RULE #15 A Good Story Never Stops in the Middle

A good story never stops in the middle

The salesman knows that if he doesn’t close the sale now, he may never be able to close it.

So it is with an advertisement.

When a salesman has an interested customer, does he stop in the middle of his pitch and say: “Let’s continue this tomorrow same time, same place”?

Don’t be ridiculous.

The salesman knows that if he doesn’t close the sale now, he may never be able to close it.

So it is with an advertisement.

Did you ever see one of those “teaser” ads – an ad saying, “watch this space for a big announcement tomorrow?” With no clue as to who is running the ad…?

Did you eagerly open the next day’s newspaper to find out what this big announcement was?

I doubt it.

A salesman can judge when the customer is ready to buy. He can cut off his pitch and move to the close when he senses the time is right.

You can’t do that in an advertisement. You have to assume that your customer is wavering until the very end. You give your whole pitch – the lot – Now!

The customer who doesn’t need to read it all won’t. He’ll take himself straight to the close as soon as he’s ready.

And just like the salesman, treat each encounter between the ad and reader as your one and only shot.

Okay, sometimes you will have another chance – One time out of a hundred.

If, for the other 99 encounters, you don’t give it everything you’ve got, you’ll lose out.

… But don’t confuse the reader

Imagine you’ve written a great ad for men’s raincoats. The fact that you also sell women’s dresses is irrelevant.

The fact that you also sell women’s apparel is irrelevant to the potential buyer of men’s raincoats.

Mentioning that fact will merely confuse the reader … and make you lose out on some sales.

However, it may be appropriate to mention that you also have a wide selection of rain hats, umbrellas, and waterproof jackets.

Keep it simple. One ad, one offer is best.

Get feedback … before you run the ad

Here are two techniques to help you smoothen out any “bumps” or distractions in your copy.

1. Read it out loud. Have someone else read it out loud to you. Correct anything that sounds odd; and keep your ear tuned for any stumbling. That’s bound to stop the reader too.

2. Ask for criticisms. I always want to know: “Tell me anything that stops you.” And: “Anything that puzzles you or isn’t immediately clear.”

Anything that stops a reader or makes him/her stop, wonder, or question – get rid of it.

– Brad Sugars –

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