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Want Better Sales Copy? Take a Tip From Zig Ziglar

by Ernest Nicastro  |  
April 10, 2007

In his keynotes and recordings, world-class motivational speaker and sales trainer Zig Ziglar often talks about the importance of having meaningful, specific goals. And he'll drive home his point with the rhetorical question, "What would you rather be in life, a meaningful specific or a wandering generality?"

As marketers and business owners, if we want our sales copy to produce profitable results we would do well to heed Zig's admonition. Because nothing will hold the attention of your reader and advance your selling proposition as well as specific and meaningful benefit-oriented copy.

But many sales letters and direct response mailers I receive—especially those from small businesses—show little regard for this fact.

For example, I recently received a sales letter from a commercial real estate broker. Here are the opening few paragraphs:

Few decisions are as important to your company's future success as where you choose to locate your company and under what parameters.

Fewer decisions still are as difficult to make and feel secure that you made the right choice. And yet few you will make can be made with as much confidence as relocation with the help of BKP Commercial Tenant Advisory Services. That is because with BKP as your exclusive representative, you can be assured you are not only seeing all your options, you are entering into the most economically favorable transaction.

After salaries and wages, rent typically is your second largest cost of doing business....

Let's overlook the overuse of the word "few" and the fact that the opening lacks any real attention-grabbling power. That said, what do you notice about the second paragraph? If your answer is, "It doesn't offer up any meaningful specifics to justify its claim" give yourself an "A." In fact, nothing in this paragraph or the entire letter explains or even hints at how it is that when I work with BKP I can be assured that I am seeing all my options.

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Ernest Nicastro is an award-winning B-to-B freelance copywriter. For more information, and to review samples of his work, visit Positive Response.

LinkedIn: Ernest Nicastro

Twitter: @enicastro

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