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Welcome to my story blog. I will post one new story here every day. You are welcome to comment on any or all of them. Enjoy!
                   --Lee Pound

Why the Way You Write is an Integral Part of Selling

I’ve talked a lot about how to get your reader to read and how to keep them reading. However, why you want them to keep reading is a very important part of the process.

Every piece of writing has a purpose, from the mundane to the very important. Pieces of writing are generally designed to educate or to sell, anything from products to ideas to dates to parties.

Even a simple invitation to a party is a kind of sales letter. Let’s look at what happens. First you have to get their attention. This isn’t just any party; it is a special party that they have to attend. You are the character who makes them want to come. What are the benefits that will entice them to come, such as free food, networking, presents, ability to show off?

When you write a sales piece you must include these items or your advertisement will fall flat and not draw any response. People buy on emotional connection, not on facts, as much as we would like to believe otherwise.

A good example is drug ads. You’ve seen them. The idyllic handsome couple feeling great because they’ve taken a pill for some kind of disease nobody has ever heard of. The pill has a fancy name that is mentioned several times. There are several layers to the commercials. First is the surface that we see, the happy couple and the message that the pill will help you. The next layer is the facts about the pill, what it cures and what that disease does to you, again laid against the happy couple and message of hope. The final layer is the side effects, told verbally in a very fast monotone, complete with lists of very bad things up to and including death that could happen to you if you take the pill, all of it overlaid on the picture of the happy couple.

Here is what is happening.

The emotional layer, the happy couple and delightful pill done in visual images, keeps our attention because this is what we all want. We become conditioned to the possibility that this pill will fix anything bothering us. This emotional layer continues throughout the commercial, first while the facts are given in a monotone specifically designed to bore the audience while they take in the part that really interests them, then while the deadly side effects are given, again in a fast monotone designed to bore the audience.  In effect, the emotional happy couple videos override the boring words because of the universal effect that once we believe something emotionally, the facts, no matter how dire, have little effect.

Lastly, the commercial tells us to ask our doctor about the drug, implying that we should ask him or her to prescribe it. This call to action is uses the emotional layers discussed earlier to get you to take the action demanded by the commercial in spite of the danger the drug might pose to you.

If you don’t believe this, watch the next drug commercial you see through this lens and see if each of these levels is there.

These commercials are written in a way that sells, based on very common principles of human nature. And the billions of dollars worth of drugs they sell is powerful evidence that they work.

 

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