Here's the scenario: Your company has made the final cut and you and a partner are scheduled to make the Big Presentation to the purchasing committee. Close the deal and the two of you will split a high five-figure commission, with significant residual income throughout the life of the contract.
No question about it, you and your partner are going to spend a substantial amount of time preparing, organizing and rehearsing your presentation. You'll make sure you cover every key benefit and that you give extra time and attention to those features and benefits of particular importance to your prospective client. And because you've been told that every presenter will be given exactly 90 minutes, you'll take pains to see that you have a tightly organized presentation, where each point quickly and smoothly transitions to the next.
How to make your copy flow so that more people will read it
Here's my point: If you want your direct mail program to be successful you'll be sure to put forth the same effort on every sales letter you write. (After all, it well may have been a sales letter that triggered your prospective client's initial inquiry and ultimately led to the Big Presentation.)
And just as in the Big Presentation, you should pay careful attention that each point in your sales letter quickly and smoothly transitions to the next. Because a sales letter that has an easy and natural flow to it is more likely to get read and acted on.
Giving the thoughts and ideas expressed in your letter a smooth and easy flow may be as simple as beginning a sentence with "and" or "so." Here's an example from my own files:
"Ouch! Renewing your property lease in a tight market can be painful. And let's face it, we both know that's the type of market we're in right now.
"So what do you do?
"Do you just take a deep breath, take out your pen and "re-up" at higher rates? Maybe. And maybe not. But one thing's for sure..."
Notice how the ideas in each sentence and sentence fragment are logically connected to one another -- and the smooth and easy flow of thoughts from one paragraph to the next?
In addition to single word transitions such as "so" and "and" there are a number of excellent transitional phrases that can be used quite effectively. A couple of my favorites are "what's more" and "most important." These phrases can be of great help to you when you want to transition from benefit to benefit. Here's an example of both, again, from my own files:
"Years of experience have brought us proficiency, skill, expertise -- or as you and I might call it -- just "plain ol' smarts." The "smarts" that enable us to know what questions to ask. And, after listening carefully to your answers, quickly determine how bar coding technology can benefit your company.
"What's more, in short order, we'll give you a good idea of how much of an investment your system will require. As well as how fast -- and how substantial -- your payback will be. (Most bar code systems pay for themselves in a year or less.)
"Most important, when you deal with the experts at BCI..."
Other excellent transitional phrases are:
- "Best of all,...
- What does this mean for you?
- That's why...
- The result?
- That's where _______ fits in.
- So remember,...
- And that's not all!
- These are just a few of the...
- But there's even more."
Put these tips and pointers to work, and your "presentations on paper" are sure to have a smooth and easy flow that keeps your prospects reading, and ultimately pays off for you in more profitable results.
© 2006 Ernest Nicastro