It was 11:30pm. I was on a shuttle from San Diego Airport heading toward Torrey Pines Hilton for a seminar. Was supposed to get there at 4pm but mechanical issues delayed my flight.
There were 2 others on the shuttle. One of them was a little strange and I’m glad he was the first one off the shuttle.
The other guy then asked me what I do. I told him I’m a copywriter. Thankfully he knew what a copywriter was…and didn’t assume I was a lawyer or in copyright law.
He then start going on about how “how all these copywriters and marketers are scammy” and manipulate people into buying things.
I automatically knew that I wasn’t going to change this guy’s mind—so I just quietly looked outside and counted the number of minutes I would be at my hotel so I can escape this guy.
But then I realized something:
This is the person I am selling to when I’m working on a copywriting project!
Listen: people don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “Boy, I wish I can read some advertisements today!” (Except for me, of course).
People are reading your stuff with the utmost skepticism. They think it’s B.S. or it’s not going to work. Either that, or they got screwed over at some point and are afraid they’re going to make another mistake.
They also see salespeople as smarmy people in cheesy suits selling used cars.
That’s the stigma I had to get over when I decided to become a copywriter. I immediately thought about all the junk mail I used to throw away every day.
Now I collect it and study it.
I only write this blog post because most people don’t understand the barriers they have to get through to convince someone to whip out their wallet and buy from them.
They don’t understand that customers are afraid of making a mistake that they’ll get “screwed over” again. Because everybody has bought something they’ve regretted.
For me, it was a marketing coaching program I bought 6 years ago. The salesman was enthusiastic about telling me the benefits, how my life will change, etc.
But the coaching program was underwhelming, to say the least.
Now I read every sales letter pitching a coaching program with utmost skepticism. Thinking, “yeah, I’ve heard that promise before, etc, etc.”
Thankfully I have purchased other coaching programs since then and it has accelerated my progress considerably.
But, in the back of my head, I was afraid of being “taken” again.
That’s why it’s rare that I write a sales letter that does not have the following line when talking about a guarantee.
“There’s no way you can make a mistake.”
Because that’s what prospects are afraid of. They’re afraid they’ll “screw up” or get ripped off again.
For me, it was an expensive coaching program. For your prospect, it could have been a $7 ebook.
The disdain for marketers, salespeople and even successful businesspeople is prevalent in today’s society. Especially since we’re exposed to, on average, 4000 advertising messages per year according to (source?)
But you can overcome it by imaging your most skeptical prospect peering over your shoulder as you’re writing copy.
This will allow you to better bond with your prospect and overcome objections.