Did you know that buying a car could result in lightbulb-moments about writing sales page copy?

Didn’t know that? Me neither. Until very recently, when we ventured into the new car market, visiting showroom after shiny showroom and being exposed to the ramblings of the car salesperson’s mind.

It was during an inordinately long spiel about how a particular car from a competitor brand isn’t the right fit for us that I realized how similar in-person selling and online selling really is.

The above-mentioned spiel was prompted without taking the time to understand what we were looking for or our family’s unique needs and more importantly, without any sound knowledge of the competition’s product.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

Surprise, surprise! Sales copywriting is a lot like selling cars without the need to don a sad suit or sit in a stuffy office with a manager breathing fire down your neck about meeting targets.

7 Sales Copywriting Tips So You Can Stop Repelling Clients and Customers Right Now

So, based on my hugely unscientific study of sales pitches by car salespersons and my proven experience in writing and studying sales pages, I present to you 7 client-repelling mistakes your sales copy is making right now.

Want to skip to the juicy part? Download 3 of my best copywriting checklists {including a sales page checklist} so you never make these mistakes ever again!

Sales Copywriting: How Not to Sell, Sponsored by Unknown Car Salespersons

1. Not Taking the Time to Understand Your Customer

This one is huge.

When we visited car showrooms, do you know how much time they spent on getting to know us better? Precisely 15 seconds and two questions – who would be driving the car and do you drive a lot everyday.

Ummm… there’s a LOT more that goes into customer research and unfortunately, showroom after showroom failed this crucial step magnificently.

Spending time on customer research is a HUGE part of my sales copywriting process because you need to know not only who your customer is but also, as Joanna Weibe of CopyHackers puts it, at which stage of awareness are they?

Are they pain aware? Unaware? Solution aware?

You need to know that before you start writing your sales page and when you don’t, you can be sure that folks will fall off your sales page, like drunken flies.

2. Being Vague or Generic About Your Offer

So when you go to buy a car, you’re buying a car, right? That much is specific but everything else is so vague, my 37-year old brain couldn’t figure it out at all.

What’s the difference between say, the Audi A3 and the Audi A4, besides the features that were a jumbled mass of numbers and tech specs that made no sense at all to my non-tech brain?

Why would I want to go for the BMW 3 Series instead of the 5 series?

Vaguespeak is the bane of salespeople. #truth

Taking a leaf out of their books, ask yourself… Is your offer clear as the water in the glass on my desk or is it as murky as dirty dish water?

Will readers have to spend more than 10 seconds trying to figure out what it is that you’re selling?

Do you skip over the important part of explaining differences between two variations of the same offer in a way that will appeal to your customer?

If yes, you’ve just lost the sale. Sad but true.

3. Taking Way Too Long to Ask for the Sale

Again, using the same example from what I learnt from car salespeople was that some of them weren’t interested in the sale at all. Now, these are people who work on commission so you’d think they’d fall over their feet wanting you to buy, right?

Wrong.

BMW, for instance, took a full ONE week {7 DAYS!!} to respond to our email to them about booking a test drive for the X1 and the 3 series.

Wait too long to ask for the sale and the customer would feel ignored, unappreciated and will take their business elsewhere. Guaranteed.

Now… I know long-form sales pages work. I know they do. I write them for a living.

BUT… there’s an art and science to long form sales copy and that involves knowing when to ask for the sale.

Make your readers scroll AKA wait too much and chances are they’ll lose interest, get distracted or be called away from their laptop by a 9-year old who can’t find one of her million Lego pieces.

4. Showing Little or No Knowledge About the Competition

This part was the most shocking for us.

Executive after executive boldly misquoted facts, figures and features when talking about their competition.

Now since Mayank is a gearhead and loves cars a little less {maybe!} than he loves Manini and me, he could see through the misrepresentation quickly and easily.

The same is true for sales  pages… you need to show your customer or client why your offer is better than the competition with facts and benefits. If you skip this part entirely or worse, misrepresent them, it’s frighteningly easy to lose credibility in your niche.

5. Explaining Features, Rather than Benefits

Have you gone through a brochure for a new car? I love the images but none of them paint a picture of what I’d experience when sitting behind the wheel.

You can paint word pictures when you talk about benefits not when you throw a bunch of features.

I mean… why do I need electronic seat adjustment? But tell me that I’ll be able to move my seat back with half a click and not struggle with unresponsive levers ever again and I’m all ears.

The same is true for sales copy. The features of your offer may excite you but… do they translate into clear benefits for your customer?

If no, then leave those features out. Only include the ones that highlight what they do for your client or customer.

6. Not Sweetening the Deal

Ohhhh boy!

Humans love good deals. Trust me on this one.

There’s a reason why stores give you loyalty cards, special offers and even good old-fashioned discounts.

Because they work.

Now, you’d think that when you’re in the market to buy a new car, they’ll throw all kinds of deals at you, right?

Wrong.

The folks at Mercedes said they have no deals.

The folks at BMW had to be pursued for an answer on that one. Which really wasn’t surprising given their interest in selling, itself.

The folks at Audi were the clearest with what they could give us and also, what they could try for.

No prizes for guessing which one we went for.

Similarly, with your sales copy, are you sweetening the deal or giving folks who buy bonuses that beat resistance into a fine pulp?

If not, you need to revisit your offer and change that ASAP.

7. Leaving Urgency at the Curb

Finally and most importantly, you know how car salespeople get a bad rap for being pushy? Yeah, well if they’re pushy while playing the urgency card, chances are they’ll convert waaaaaay better.

Unfortunately, nearly all of them are plain pushy which isn’t good for converting anything.

Why should I buy this now? And not delay it for a few months?

What’s the urgency?

Urgency converts. It propels our brains into action and spurs us on towards faster decision-making. It just does.

For instance, with the car guys, the Audi guy was the one who called us and gave us the news that prices would be going up from April 1st. We checked the news and found out that he was right.

It got us moving fast.

So… for your sales copy, how are YOU building urgency into your offer? That’s one of the reasons why time-sensitive launches work way better than evergreen ones because they have built-in urgency.

You can create urgency by offering time-sensitive pricing, bonuses and of course, time to enroll or sign up.

But whatever you do, don’t fake the urgency… or anything else for that matter!

7 Sales Copywriting Tips So You Can Stop Repelling Clients and Customers Right Now

There you go, ladies and gentlemen, 7 ways your sales copy may be turning your brilliant gem-of-an-offer into cyber crud and how you can stop that from happening right away.

Sidenote: We did end up buying a car and no, it wasn’t from the guy who forced his opinion down our throat.

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