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By Bob Leduc

Can you remember the last dozen advertising messages beamed at you today? Can you remember even one of them? Most people can't.

This illustrates the biggest obstacle you need to overcome to successfully promote YOUR product or service. You must capture your prospect's attention in the first few seconds or your sales message will be ignored. This is especially important on the Internet where a visitor can simply click away from your website -- forever.

Here are 4 proven techniques you can use to quickly capture a prospect's attention. They apply to all media including the Internet.


Did you ever write a headline for an ad, web page or other sales message? You probably used a dramatic statement. It's the most obvious way to get someone's attention. For example:

"Lose 8 Pounds In The Next 2 Weeks Without Dieting"
"My Doctor Uses These Nutritional Products"
"Double Your Sales And Reduce Your Advertising Expenses"

TIP: Your dramatic statement will be most effective when it describes a major benefit for your prospect.


Unexpected surprises always attract attention. It's often negative attention caused by something going wrong. But you can also use an unexpected surprise to attract positive attention. It happened to me last week.

The office supply company I use sent me a letter announcing an automatic $50 deduction off my total bill for this month. I immediately placed an order for items I wasn't planning to buy for another month or two. I even stocked up on several items I normally buy elsewhere. Their unexpected surprise got my attention and generated a large order during a month I hadn't planned to order anything.


I once saw a direct mail letter that began with the question, "If you're such a smart executive why aren't you making a six figure income?" Not many executives could resist reading that letter, especially if they weren't making a six figure income.

Provocative questions startle your prospects and compel them to find out more. Here are 2 more examples of provocative questions:

"Why are you paying so much for your health insurance?" "Do you really expect to get rich working for somebody else?"


Personalization also attracts immediate attention. Your personalization can be individualized or group oriented.

Use INDIVIDUALIZED PERSONALIZATION when you're communicating directly with one person by email, postal mail, telephone, etc. Use your prospect's name. It's the number one attention grabber. Merge it into the subject line and the opening line of your email message. Do the same in your postal mail. Include other personal information you know about them. But be careful not to overdo it.

You can personalize with a name when you're communicating directly with one prospect. But how can you get personal with a prospect visiting your web site, reading your ad or listening to your radio commercial?

Use GROUP ORIENTED PERSONALIZATION when you're NOT communicating directly with one person. You can get personal by referring to known characteristics of prospects in your targeted market. For example, use phrases like:

"When you started your business..." for business owners. "Your favorite NFL team..." for sports fans. "Every mother knows..." for women with children.

Group Oriented Personalization isn't as effective as using a person's name. But it still attracts attention because your prospect can react with, "that's me".

Take some time today to plan how you can use these four proven techniques to attract more attention to your sales messages. The results will probably surprise you. So will the increase in your sales and profits.

Bob Leduc retired from a 30 year career of recruiting sales personnel and developing sales leads. He is now a Sales Consultant. Bob recently wrote a manual for small business owners titled "How to Build Your Small Business Fast With Simple Postcards" and several other publications to help small businesses grow and prosper. For more information... Email: [email protected] Subject: "Postcards". Phone: (702) 658-1707 (After 10 AM Pacific time) Or write: Bob Leduc, PO Box 33628, Las Vegas, NV 89133

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