by Lisa Sparks
It's so tempting. You know your product or service is the best for your prospects and you just want them to buy it. I know. I feel that every day. If only we could flip a switch that would convince them we are the best option to solve their business woes.
One of the most effective writing tools I've used to increase sales has been options. No, not stock options, but giving the prospect choices. It's like an exchange: You give them respect in exchange for their trust, which inevitably translates into sales.
Here's how to use options to turn prospects into customers:
1. Let them know what's out there.
You want your prospects to know they have a choice. Of course you don't want to play up the competition. But reveal there are others out there, offering a product that may not be in their best interest. You don't have to name names or trash the competition. In fact, doing that kills sales.
2. Reveal how they can do better.
People always want to improve. Why do you think the self-help section of your local bookstore is the largest? It's the same in business. Your product or service is better than the others. Tell the prospect how, why and where. Show them how much better they could be doing if only they had what you're offering.
3. Consider making suggestions, not commands.
Another way to give the reader options is to offer suggestions. They can be subtle, nothing brash. Just make sure you're giving them cutting-edge information without being forceful, arrogant or insulting.
4. Focus on being as objective as possible.
Of course readers know you're selling something. You can still be objective by taking the reader's side. Empathizing with their "tough" decision and saying you've been there and you know what it's like. Then discuss how your product/service can make their buying decision so much easier.
Bottom line: It's all about showing the reader you value them. You know they have choices and you're showing them why your product is the best choice.
Lisa Sparks, author of "Power Words: How to Write Ezines
that Increase Your Sales," has more than 13 years of experience
in journalism, copywriting and marketing. Sign up for her ezine, a
$197 per year value, at no cost by visiting