If you want to write words that win the sale, you need to speak to the pain points your ideal customer faces on the dance floor of their daily lives.

But you can’t just bring hold up your ghetto blaster, hit play and “say anything”. Life might be stranger than a Cameron Crowe film, but marketing doesn’t quite work that way.

What do you need to do instead?

It starts with posing some painful questions…

Step One: Pull Off The Bandaid

If you really want to sell like hell, you need to be willing to expose some painful truths. By that, I mean rip off the bandaid and pour some peroxide onto your prospect’s wounds so they really feel what they’re up against. 

It might seem counterintuitive at first, but allowing your ideal customer to see how bad things really are and what’s at stake is the only way to get them to take action that will stop the bleeding.

You can start by responding to the following questions as you plan your copy… and then flip the answers into thought provoking, attention-arresting questions your audience can relate to.

What do they want? 

What’s getting in their way?

Where do they feel stuck?

What have they tried that didn’t work?

What does this situation remind them of?

How does this unresolved problem affect their bottom line?

How might things get worse if they don’t get this solved?

In this situation, let's use the example of someone who is fighting adult onset acne.

Step Two: Confirm Their Concerns

At this point in your conversation you want to display empathy- to show you can relate to what they are going through. Then- for just a moment- you want to take them off the hook.

There’s a reason you see “it’s not your fault!” in hundreds of sales letters.

It works. It removes the self-blame and crippling guilt that may be holding them back from seeking solutions to their problems.

Be careful to not spend too much time in the mud here.

Your job is to shake your potential customer’s “addiction” to their struggle… so you'll want to prompt them to take action they believe is in their own self-interest.

After all, that’s what a good friend would do… show understanding and suggest a course of action.

Why is this situation NOT (completely) their fault?

What are the weaknesses of the current tools/solutions available to them?

When things don’t work as promised or a problem appears, how hard is it to get help?

What should they do next?

Try asking the questions below to yourself in order to write words that get you closer to your prospect. In this situation, let’s use the example of a man who has a lot of apprehensions about buying a wedding suit and set the scene for introducing him to online tux shopping.

Step Three: Provide Perspective

This is the moment in your message where you get them to see the counter-intuitive advantage of being exactly where they are… and how they can translate their bumps and bruises into new insights.

This is the perfect time to hint that there’s a better way for them to rise above their difficulties.

Try responding to these questions in your writing:

What’s the GOOD news for your prospects?

Now that they discovered the flaws of other solutions, how can they use this insight to move forward?

What are 3 tips you can offer that will allow them to take one step further?

What else do they need to know, and how can your company help them?

In this situation, let’s use the example of a marketer who has become aware that “pitch fest” conferences that bring very little return on investment are the rule vs. the exception. 

Step Four: Hint Of Danger (Consequences)

This is where you remind your prospects of the dangers of continuing to spin their wheels. Show them how expensive/painful it will be if they don’t take action in their own best interest.

Use these questions to guide your copy:

What have you got to lose?

Here’s why you need to act now…

In this situation, let’s continue with the marketer who is looking for inside advice on how to pick the next “must attend” conference:

Step Five: Show Them The Future

This is where you give your prospects the opportunity to imagine what life would be like if they had this big problem fixed in their life…

Once you pose the question, use the simple present tense to describe this future as if they already have it.

 Explore the following:

How will life look once they have this problem solved?

Show them the future:

Add some urgency

Reveal why your company is uniquely qualified to help them...

In this case, let’s imagine a recording studio that helps young movie makers get top quality soundtracks for their films.

What should I do next?

Step 1 Use the handy PDF at the bottom of this post to chart out your customer's emotional journey. Click the button below to download the PDF and then tap or right click to save it to your computer or device.


Step 2: Jump on a FREE Copy Coaching call with me where we'll help you start writing marketing messages that sell like hell.

We'll throw all the copy ideas we explore during the call on a FREE Customer Beat Sheet (mindmap) so you can write the copy yourself OR you can hire us to do the work for you (we love doing this stuff!). Spots are filling up fast, so hurry!

Click on the button below to book your time with me:


Step 3: Click the buttons below to email or share this blog post on Facebook with a marketing friend who wants to learn...