Scene: Typical workday, 11.30am.
Hero: You (of course).
Props: Keyboard, screen, fingers.
Task: Convince an important prospect to buy from you.
XYZ Widget Consulting Services is Australia’s best widget service provider, offering 5,490 different widgets...”
“CUT!!” [director glares at you]
Time for some off-camera coaching: Who is this letter to? [Hint: the prospect.]
Yet who is it about? YOU, not them. Big boo-boo, Boo-Boo.
The first step to influencing readers is to make your message all about THEM. Why? Because most of us are highly interested in...us!
To help make your message all about them, use the word “you” a lot. Apart from being engaging, it helps you include more benefits for them.
The American researcher Dr Rudolph Flesch (no relation to Hannibal Lecter) found people are more likely to read writing if it contains two or three times more instances of “you” and its variants (“your,” “yours,” etc, and the reader’s name), than references to the writer (“me,” “I,” “our,” “we,” etc, and the writer’s name).
It makes sense. If you met someone at a party who only rabbitted on about themselves, you’d exit stage left! So do the opposite, charm your readers, and they’ll keep reading.
If it’s “all about THEM” you’ll grow the relationship, and with it your business!
BRAIN GYM : Resurrect an important letter or email you sent last week and (sheepishly) COUNT the number of times you used “you/yours/[their name]” compared to “I/me/we/our/[your name]”. Did you have 2-3 times more of the former?
Tips are from persuasive business writing course, Write More Business.
Public courses in June 2006 in Sydney and Melbourne (selling fast).