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Close The Deal

In this issue:

  • Eight steps to a compelling close …
  • The two spreadsheets you must have to plan a successful final assault …
  • How to fully dimensionalize the value of your offer in ways that make your prospect eager to buy now …
  • Two ways to introduce your price without inducing sticker shock …
  • Five techniques for making your price feel like the bargain of the century …
  • The secret of creating guarantee copy that pulls double duty …
  • The #1 mistake even top copywriters make when writing offer copy …
  • When treating your prospect like a three-year-old pays big dividends …
  • The amazing power of the “Crossroads Close” – and how it can help send your response through the roof …
  • The four most effective techniques I’ve ever used when writing my P.S. …
  • And much, MUCH MORE!

Dear Business-Builder,

OK … So you’ve grabbed your prospect’s attention with a compelling proposition, story, USP, intrigue or advertorial headline.

You’ve intensified his resolve to read your ad with deck copy that illuminates and expands on your head … intrigues him with reasons why, if he stops reading now, he’ll regret it for the rest of his life … and just for good measure, you threw in a heaping helping of credibility elements.

You’ve opened your body copy fast – so fast in fact, that your prospect was emotionally invested and completely committed to reading every word you had to say before he knew what hit him.

You’ve led him through your sales arguments hand-in-hand; showing him how your product will bring tremendous value to his life by granting him his heart’s deepest desires.

Starting from a fact or proposition he can’t help but agree with, you’ve led him, step-by-careful-step through every benefit your product provides and every “reason why” he deserves to have those benefits in his life.

You’ve proved every product claim with testimonials from recognized experts, the media and of course, your customers.

You’ve heaped on tons more credibility; validating your sales propositions with quotes, charts, tables and data from third parties he trusts.

You’ve anticipated and defused every objection he could possibly have to buying this product … from you … today.

And you’ve sweetened the pot by regaling your prospect with a truckload of additional free gifts he gets just for buying the product.

At this point, anyone with a pulse or capable of fogging a mirror should already be cutting you a check or reciting their MasterCard number to one of your customer service reps.

And frankly, because you’ve salted your spreads with action devices that present your toll-free number and/or direct him to your order form, some of your prospects will be.

But you’re not through yet – not by a long shot.

Because now, it’s time to turn up the heat – with closing copy that’s so powerful, it vaporizes every remaining ounce of resistance and magically transforms mere prospects into paying customers.

Preparing Your Assault

The first challenge in creating a powerful close is to wrap your mind around the offer you’re about to make.

I typically begin by creating an offer summary spreadsheet that I can use as I’m writing my closing copy.

Let’s say I’m promoting a financial newsletter and offering both one-year and two-year subscriptions.

The summary offer spreadsheet might look something like this one: We’ll see how to use it in a moment.

ONE YEAR

ONE YEAR

TWO YEAR

Nominal Price

$189

$379

Discount Percent

47.60%

50.00%

Sales Price

$99

$189

You Save

$90

$189

BONUSES

Website Access

$480

$480

Daily E-Mail Updates

$49

$49

Trading Alerts

$199

$199

Total Extra Value

$728

$728

PREMIUMS

Premium #1

$29

$29

Premium #2

$29

$29

Premium #3

$29

Premium #4

$29

Premium #5

$29

Premium #6

$29

Total Premium Value

$58

$174

TOTAL SAVINGS & FREEBIES

$876

$1,091

And to trivialize my price, I’ll need one more quickie spreadsheet …

ONE YEAR

AMOUNT

PERIOD

TWO YEAR

AMOUNT

PERIOD

You Pay …

$99

Per Year

You Pay …

$189

For 2 Years

You Pay …

$8.25

Per Month

You Pay …

$7.88

Per Month

You Pay …

$1.90

Per Week

You Pay …

$1.82

Per Week

You Pay …

$0.27

Per Day

You Pay …

$0.26

Per Day

Next, I need to note the terms of the guarantee my client offers on his product.

He may for example, offer …

  • An Unconditional Guarantee: The customer may receive a full refund at any time for life.
  • A Time-Limited Guarantee: The customer may receive a full refund within a specified period of time.
  • A Time-Limited, Pro-Rata Guarantee: The customer may receive a refund on the remaining portion of his subscription or membership at any time before it expires.

Then, there’s the matter of whether or not the customer will have to return the product and/or premiums in order to qualify for his refund (most information publishers do not require this).

And finally, I need to know what my urgency motivator will be. In most cases, my urgency motivator will be …

  1. A Deadline: The prospect must respond before a specified date or within a specified number of days to benefit from the discounts and free gifts associated with this offer.
  2. Limited Offer: A specified number of products are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Once they’re gone, the offer has expired.
  3. Urgency Premium: The prospect must respond before a specified date or within a specified number of days to receive one or more “Early-Bird” bonus gifts.

8 Steps to a Compelling Close

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to begin writing our close.

Of course, how you present your offer and close your promotion will vary widely from product to product and from offer to offer.  However, I’ve found that an outline like this one is a great way to get started …

  1. Dimensionalize Value: In a few short bulleted paragraphs, remind your prospect of everything he gets when he purchases your product.Begin with the product itself and all the benefits it will bring to him. Then, move on to each of the extras and each of the free gifts if he buys now. If permissible, be sure to include the value of each of the freebies.I also know before I begin writing my closing copy the value and savings my prospect will receive on the basic service … the free extras that come with the service … the premiums or free gifts he gets and the total value of the savings and freebies he gets by joining my client’s newsletter service now.[NOTE: Postal regulations prohibit assigning a value to the premiums offered if the product itself is delivered via Second Class (Library Rate) mail. It pays to make sure it’s OK to use these values before investing your time writing the close.]
  2. Present Your Price – Carefully: Typically, I approach the first mention of my price in one of two ways:
    1. Lead with the discount: “Charter Offer: You SAVE HALF – a Whopping $189”
    2. Lead with the nominal price: “Normally, XYZ is a bargain at just $379 for two years. But during this Charter Membership period, you save half! You get two full years for just $189 – you save $189!”
  3. Trivialize Your Price: Again – there are many ways to do this, and I try to use several price-trivializing rationales in each promotion …
    1. Compare the price with what it gets you. If, for example, a financial service is producing average annual gains of, say 86% on its recommended investments, your price justification might go something like this:

      Look: Our average recommendation over the past two years has produced an 86% annual gain. Investing a paltry $10,000 per year would have earned you $8,600 in profits in a year and $17,200 in two years.

      That’s 91 TIMES MORE than our two-year Charter Membership rate!

    2. Compare the price with what others charge. Example: One of my clients gives full and free access to his world class website to every subscriber. The website offers the same investment research tools another famous website does, and that site charges $480 per year.So my copy read …

      Heck – XYZ.COM website charges $40 per month for the same investment tools you get with your FREE membership to my ABC site. That alone could save you $480 per year.

    3. Compare the price with the value of the free gifts and discounts. Example …

      And remember: By joining me for two years now, you get $1,091 in discounts and FREE gifts designed to multiply your profits – all for just $189.

    4. Break the price down to smaller increments. This is where the second spreadsheet I showed you earlier comes in handy …

      Just $7.88 per month … only $1.82 per week – a mere 26 CENTS A DAY for recommendations that can nearly double your money every year.

    5. Compare the price to what they pay now for a mundane item:

      Twenty-six cents a day: That’s less than ONE-TENTH of what you pay for a single gallon of gasoline!

  4. Erase All Risk: Now that we’ve whittled the perceived price down to just pennies, it’s time to crank up the heat again – by pointing out that he gets his lousy quarter a day refunded any time he asks for it.Now, this is no place to sleepwalk. Think about your guarantee for a moment. What is it, really?It’s a contract … a promise … a vow your spokesperson makes to the customer. It’s a sacred commitment and it’s personal.So instead of simply stating your terms, why not present it as a personal letter … an official-looking contract … or as “My Sacred Promise to You”?

    This is also the perfect excuse to restate all the benefits your prospect will receive when he becomes a customer – something like …

    When you join me in XYZ, I promise I’ll never let you make a high-risk investment. I’ll be there for you every single day, guiding you to stocks that give you double-your-money potential with safety.

    If I can do that for you, the twenty-nine cent daily investment you make in XYZ will prove to be the wisest you’ve ever made. If I can’t, I won’t keep a penny of your membership. It just wouldn’t be fair …

    Also: Giving the rationale behind your guarantee is a great way to create a bond with the prospect by demonstrating your spokesperson’s fairness and honesty …

    If the world was a fair place, no doctor would get paid a penny when his treatments fail to cure you. No stock broker would earn a dime unless he makes you richer.
    The truth is, if I can’t help you, it wouldn’t be right to keep a penny of your money …

  5. Offer Instant Gratification: Over the years, we’ve learned that when we order something through the mail, it could be an eternity – up to six or eight weeks before the product is delivered.We also know that in this Internet-driven, fast-food society, consumers have come to crave and even expect instant gratification.So if your product is delivered quickly, why not shout it from the rooftops? Sadly, the number one mistake even top copywriters make is forgetting to ask their clients “How fast will new customers receive their purchases?” – And then featuring this fast turn-around in their closing copy.

    One of my clients ships within 24 hours – so I include a subhead and short section of body text to let my prospect know that if he orders today, he can be enjoying my product’s benefits in just a few days.

  6. Ask For the Sale: It’s the oldest rule in direct response: Always tell your prospect, step-by-step what he must do to order.Assume he’s a three-year-old …

    Just pick up your telephone right now and dial TOLL-FREE 1-800-000-0000 and say, “I want to join XYZ for just twenty-nine cents a day – and don’t forget to include my $902 in bonus services and free reports!”

    Or, if you prefer, just complete the Free Gift Certificate on page 23 of this report and return it to me today in the postage-paid reply envelope we’ve provided.

  7. Place Your Prospect at a Crossroads: The “Crossroads Close” is an extremely powerful device for focusing the prospect on the decision he’s about to make. Here’s an example …

    In this report, I’ve shown you how you can nearly double your money every year.

    I’ve offered you investment services others pay up to $728 for – FREE …

    I’ve offered you 6 valuable profit guides worth $174 – FREE …

    I’ve invited you to save half – up to $189 – when you to join me in XYZ investment service during this Charter Membership period …

    I’ve shown you how you must be thrilled with the profits I bring you, or you’re entitled to a 100% refund …

    Now, the decision is completely in your hands.

    Only one of two things can happen now. Either we’ll go on from here together, or you’ll go it alone.

    Either you’ll join me and begin doubling your money every year like our other XYZ members do, or you’ll continue to settle for the higher risk and lower returns you’re getting now.

    I wish I could take the next step for you. I can’t of course; it’s completely up to you.

    I urge you: The stocks I told you about today aren’t going to wait for you, me or anybody else. They’re beginning to move now. If you hesitate, it could cost you a small fortune in profits.

    Just call TOLL-FREE 1-800-000-0000 now and say you’ll join me in XYZ. That way, I can rush your first issue and your free gifts to you tomorrow, and in a few days, you’ll be growing richer, faster.

    Please do it now – there’s nothing to lose and substantial new profits to gain.

    Yours for Lower Risk and Greater Profits,

    [SIGNATURE]
  8. Load Up on Your P.S.s: Tests have shown that many prospects want to know who your sales letter is from – so they’ll flip through your sales letter quickly, looking for the signature.For that reason, the copy around the signature – most notably your P.S. – occupies a powerful place in your copy.It’s important to keep in mind that prospects who check out the signature first have not seen the rest of your copy – so divulging your price or other possible negatives here is a definite no-no.It’s also OK to have a P.S., a P.P.S., even a P.P.P.S – as many as you need to convince scanners to read the letter and to compel readers to place their orders now.

    Here are four of the most powerful P.S. techniques I’ve ever used …

    1. Guarantee Reminder: Simply restate your major benefit(s) and your guarantee in a short paragraph.

      Remember: Either I double your money in the next 12 months or I’ll cheerfully send you a full refund.

      And everything I’ve sent you – including the $902 in free bonus services and gifts I just described – are yours to keep, FREE.

      There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain – so please: Call TOLL-FREE 1-800-000-0000 now.

    2. Urgency Motivator:

      Early-Bird Bonus – an extra $79 Value, FREE: Let me hear from you now, and I’ll also include The #1 Money-Doubling Stock to Buy NOW – my hot-off-the-presses guide to my top pick for 2007 …

      This P.S. would then follow with strong sales copy presenting the benefits delivered by this additional gift and asking the prospect to call now.

    3. Testimonial: Select one of your strongest short testimonials – one in which the customer relates specifically how you helped him or her – and use it as a credibility-boosting P.S.
    4. Final Rationale: This kind of P.S. amplifies and intensifies the Crossroads Close you’ve already used above …

      Before you make your final decision, please ask yourself, “What if George is right?”

      “How will I feel watching these stocks take off like a moon shot — knowing that I blew the chance to double my money in just twelve, short months?”

      I don’t want that for you. Please – your membership is fully guaranteed – there’s simply no reason NOT to give XYZ a fair try: Call TOLL-FREE 1-800-000-0000 and say you’ll join me today!

Hope this helps …

Yours for Bigger Winners, More Often,
Clayton Makepeace Signature
Clayton Makepeace
Publisher & Editor
THE TOTAL PACKAGE

Attribution Statement: This article was first published in The Total Package. To sign-up to receive your own FREE subscription to The Total Package and claim four FREE money making e-books go to www.makepeacetotalpackage.com.

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