This is one of the simplest and most versatile writing formulas, and is equally brilliant when applied to job applications or sales copy.
The Secret Sales Writing Formula
So what is the secret sales formula? All you need to do is:
- Tell people WHAT you can do
- Tell them HOW you do it
- PROVE how good you are at doing it
Like all great recipes, it helps to follow along as we test out the formula.
Secret Sales Formula & Job Applications
Step 1: Most candidates, when applying for a vacant position, will happily complete the first part of the formula. "Proficient in Word". "Experienced in all aspects of hydrography". "High level communication skills".
The problem is that they are missing two steps of the formula. This means their application comes out half-baked and bland. Anyone can say they are proficient in Word, but what does that really mean? If you want an interview, you need the next two steps to make you stand out from other candidates.
Step 2: Going back to our example. "Proficient in Word including mail-merging letters from large databases, and recording and playing back Macros to streamline data entry". This is more complete and gives the recruiter a better idea of your skills.
Step 3: Proof is the last and most important step. You could choose to use your referee to comment about your proficiency which is fraught with danger if they say something you are not happy with. Or you could state, "Passed Advanced Word training through XYZ College". "Appointed as the internal Help Desk to troubleshoot Word Macros for all admin team members".
Taking those extra two steps in your application significantly increases your chances of gaining one of those elusive job interview spots.
Secret Sales Formula & Sales Copy
Step 1: Many of my web copywriting projects are "renovations" of existing web copy. Businesses may have had a website for a few years, but find that it is not converting to the level they hope for.
When you look at their existing web sales copy, you can see they have only followed the first step of the formula. "We are top quality printers that meet all your printing needs including business cards."
Again, great as far as it goes - but if they added in the two additional steps of the formula their sales copy would be more effective.
Step 2: "We print quality business cards on a range of stock to suit your needs, ranging from budget cards through to super-premium in both matt and gloss. And if you want your business card to stand out and demand attention, talk with us about our embossed, foil stamped, spot UV, metallic ink, folded or die cut options."
Step 3: In a business setting, you can use testimonials, examples and case studies to deliver proof of your expertise and quality of service.
The Proof of the Pudding
So there you have the secret 3- step sales writing formula. Like all good copywriting, you need to test it to check the results for yourself. If you have a piece of writing that isn't working for you - check to see if you have stopped after step 1 of the formula, and try the additional two steps.