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A few days ago, I talked about finding and hiring sales superstars — who are more available than ever in this downsized job market. What’s the best way to convince a top closer to work for you on straight commission? Create a steady stream of prospective new customers (or “leads”) that can be easily converted into sales.

But how can you get more people to look at your business in this economy — and be eager to talk with your salespeople?

Use direct-response advertising techniques to draw pre-sold leads who respond in greater numbers — and who respond more quickly after reading your advertising.

“Editorial-style” direct-response advertisements have been proven again and again to produce the best response—particularly in generating leads from prospecting campaigns. Using a specific writing formula and 16 specific components such as headlines, bullets, the offer, the signature block, the postscript and more, these ads tell the story, provide compelling information, and end with a “call to action” (or CTA) for the reader to identify themselves to you in some way—either by telephoning you, visiting your store, opting-in at your website or via some other response method. (You can hear a complete tutorial on crafting these direct-response style advertisements in the Advertising & Copywriting Course included with the Instant Income Business Enhancement System found here.)

Perhaps the most unique feature of these direct-response style advertisements is their focus on the reader—rather than on a list of reasons why your business is so wonderful. What will your product do for the reader? How will it help them? How will their lifestyle, relationships, business, personal finances, career, free time, health, abilities, skills or other personal attributes improve once they are using your product or service? What has it done for other people? What is the superior customer benefit of doing business with you versus the competition—once the prospect has decided to buy this particular product or service? What are the further benefits of doing business with you? These are all benefits that you should be writing about in your advertising copy.

Message + Offer + Call-to-Action = The Perfect Prospecting Ad

Think of your advertisement as a sales pitch in print—a way for readers to learn about your product or service, discover how they can personally benefit from doing business with you, and respond with their interest (either by purchasing or by asking for more information). In fact, the most important component of a direct-response ad is the Call-to-Action or CTA—that part of the ad copy that asks readers to respond in a specific way.

What kind of “ads” and other prospecting activity can you use direct-response techniques with?

Display advertising — another term for the full-page, half-page and fractional page ads you see in newspapers, magazines and directories.

Preview workshops — where you can pitch local consumers or prospective clients on a product or service package, once your direct-response style ad or email campaign has convinced them to eagerly and listen to what you have to say.

Direct mail — those letters, packages, postcards and other devices sent through the postal system. One of the most effective marketing strategies for generating both leads and buyers when a direct-response style offer is included. For more details on direct-response offers, advertising, direct mail and more, see my latest report “How to Create Immediate Cash-Flow From 10 Easy New-Business Development Strategies” here.

Marketing-oriented teleseminars — an ideal method for explaining complicated or expensive services. Use proven strategies to invite hundreds of potential customers on the telephone conference call, then have them call in to your salespeople standing by to close post-call sales.

Referrals — Customers, prospects, vendors and others — if properly asked — could refer their friends, family, and business associates as ideal prospects to buy your products and services. You can make this appeal in emails, via direct-mail, on the phone, as a small article in your newsletter, via postcard, in person — in fact, using virtually any delivery method you now use for your other marketing messages.

I’ll be back in the next blog post, with my continuing series on the staff who are directly responsible for bringing cash into your business.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: ralphpaglia

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