People who work in the business-to-business sector are humans!
Surprise! Surprise! Who would have guessed? That hard-nosed manager sitting across the desk from you has dreams, fears, personal problems, loves, hates and secrets when he leaves this office. He laughs, cries, sleeps, eats, drinks and puts his pants on one leg at a time like we do.
Just keep all of this in mind when you are looking for clients and results and let this be the first step you need to apply to your Business-to-Business (B2B) copywriting:
#1: Personal Benefits first, then Business Benefits
Grab the heart of his reader by talking to him personally. Your product will make him look great in his job, help him advance his career, make his job easier and allow him to get home in time for dinner.
You’ve got his heart. Now let’s use some logic…
#2: Focus on the Business Benefits that really count
What’s the most important consideration? The bottom line.Increasing income and decreasing costs come first. You know that little number at the bottom right corner of the balance sheet? Yeah, that’s the one. We want it to be better.
Now we’ll talk about how the company will reduce liabilities, improve productivity, improve quality, production, and customer retention and improve their competitive advantage. You know the stuff that counts.
#3: Start with three key questions
1. What are you trying to accomplish?
2. What do you want the reader to get from it?
3. What do you want the reader to do once he reads it? Write these down before you start anything. As you sit there with coffee in hand, manager staring you down, be certain you are perfectly clear on these three questions. And ask yourself, what is here that will grab him and make the reader think twice.
#4: Get right to the point
Don’t waste any time. What is it, what does it do and what are the benefits? And why is this the best choice? Not doing the trick? Then you don’t have the right product, or you’re trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Time to adapt the offering. More copy won’t fix the problem.
#5: Clear, short, punchy human talk
Want to sound cowardly? Talk in a passive voice. And that manager probably isn’t an insecure person, so don’t confuse him with long, complicated words and sentences. The way to sound smart, talk about amazing stuff in simple, easy to understand language.
Listen to these executives talk back and forth. They are very efficient in how they talk business. You need to be the same-just like someone is talking to you. Short sentences, everyday words. Works every time!
#6: Talk the way they do, use their jargon
These everyday words we’re talking about aren’t the everyday words you and I might use. They’re the words the reader would use. It’s the buzzwords these readers use around the office every day. Your goal is to get them nodding positively as they read. There are phrases that they use daily, like ‘low-hanging fruit’ and ‘at the end of the day’. You’ll cringe when you hear them but use them anyway.
And, of course, use all of the appropriate technical stuff, too. You might need to read the trades to do this well. But that’s how you gain their respect.
#7: Be the best solution, and show proof
Finally, tell them why you are much better than other solutions, and why. And explain how you will solve the problem.
Give specific, rock-solid evidence, plus examples proving your claims.
This is so important that it should probably be step number one. And if you can’t do this, you may want to rethink the business plan. You can’t put mascara on a hog!
If you need a strong B2B copywriter to breathe some life into your marketing, give me a call.
About the Author
Gordon Conner is a Copywriter, content writer, and blogger who writes “Snappy Copy That Sells Stuff”. He has been providing advertising, marketing, branding and copywriting services for 42 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@GordonConner.com. or http://www.GordonConner.com.