Be Careful With Questions. Very Careful.
Lots of people send me copy to review with questions in the headlines or sub-headlines, and frankly this is a very dangerous thing to do.
For starters, in social settings and in courtrooms, questions are often used to “trap” someone into saying something or putting themselves in a position they really didn’t mean to. By using reverse logic, and starting at the end result of where you want to to, it’s really not that hard to back someone into a corner.
I’ll assume if you’re a reader of this e-zine that you’re smarter than the average bear, so I can safely assume you’ve probably been able to use this kind of logic to get to an “A-ha!” moment yourself, either in a personal or business relationship, more than once.
Good, so you understand the first thing you need to be wary of when using questions: Like cars and baseballs, they are weapons when in the wrong hands.
Now let’s talk about the second thing you need to watch out for.
The second thing has to do with asking the WRONG question. And the wrong question is any question that has even the slightest possibility of getting the wrong answer from the right prospect.
But before we talk about the wrong answers from the right people, appreciate that the ONLY two answers to your headline question can be either “yes” or “no.” “What’s your favorite flavor ice cream?” isn’t a question you want to ask. Do You Love Chocolate?, on the other hand, is an excellent question to ask, because if you’re selling chocolate, ALL your prospects will say yes.
And if you’re asking a question, you ALWAYS want their answer to be “Yes.” You want to start your prospect down the “yes highway”, right from the get-go.
So basically, for the most part, the wrong answer is going to be any answer other than Yes.
The big problem is, most questions I see eliminate prospects, instead of attracting them to you. For instance, asking someone “Can you see yourself on stage, getting paid top-dollar as a world-class lead guitarist?” will ultimately elicit a number of “No” responses from people who either don’t see themselves really being that talented… or who just don’t want to get paid to play guitar… or who have insecurities and hang-ups, and for any number of other reasons.
On the other hand, “Would you like to be able to shred and play guitar as well as ANY world-class lead guitarist?” will ONLY elicit “Yes” responses from every prospect who wants to learn how to play guitar.
So be mindful of this second trap, which is NOT taking your prospect down the “Yes” highway.
And lastly, be specific and provoke curiosity whenever possible, and here’s a simple way of doing this. There’s an old famous headline written by Maxwell Sackheim for an English course, that supposedly ran for 40 years.
The headline said “Do You Make These Mistakes In English?”
This prompted tremendous curiosity over the more bland “Do You Make Mistakes In English?”, which is simply very vague, comparatively. And as you know, curiosity is one of THE most important emotional buy-buttons to push when it comes to selling (see http://www.kingofcopy.com/seductive for more information on pushing buy-buttons).
So there you have it, that’s the cat’s meow on questions, and if you didn’t learn something from this, then feel your wrist because you are dead and have no pulse.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. Remember, if you do not already subscribe to my Offline Newsletter, today is the LAST day you can get this month’s issue. Inside you’ll find:
• At LEAST one-dozen different online web page testing results, and how you can use them to improve your response rates in your own business! (Including testing of fonts, audio, photos, drop-caps, colors, scroll bars, home page, long versus short copy, and… much much more!)
• The three words I added to my home page that almost DOUBLED my response from 21.5% to 40.3%! (And no, “Free” wasn’t one of them!)
• Find out when a watch-winder is NOT a watch-winder, and how to “make” yourself or your product appear totally different to what you really are! This allows you to COMPLETELY separate yourself from the rest of your competition so there is no possible comparison between you and them! (on pages 5 and 7)
• The right way… and the wrong way… to research a product, including LIVE examples!
• How to use scarcity for a REALLY boring product, and what kinds of bonuses to give with the product to make it really dynamic!
• The fine slice of wisdom Mark Twain served up that shows you the power of FEAR and how to conquer it! (on page 8)
• Topical press release ideas for the completely oblivious! (So simple, even my ex-wife could figure them out!)
• How being Seldom Right But Never In Doubt helped create a $2.7 Billion Dollar empire!
• And much much more!
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