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And oldie but a real goodie, and not just about sales letters but an overall marketing philosophy. i was cleaning up an reorganizing my library shelves and cracked Dan Kennedy’s book open for the first time in decades and found my self re-reading it cover to cover again.

Kennedy makes the point that writing copy that sells is not a creative act as it is a mechanical process, adhering to formulas, a “pattern language” so to speak, and assembling essential component parts within a reliable framework. You don’t need to be a great writer to write good copy that helps sell.

In particular I like his “10 Smart Market Diagnosis and Profiling Questions” (and find it reminds me of some of the Sandler sales methodology too).

  1. What keeps them awake at night, indigestion boiling up their esophagus, eyes open, staring at the ceiling?
  2. What are they afraid of?
  3. What are they angry about? Who are they angry at?
  4. What are their top three daily frustrations?
  5. What trends are occurring and will occur in their businesses or lives?
  6. What do they secretly, ardently desire most?
  7. Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions? (Example: engineers = exceptionally analytical)
  8. Do they have their own language?
  9. Who else is selling something similar to their product, and how?
  10. Who else has tried selling them something similar, and how has that effort failed?
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J. Jerrald Hayes
Primus Inter Pares at Paradigm Projects, Ltd.
I am an architectural woodworker and general contractor turned IT, Business and Project Management consultant, software developer wannabe senior division triathlete and ski racer, Yankee fan and founder of, 360 Difference, and now too.
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