17 Steps to Create the Perfect Pitch, Sales Page and Video Sales Letter.
Welcome to part one of two in our Step by Step Series on Writing Pitches, Sales Letters, Presentations and VSL’s that Convert. This week, we’ll be covering how to create the Perfect Pitch, Sales Page and Video Sales Letter in 17 simple steps, the content required for each step, and how and where to use it. Next week, we’ll be releasing How to Create the Perfect Presentation, Blog Post and Educational Videos, covering how to use the same process face to face and in education type videos or education type presentations.
You’ll want to grab the downloads — including the 20 point content guide, the live presentation blueprint, and the sales letter framework for presentations and pitches here:
Ready? Let’s start working through the steps, beginning with the Headline.
Step 1: Headline
You’ve all heard the theory, I’m sure, that the headline is the most important part of any sales process because, if it doesn’t make the prospect read on, the rest is useless. So, start with a headline that makes people want to read on. If you’re using this in a presentation, with slides, you can leave this up. Now, typically, if you’re pitching to a group of people, this will be up before you start actually pitching. So its important to aim for something that’s very interesting. In your download pack there’s a 20 Point Content Guide — there are some great headlines that you can use that will make sure you keep their attention.
Step 2: Promise
Slide 2 is where we have a slightly different version of the same headline, but again, we have to have something that’s big, catchy, and that you can kind of jump into it. And, most importantly, we make a promise. The reason that we make a promise is we need to get across the most simple concept that the audience can understand. What are they going to walk away with?
So, let’s say our business is a website business that focuses on outdoor outfitters, we could say, “We promise that by the end of this, you will know exactly what you need inside your website for your outdoor outfitting business.” That’s all we’re telling them. It’s a promise of something that they’ll walk away with, that’s a simple concept for them to understand. And its not threatening. And it’s not difficult for them to get. Because it’s speaking directly to their business. They don’t have to take a benefit, and then twist it to their business. They don’t have to take a feature and twist it to their business. We are telling them exactly what they’re going to get. So, basically, “I promise that by the end of this presentation, you are going to know exactly x, y, z.”
Step 3: Problem
Slide 3. The main problem. This is where we outline the main problem that your audience faces. Again, your content guide has several examples of problems that people tend to face. Typically, they’re not generating enough cash. But why aren’t they generating enough cash? For example, if we continue the example of a website; most businesses don’t generate any leads through their website. If you don’t have leads, you don’t grow your business. That’s the main problem. And that’s all we’re giving with this slide. We’re just going to give them the problem. What this does is show that we understand what their problem is. And, because they already know what their problem is, and we are telling them, they will begin to associate that we know more about their business than we actually do, at this specific time. Now, let’s be clear, the chances are that we probably do know a fair amount about their business. Now, although most businesses have similar problems, if we say to them something very specific, they are going to begin believing that we are already right for their business. This is how we build trust, by telling them something they already know. Which, in this case, is the problem.
As an example, you could say, “Many businesses set up their social media accounts online, but they never generate any leads. They hire a social media account manager for a ridiculously high salary and it never pays off. This is costing you money.” That is their very specific the problem.
Step 4: Myth
Next, let’s look at a myth, and what the current solutions are. So, what’s the current solution that people buy, and why does it not work? Why is it the wrong thing? For example, we could go on the lead generation front on search engine optimization. A lot of businesses have a website built for them to solve the problem of generating more cash — which was their original problem. So their problem is they don’t generate enough cash. To solve that problem, most businesses — who have a website built for them — will then have a lot of search engine optimization work done. That sounds all well and good, except that search engine optimization does not generate leads through websites as fast as other methods. It may even be controversial to say stuff like that, but that’s exactly what will hook them. When you say, “Your current solution of a social media manager is, frankly, a myth. You are not generating the results that you could do, and that’s what most people will sell you.”
Now, there are going to be thousands of myths. And the one you choose doesn’t even have to be related to money. Using the website example again, you could just say something like, “Look, most people see WordPress as just a blogging platform, where in fact it’s so much more than that.” You’re not giving away the solution. All you want to do is tell them what the myth is, and why it’s not right for them. If you’re really struggling, look at the current offerings that are in the market that your business is in, and your customers use, and tell them why they’re not right. Tell them what is wrong with that current model.
Step 5: Scarcity & Changes
Next, we have scarcity and changes. Now, this is a double-whammy slide. First, what we’re actually doing is building in the idea of fear. Not to the point where they’re terrified. They just basically don’t want to miss out. So we look at what’s changing in the market, and what’s changing in your business. Why are you presenting this now, and what’s going to happen?
So, how to identify what’s changing the market? We look at financially, technically, sociologically, and competitively. What is changing in the environment in these four areas? Why does their business need to stay ahead of the curve? For example, sticking with our website designer, a lot of businesses now need to have a responsive website. So the technological changes are that 78% of internet browsing is now done on smartphones and tablets. If your business doesn’t show people what they want via their mobile device, they don’t care what you’ve got to say. Competitively, you could say a lot of other businesses out there are using responsive design, and you need to keep up with them. Financially, you could look at how banks are lending, again, so there are more businesses out there with more money and they need to be a part of that. Basically, you need to look at something that’s changing within the environment that they need to keep up with.
To inject some fear using scarcity, talk about how your solution won’t be around forever. Maybe there’s limited stock, or you’re doing it for a limited time. Or maybe you’ve only got space for two more customers. For some of our products, for example, we say that there is a revenue target. Which is true. We have a revenue target for most of our products. And once we hit that, we take that product off the market. Change it, and we don’t put it back on the market until it’s maybe part of another product, or new. We can also say, “We’re only taking on two customers a month for Enterprise branding projects.” The idea is that we need them to know that we’re not going to be around forever. They need to act now.
Step 6: Knife Twist
Now, if you’re following along on the downloads, we arrive at the knife twist. One of our favorite slides. The knife-twist sounds gory, and, frankly, it’s supposed to be. We’re going to look at what exacerbates their problem. What is the main thing that makes the problem worse? For example, for our website designers, the customers’ main problem could be that they don’t trust that the website will make money. They certainly don’t trust that it’s going to pay for itself. They want to make sure that it’s an investment, not a cost. And this is when you say, “Look, everyone’s had to deal with this. Most websites are sold cheap, but they’re super expensive to run. How can we make sure that your website is an investment, not a cost?” So not only are they not generating cash through their website, they’re not doing it in the right way. The environment is changing. And most websites cost them a huge amount of money, and they might not even get their money back.
By now, your audience is reeling. They are all over the place. They cannot believe that this is a problem. They’re thinking, “Holy Cow, this is so obvious! I can’t believe it. I need you to tell me how to solve it.” And boom, we hit them with the solution.
Step 7: Solution
And this is super short. We just say, “Introducing our Ultra Super Profit Generator.” Just give them a title, the name of the product. Don’t give a cost. Maybe give a product shot but just something super basic and super easy. Again, check out the content guide for ideas on presenting solutions. Take a look at the packaging because there are some really interesting points in that. This is just simply, “Look. We have the solution. We’ve got that.”
Step 8: Results
Next, we tell them the results. We talk about one big result that we’ve got with previous customers that have bought this. We don’t talk about three, or even four. We literally mention just one result. It could be anything. From a previous return on investment, or a percentage. Maybe it’s a customer testimonial. You could do a screenshot of the amount of emails that you generate, or the number of leads that you generated. You could even give a screenshot of the dollar income value that you created.
Step 9: Benefits
Finally, we talk about the benefits. Now, if there’s a brief, you can copy and paste what they want. The easiest way to think of this is, whenever there’s a project brief, it always says, “We are looking for candidates with the following attributes.” You just take those attributes, and you understand that that’s what they want — and the benefits, and then we can talk about underneath, about each one of those benefits. So if they say, “We want a brand new responsive site,” you go, “Fantastic, a new responsive site means that you will have 100% of the market able to view your website.” You just need to basically talk to them about why working with you makes their life better. You can go for some really obvious ones. In fact, the more obvious, the better it is for you to talk about it. For example, it could be more time with their family. Their company makes more profit. There are tons of amazing benefits of working with you that frankly is really just about making their life easier.
For the website designer example, you would say, “If you buy a website with me, not only are you guaranteed to make a profit, you are no longer going to have to spend hours phoning people up to update the content. You’re going to be able to take care of that yourself. That’s going to save you money, because you don’t have to pay someone, anymore.” You need to think really obvious, really big. And what do they really want? If you’ve ever done our Cerberus customer qualification method, this tends to look at some of the stuff that people want. If you ever want to check out how to qualify someone, figure out what it is they want.
Step 10: Call to Action 1
Next, finally, we put the first call to action. “Look, we need you to buy now.” They should be kind of frothing at the mouth already, to be honest. The call to action is the most immediate next step that they need to take. It could be an email address or, maybe give you a call. Talk to you. Go to a URL. “Buy now”, if you’re doing a video sales letter. If you’re doing a face-to-face pitch, you could just say to them, “Look, we need to act on this now. Our solution isn’t going to be around forever. We’re quickly filling up. We’re busy. We’re in demand. We would want them to say, ‘Yes, we’re going to work with you now.’”
Remember, this is the most immediate next step. Not, “Figure out all the fine details”. Not, “Figure out the entire proposal and the contract”. It is just to get them to commit to taking the first step. You need to make it super obvious that they need to do it now. That time’s running out. You also need to make the call to action extremely obvious in itself. You need to say to people, “Look. This is where the “Buy Now” button is. This is what I want you to do. This is why you need to buy it now. Click the button, buy it. Act now.” And, you’ll create a sense of urgency.
At this point, some will buy, some will not. From our tests, we convert at about 10% with this process, which is pretty huge.
Step 11: Background
For the people who didn’t buy now, we move onto our background. You want to talk a little bit about yourself and your business and the best way is to tell a story. Start with how you were banging your head against the wall, and you were up against it. And maybe there was a big, big project that you had to do. Or you created this particular product, people began to love it, and then talk about one big result that your businesses got. Now, this big result does not have to be related to this pitch or this presentation, or even this particular product. It just has to be something that your business has done.
Just mention one thing. The big mistake we see businesses make here is they mention one cool thing, and then three or four other things. Prospects don’t care about the other things because if they were that good, you should have been talking about them. I guarantee that people will not want to hear more than one example of something that you’ve done. In fact, we are hardly ever asked to provide any kind of portfolio work, purely because we’ll talk about the one big result that we got for a business similar to theirs, or for our business, or that our business got. You just need to make it apparent that you are getting these kinds of results consistently. And the best way to do that is to present one big result. So, that’s your background. Talk a bit about what you do. One big result.
Step 12: Guarantee
Now for the guarantee. There’s a fantastic guarantee template in the content guide. First and most importantly, if you’re not willing to guarantee your product, you need to seriously think about whether you should be selling it. Why don’t you trust your own product to get the results that you’re promising? Either your product isn’t very good, or what you’re promising is crazy. People would rather have relevant and realistic goals that your product is going to get them, rather than you promising the Earth. But, now, on the other hand, with the guarantee, we go overboard. You could offer a 200% refund over 60 days. Or, one of our favorite ones, is after a consultation period, if you genuinely feel that we’ve wasted your time, we will refund you your hourly rate for the hour that we’ve worked together. We have never, ever, ever had to give a refund. The reason we’ve never had to give a refund is that we’re completely honest about the results. We don’t promise the Earth. What we do say is, “You will be able to do this, this, and this. We guarantee, if you think that we’ve wasted your time, we will give you a refund.”
That’s all you have to do. Guaranteeing it shows that you not only trust your product, but you’re willing to invest in the relationship over the dollar value of that customer. The person and the relationship you have is way more important than them paying a few bucks over PayPal or handing over ten grand, or whatever. You need to make sure that that relationship stays solid.
Step 13: Call to Action 2
The second call to action. Since we’ve just presented our rock-solid guarantee, we can now say, “Look, we’ve got the guarantee. These are the kind of results that you can get. There really is no reason not to buy. You’ve got the guarantee that if we don’t provide the results that you could get by following this product, or by buying this product, we’re going to give you a refund.” Or, “we’ve shown you the results that you can get, that we got with other customers. There’s no reason not to buy. Look, we’ve laid out that we refund you if you’re not happy. You could be seeing the results that we got for your own business. Go ahead and buy now.” Again, make it super obvious where the “Buy Now” button is. Maybe have an arrow. Maybe have it pop up. Whatever it is, you need to have this super obvious. But you need to say, “These are the results you could get. We’ve guaranteed its safety. There’s no reason not to buy.”
Step 14: Pricing
Now, let’s talk a little bit about the pricing model. There are a couple of ways to offer pricing in a pitch. If you’re offering a one-time product, talk about that one price, and upsell it, and compare it to other products in the market. Don’t EVER say that you’re cheaper than anybody else. Don’t ever say that. You’re not comparing yourself to other people. A great option is to compare it to a price of a meal out, or a cup of coffee. People say, “Look, Bruce, can I pick your brain? I’ll buy you a cup of coffee.” And I say, “Well, frankly, I’m more expensive than that. I charge $497 an hour at the moment.” However, on the other hand, “If you want to buy this video course, instead of the price of a cup of coffee, I’ll let you do it in your own home.”
Another popular pricing model is to offer a low version that doesn’t have any results and is a bare minimum, just bones, kind of thing. Then offer the version that you want them to buy. And, finally, something way over budget with even more results.
Step 15: Fear-Ego
So, next up, we appeal to the customer’s ego. Now, this might sound a little manipulative but stay with me. When I say, “ego”, I mean peoples’ pride in their business. And, frankly, this is often the fastest way to get them to understand that if they don’t do something, their business isn’t going to work out. No one likes to go without. Everyone has the fear of missing out, and everyone has an ego about their business. We need to use something that incites fear of not dealing with that change. Again, not to manipulate someone into buying, or manipulate them into taking action. But to show them that if they don’t take action, they are not going to get the results they want. If they’ve currently got bad results, they’re going to keep getting those bad results until they take action that we are showing them.
Another way to appeal to their ego is that people don’t like the idea of their competitors outdoing them. The reason we call it the fear-ego is because some people need to have it framed in this kind of way to show, “Look, your competitors are doing it. The rest of the world is doing it. You should be doing this too.” And rather than them saying, “Oh, wow, yeah, that’s terrifying,” they’ll say, “Actually that’s right. This is something that I need to be able to deal with.” A really simple way of putting it is, “The economy needs hard workers that don’t make money, too. We want to stop that. We want to stop you from working hard and not making any money.”
Step 16: Call to Action 3 — Next Steps
Do they want their business to keep doing what it’s doing? If it’s not making any money, of course they don’t. That’s why they need to change it. And this is when we offer the last call to action: next steps. Super big, super obvious. If you’re doing this face to face, it’s quite funny if you can ask people if they know what to do next. On your slides or website, make it really obvious. A big “Buy Now” button, or a big URL to go to, or a hashtag, or whatever. Most importantly, make sure that it’s big, obvious, and say, “Look, these are the next steps. We need you to buy this product now.”
Step 17: Do’s and Don’ts
Finally, we close out with a list of do’s and don’ts. This is a really nice way to finish, and it shows people that you are more interested in delivering value over sending them an invoice and seeing them as a dollar value. Keep the call to action, the URL, at the bottom. Show them the do’s and don’ts. Maybe have ten do’s and don’ts. Just say, “Look, even if you don’t want to use us, or you don’t take anything that we say under advisement, here’s a list of things that you should remember to do.” For example, “Do check that this is going to work out. Don’t go ahead and rush in and buy anything from the offset.” It’s a really nice thing to finish on, and it keeps the URL or call to action right there in the byline.
So that was the ultimate, 17-step Video Sales Letter (VSL) or pitching template. Grab the downloads and go ahead and fill it out with your content now.
Next week, we’ll be covering how to create a beautiful presentation using this process. This is focused on face to face and education type videos, or education type presentations. Grab the downloads below if you don’t already have them.
See you next week!
Originally published at whiterockreid.com on April 11, 2017.