Monday, May 26, 2008

Value Based Copywriting

Here is my notes taken from Harlan Kilstein's Value Based Copywriting

Please note that this is not a summary, just my inedited notes.


Value Based Copywriting



Why value based copy?

? fees are what you get for creating value
? people get paid for advice throughout history.
MINDSET CHANGE: You are not exchanging copy for money, you are building value, exchanging value. All discussions is going to be about vale. Value is high = fees are high
? Your fees are dependent on what your buyers puts on the value of your work.
? Your only job is to convince the buyer of the value of your work.

Rookie Errors:

1. Not understanding that value determine the fees.
2. When you get your first objecting (speed bump) you try to lower the fee. NEVER LOWER THE FEES. Tell them when they are serious the can call you.
3. Believing that the client is more concerned about the fee rather than value.
4. Failure to make a relationship with the real buyer.
There are three objections in sales:

• It's too expensive
• I need to ask my spouse, partner, ...
• In need to think about it.

You should have answers for those three at the tip of your tongue. (sleight of mouth)
It is ingrained in peoples mind that YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. You should be setting the value of your work. You client's budget DOES NOT matter. If you quotes a low price, you are the cheap guy, you work will be considered low quality and cheap. You don't want to be the low bidder. No one is looking for the cheapest surgeon they can get.
You want to get your clients so hot that they bribe you to accept their business.
Most of the time people will choose the most expensive option. Why? They think it provides the most value.
Relationship between fee and commitment:

Low Fee AND:
? They really want this job ===> Apathetic Client
? Low Commitment ===> Apathy, going nowhere
? High commitment ==> Everybody's happy. Sale
? Low Commitment ==> No Sale

Gary Halberts concept of porcupines in heat. Porcupines goes into heat only ONCE a year. Is then or it's off for a year. Your clients are porcupines in heat. You have to get their money as soon as possible.

If you answer a request six month later, you will loose the deal. If you answer right away, almost immediately, your chances are you'll get the deal. [what about concept of takeaway selling?]
What you do on the phone sets the tone for entire thing so nobody's gonna think you are too eager.
Modeling: Taking a behaviour, distill from it critical elements and install it in someone else.

Whoever controls the timeframe (time) controls the negotiation. If they have a deadline, and you somehow take the dialogue close to the deadline, your chance are much higher in getting what you want.

From the time you will get back to them, the one who controls the time is you. And by controlling the time you control the negotiation.


There is no competition. Your mindset should be there is a see of job that is not gonna lessen the water.
It's not how good you are , it's how you position yourself and make your brand and negotiate. Gary Bencivenga: "It all about who has more power in the relationship, it should be you."
Building relationships:

You need to find our what are your clients values.
Question to ask: "What is important to you about ....?"
Identify their values and only sell them the values. You should sell to people's highest level criteria, you should use their criteria.

Also applies to writing copy itself, write about their criteria.

What's important to you shouldn't be the first question. You have to do some information gathering.

What kind of metrics you have in place?

Gary Bencivenga Two words: "Yeah, sure!" for high money situations!!!!

Alexa number under 100,000 is very active. Under 200,000 is fairly active. You can check clients income claims from their website.

You should ask: "What is the current value of the project and the business?"
"You are making $300,000 in a niche that should be doing $1,000,000?" creating value , and positioning yourself.

You want to create the image of a rough as nail professional, "follow my advise and you'll be making money."

SIDE NOTE: One-Legged golfer, mr. x copies can be turned into anything.

What do they really want?

If you have clear costs and you give them vague benefits, they aren't likely to hire you.
If they know they are making a clear investment for clear results, they will be willing to give you a lot more money.


Building the team:

When they come to you they want to hire you, but you want to be part of the team, SO

- Use the word "we" i.e.. this is what 'we' have to do....
- Talk about joint responsibilities, joint-accountabilities, etc.
- All questions should be about value. Value is high, fees are high.
- Your fees are dependent on the value the buyer puts on your services.

You can easily tripe, even quadruple what they want to pay.

Your only job is to convince they buy of value you're producing.


- Never quotes or even guess a fee before you established value. Give me a ball park?! Yankee stadium. No Ball Park we can't go on. Answer:

I had no idea you were bottom fishing. I thought you wanted to make money with this project. I thought it's all about spending time with your children. I had no idea you only want to spend one minute with your children. Attack his values.

? Never base fees on time.
? Never discuss other copywriters work in a bad way.
? Don't say anything bad about other copywriters. Only say good things. WOW, you got fortin to do a letter for you??! How is the letter doing? Aha, that's what you want to......
? Do not accept that you are always on call.
? Emphasize results not delivery. You don't want to focus on I'm going to give you this, this, this,...
? Never accept a pay-for-performance fee. You are a professional and you will get paid. Do don't ask a doctor if he's being paid if he couldn't cure you. Do not write on spec.
? Do not discuss how much work will be done.


Modelling Brian!



C3P4 Consultation From

C3: When you ask what important to you about question. Aknowledge what they say and go up what level. : Why is important to ... ultimately you will rich their highest level criteria. It happens when they start repeating themselves or tell you what do you mean why it's important.

Make your asking process natural.

Don't try to fix your client's problem. Just acknowledge it and make yourself part of the team.


Spin Selling Process:

You want to get your client to emotionally cry. "If they're crying, they're buying"

The secret to getting them down emotionally is identifying their criteria.

Imagine a "U" shape, client enters at left upper side, goes down emotionally to the bottom of the U and exits (hire you) at the upper right part of the U.

Instant Rapport Formula (Unconscious Hello)

1. Put yourself in a neutral state. When you go up to the other party be very neutral and don't do anything.
2. Go up and say Hello and pay attention to what they do with their face, head, eyes, eyebrows or shoulders.
3. Whatever they did, do it right back to them.
4. They will acknowledge it, usually with a smile.
5. Respond to that with a smile (copy their acknowledgment) and look at their right ear to anchor it. (anchoring with 1 repetition??????????????)

C1: Say hello to their other than conscious using 'unconscious hello'.

C2: How to read a person like a book.

Identify their nonverbals. You have to ask simple yes or no question, so that you can calibrate their nonverbal reactions.

People always answer you nonverbally, before they verbalize their answer.

Then later you can ask questions like:

"I am wondering if you have enough information to go ahead with this project" Use the anchor and look for their nonverbals. If you get a no signal, it means you shouldn't go any further, you should back up to your last yes, represent it and build more value.

Another one: "Does this make sense to you?"

You shouldn't move to the next phase until you have a clear yes signal.

Once you have C1 to 3, you own the person!
P1: is present state questions:

"Please tell me about your current situation"
"How is the project doing now"

Do not fix the problem, or make suggestions as what you can do for them. Don't be afraid of seeing them in pain! Just ask them questions and listen to their answers. Be the best listener.

Move to their problems: Use the question s in the form.


Pacing questions: from C3P4 form

Lets assume criteria is spending time with family.

Question: how spending time with your family would be affected if you don't take care of your problems.
"What are you missing out as a result of not taking care of your website."
"What are the consequences of not having this site done"

"What do you think we need to make this project successful?" The answer is wether :YOU or their PROBLEMS.

Ask them what they think the potential of their project is. Let them tell you what their expectations is. Let them set the value. You just reply with something like: "I can see it."

"What would the success of this project accomplish for you"

Important one:

"On scale of 1 to 10 how much do you want this project to succeed?" Anything less than a 8, IT'S NOT A CLIENT. You have to do a takeaway. "I am not sure if I am available to work with someone who's not committed to success."

Next question is how motivated they are; which will set them up. It's an embedded command.

At this point, client is very likely to ask you how much it would be to have you on their team. Answer: I'd like to get it down in print. how about give me 24 hrs and I'll email you a proposal. (Controlling the time, boss of relationship)

On the phone you can match their tone not their accent. Speak at the same pace. Then you can get their yeses and nos and measure their sounds!!!!!!!

Asking price: It's only by asking that you will get. Throw a genereage and see what happens. You can also use contrast: "My teacher for something like that would charge 25 grand, it happens that I have an opening for next week and can do it for you for 10" something like that.


When visiting a website consider these:

1. Alexa Ranking
2. PPC Competition
3. Use SEO Elite to study number of searches
4. Look at price per click
5. Is there a name squeeze?
6. Is he or she building a list?
7. What happens when someone opts in.
8. The website, i.e.. the headline, the offer, the order page.
When you get the guy on the phone ask the following:

1. Numbers
2. Size of list, if any
3. number of autoresponders
4. back-end products
5. if there is a marketing funnel
6. How he gets traffic
7. If he's done or interested in doing direct mail
8. Who he thinks is the competitions
9. Evaluate the product

You have to do this to be able to build value.

You can also suggest video or series of videos.
Don't focus on what you do , focus on their criteria. it's your secret way to their wallet.

If they ask how much experience do you have in X market, answer;

"One of the things that I've found is that the tactics that we are going to employ in this project are so powerful that they transcend the limited market. What I do for x market is gonna work for y market. Of course I have to tune it to the corresponding market."

Fees are not based on what you do, based on value that you create.

"Sell the sizzle, not the steak"

Don't get suckered into guaranteeing results. Like promising 5% conversion or ....

Measurement (in proposal):

What are their measurements?
What are they real numbers?
It is realistic?
Long term goals of the project?
Is what they want measurable.
Establishing your fees:

What are objectives?
what is going to be measured, i.e. no. of affiliates, etc.
What is the value to the client?
Who else the client is talking to?
What has been done before?
Why are they doing this now?
Create enduring value for them, i.e. it's gonna make money for them the year after, after ,...
Transfer the knowledge to their organization.
Is there a model, any other website, etc. they want to model?
Planning your fees:

Discuss options but not your fees early on.
Place all the options on the table.
Break everything done into piece, name squeeze $500, website $7,500 etc.
Every item you suggest must provide value to the buyer.
If they say it's too expensive, your answer: what would you like to remove. Never lower your price.


People gonna say things like : "I can't afford you." BTW, if you don't hear this enough it means you are not charging enough.

There are three main objections:

1. I can't afford it.
2. Have to ask the spouse.
3. have to think about it.

Anything else might be a request for more information but not an objection, don't assume it's an objection.

Objection is a good thing in sale, cause it's an indication of interest. If they object, they are interested and they're begging you counter their objection.
Patterns of "I Can't Do X" because I've never done that before.

"I can't charge $15,000 for copywriting because I have never done it before."

In sleight of mouth, you want to do two things:

we have the cause, and effect; what we could do is to change the equation by changing the cause, by changing the effect or by changing the connection. If we change any of those thing, we don't have the same statement anymore.

Redefine it: "It's not that you can't do it, it's just that you've never done it." before.

Example: Objection is : "If i care about others, they will take advantage of me"

Redefine: "You are not caring for others, you are forgetting about yourself"

Chunk up: "Do people always get hurt when they feel for others?"

Counter-example: "Isn't it possible to care for others and take advantage of what they have to offer. Most people take advantage of those who could care less."

Play it with their Intent: "Their intent may be to take care of themselves, not to take advantage of you."

Model of the world: "In my model of the world, what you call caring seems like making oneself too vulnerable."

Change the frame size: "You don't care long enough to find out what the advantages of caring are, if everybody'd thought that who'd care."

Apply to self: "If I care about others, that's a pretty uncaring belief to have about other."

Dealing with "they'll take advantage of me" part.

Apply to self: Someone could really take advantage of this belief if they wanted to"

hierarchy: "would you rather to be taken advantage of or completely ignored."

Consequence: "believing this can certainly put you at a disadvantage in a relationship."

Redefine the effect: "They are not taking advantage of you, they're only not just setting the boundaries. "

Chunk down: "If you only partially care for other, which part would you take advantage of."


Patterns for: "This house is too expensive, I can't afford it."

This house if too expensive:

Redefine: "Yes it does have exceptional value." "your prices are too expensive" ==> "yes, I am providing a lot of value to you"

counter-example: there are a lot of way to make expensive things affordable, many affordable buys turn out to be expensive later on.

Harlan's use of it: "yeah, that's true , I am expansive, so you can either hire me now and pay the price, or hire someone else and then hire me when you don't get the results that you want."

Intent: "I am only trying to give you the best buy for your money"

MOTW: "It may be expensive in your model of the world, but an experience high buyer would see it as a great deal."

"It may seem like a lot now, but when you compare the value that you're going to get over the next years it's a steal"

"That could be an very expensive belief, what could that belief be costing you?"

I can't afford it:

"Can you afford to believe a good value is to expensive"

Hierarchy of criteria: "Don't you think it's more important to get what you want than to save a few dollars."

In real world situations, all you need is one really good one, i.e. one approach like redefining.
You can also use sleight of mouth patterns in your copy to deal with potential objections.
Good analogy: "Clock is ticking, are you the iceberg or the Titanic?"
The spouse objection would come up less often.
Prepare your own sleight of mouth sheet, for money objection and for I need to think about it objection. They are the only two important objections that come up frequently.
"I can't say yes, because I need to talk to other copywriters."

Give an analogy like: "If your heath was in danger would you be price shopping for surgeons?"
The more you stack these stuff, the more difficult it gets for them to say no.
" The more you X, the more you Y" is a good one as people usually accept it. e.g. "The more quickly you make your decision, the more quickly you'll get the results you want."
The way to take action on what you learned in this course is to start doing things one step at a time and have an action plan. If you're serious, you will know how much money is out there. What you ask for in terms of money has nothing to do with talent, being smarter a better writer, it's about the desire to ask for more.

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