We all know the 4 "W's" of information gathering: Who-What-Where-Why. Working with sales people, I have found that far too many reps and copywriters get so bogged down in the the first three of these that they forget to make use of the 4th, and in my opinion most important, "W" the why. Selling advertising is all about motivation. We have to figure out what will motivate someone to buy an ad and then we have to design an ad that motivates their customers to patronize them. Motivation is driven by "why's." Why should I advertise? Why should I advertise with you? We need to answer these questions on every sales call. We need to answer these questions even if the customer doesn't ask them. When I am working in the field, many reps do a great job with the "who:" I am from the Pennysaver. They cover the "what:" I have this special home improvement tab. And they do a great job with the "where:" it is delivered to every home in your local community. Where their presentation falls apart is on the "why." They give their customer all the details on pricing, ad sizes etc. but fail to tell the customer that the special section will bring in new customers and MAKE THEM MORE MONEY! I believe this omission stems from the fact that they understand how advertising works and they assume that the prospect shares this insight. They think that everyone knows that if you deliver a marketing message to 10,000 homes that some of these people will become customers. Reps need to explain this to their customers and explain the "why" of advertising. Mr. Customer, This special section will be of great interest to your potential customers, by telling these people about all the great services you have to offer, you will generate a lot of calls so that your crews will be busy when the weather breaks. This is a great way to make sure you have a profitable start to the season.
The same thing is true with your customer's ads. Scanning through our publications I see many ads that tell me everything that the customer sells. I read through lists of dozens of pizza toppings in 6 point type. I see cartoon pizza flippers and the customer's name at the top of the layout. What I fail to see in many cases is a "why." Is the customer's food good? Do they have great prices? Great service?" To be effective an ad must tell the reader what they should do business with the advertiser. Research has shown a headline as simple as "Best Pizza in Town" will greatly enhance the response to the advertising.
Don't make your prospects or your readers have to figure out for themselves why they should do business with you or your client. Every time you give anyone a "who," a "what," or a "where" make sure that it is accompanied by a clearly stated "WHY!" "WHY" should you do this--because YOU'LL MAKE MORE MONEY!
Thanks for reading--Jim Busch