What you really need to do in your advertising is come across as helpful

Has anybody ever asked a person what he/she does for a living and been told, "I torment the innocent by making cold calls selling services they don't want."

No, of course not. Such people, when they emerge at all, come out after dark, prowling the streets, eating stray children, and the last thing they ever do is confess.

Today, however, I have my answer ready when I am called by one of these tormentors.

"I'm so glad you've called," I say. "My auntie Liz climbed the oak tree in my garden and is stuck and I need help getting her down."

I repeat this over and over until in the end it is THEY who hang up.

And my point is that no matter what you sell or how you sell you need to develop a rapport with your potential customer - which isn’t formed by saying “how are you today?”

The point is, of course, that you don’t know that person you are emailing at all, but you have to make a guess, and this is where I have my problem with most telephone sales people. They treat me as an idiot, and by and large I feel I am not.

The solution to this little conundrum is that you need, both in your advertisements and on your website, to come across as a helpful bystander.  The sort of person who will notice that you have dropped your wallet while getting on the bus, and helpfully pick it up and hand it back without rifling through it and deftly removing your wadge of fivers.

How this is achieved is via the style of writing - and really that’s the whole point.  Most of us focus on ourselves, our company, our products, our services.  But really we should be focussing on how the potential customer sees us.  

You have to be a helpful ally, not an email equivalent to “I hear you have been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault.”