The thought in my head: "This sounds awesome - I wonder how true it is? I'll have to google it for product reviews."

The next words of the infomercial: "Want to know what other people think of this product? Check out the 5 star reviews on these major websites." This accompanied by a screen shot of the 5-star reviews.

Wow. Now that is an awesome example of what Dan Kennedy means in this quote:

"Good copy continues the conversation that's already going on in your prospect's mind."

The advertiser (navigatorliftaway.com) did an incredible job of knowing exactly what my next thought would be and addressing it. And, while I didn't order the vacuum, yet, I've made the decision that I will.

Continue the Conversation... or Prompt it

I'd like to add to the quote above the following, "... or reminds them about it and makes it a priority."

See, we each have countless needs and desires going on within us, and we can only be present to so many at one time. Your copy needs to not only continue the conversation in a prospect's mind accurately, but often it needs to remind them of their thoughts about it first.

When I sat down Sunday morning and turned on the T.V. I had no thoughts about vacuuming. Suddenly "buy vacuum" is near the top of my to-do list. I need a new vacuum, I've been thinking about that for a while now, but I only when I actually vacuum. The marketing reminded me that I needed a vacuum, THEN addressed the exact conversation in my mind about it.

You Have to Get Into Their World

The vacuum entered my home via television. I'm reaching you on your computer via this article. Many of us meet our prospects in person. You have to leave the house to start these conversations. Your prospects need you to remind them that they need you right now! Hopefully you've identified a real problem your product or service can solve for them, and they need you to prompt that conversation.

So often I hear people say, "I know people need me, but (fill in your service) is just not a priority for them right now."

If you know you solve a real problem or relieve a true pain for them, it is a priority, you just need to remind them. You need to get in front of them and prompt their pain - in person, via newsletter, etc. Get in their world.

Dog Whisperer Wanted

My dog, Monty, is extremely well-trained. Mostly. When we are walking and another dog approaches, he'll nearly tear my arm off trying to attack and protect me. Because I work from home, I can walk him during the day and I don't always encounter a ton of dogs, but when I do, it causes me pain. I am embarrassed that he behaves that way. I often have to change my route to avoid oncoming dogs. And it literally causes me physical pain when he yanks on me like that. Also, we don't participate in fun "bring your dog" days at local events because his response is so unpredictable.

But 95% of the time, I don't think twice about this problem I have. Your prospects probably don't either.

If a "dog whisperer" type person crossed my path and was able to get me present to this pain, and make it easy for me to buy a solution, I would do it in a heartbeat. But if I need to go out and find them, this pain remains low on my priority list. And now it's 1-notch lower as "buy vacuum" has now moved up!

It Takes Courage

As a service-based entrepreneur, you need to either find your clients where and when they are experiencing the pain, or be bold enough to remind them of it in your conversations and your marketing copy. Go deep. Go bold. Make them act.

Albert Grey discovered, and wrote about, "The Common Denominator of Success." The common denominator of success is this: being willing to talk to people about something they may not want to talk about.

If your product or service helps people with something that they may be resistant to changing, or investing in, it is critical that you are able to talk to them about the truth of the matter, whether they want to or not. They are counting on you for that. This applies to your conversations, and your marketing copy.

Take it HOME

Your website home page is the perfect place to continue the conversation in your prospect's mind. And it really is critical.

People spend, on average, 56 seconds on a webpage before clicking away (Nielsen Online March 2009). You have 56 seconds to provide a thought that prompts and continues the conversation that: 1) gets them present to their pain and 2) shows that you truly get it, and them.

I've visited countless websites of small business owners I've met, and I remain shocked at how many of them have missed this opportunity completely. If your website's home page is all about you - you have missed it. Your prospect would have to be highly committed to you and to finding a solution to their pain to wade through your credentials and services to answer the question, "Is this for me?"

Most aren't.

They'll click until they find someone who gets it.

If the first words on your website include:

* A list of your services
* A statement about what you do
* Anything about your credentials

You are not continuing the conversation in their head. They are not losing sleep at night wondering about you and what you offer.

What does continue the conversation:

* A story about someone like them.
* A picture of the pain experienced by someone without your services (aka them).
*A vision that includes what they truly desire in life.

Reminder: Your Home Page is not about you.

Move Them Forward

Every copy you write, every conversation you have, should move your prospect forward toward their desired outcome. To do this you have to get in their head. You have truly understand where they are, what they want, and what drives them.

Move them forward, even if they don't hire you.

Now, don't let this statement be a cop-out for you that keeps you from actually asking them to buy because it's scary. Ask them to buy, if you are right for them, please. They want you to.

But sometimes your role right now is simply to move them forward. Maybe they need some other service before they buy from you, and you provide a recommendation. And maybe they aren't ready to prioritize you yet, but they will. Move them forward in their thinking.

The infomercial moved me from "I think about needing a vacuum every few weeks," right past, "I need to research vacuums," into "I will buy this specific vacuum."

When I hired my first business coach, I'd had a life coach before and I really didn't know I needed a different type of coach, one who'd built a business before me. I didn't know I needed the confidence boost of someone who was doing what I wanted to do. But I did.

Each message I got from him moved me forward in my thinking and awareness of what I needed, and when it was time that he asked me to buy, I was ready. (OK, I wasn't nearly ready for the commitment that it was, but I knew what I needed and went for it.)

Every message you send needs to be doing this too. Is it?

Author's Bio: 

Darla LeDoux is a Certified Professional Coach, "recovering engineer," owner at AlignandProfit.com, and creator of Destination: Sweet Spot. She is fueled by a passion for people being who they truly are, exactly as they are, in business and in life, living in their sweet spot. In the sweet spot one uses their unique combination of gifts, talents, and passions to have maximum impact in the world, and make money doing it!

After spending 15 years in "successful" careers working for others - product development engineering, marketing, and education - the things she thought she "should" do to be successful, Darla found the courage to step into her sweet spot and follow the desires of her heart, and guides others to do so, while bypassing the 10 years in the self-help aisle!

Darla works with entrepreneurs who have tried doing life and business the "right" way, and are now ready to listen to that deep inner knowing and discover what is Truth for them. She helps them to get clear about the business they are really in, and to create targeted packages, programs, and connection strategies to attract and convert ideal, high-paying, clients with ease.

Darla's free Align Your Nine audio is available at her site: http://www.alignandprofit.com