How to Ask for the Order

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Here’s something that never ceases to amaze me, and that’s the failure for many people and businesses to actually ask for the order.

So let’s say that you have grabbed your visitors’ attention with your compelling headline... established your credibility... present your offer... and included all the other essential copy elements that we've discussed, you might think your visitors are a sure thing.  After all, they've come this far, so they are bound to buy now…

Wrong!  This is the moment when you have to spell it out for them as clearly and blatantly as you possibly can.  And that means you need to...

Ask for the order!

Ask for the order!

And then ask for the order again!

Everything we've discussed at this point in the module has been leading to this one crucial make-or-break moment of asking for the order and closing the sale.

But it takes a lot of work to close the sale, which is why you can't just get to this point straight away!  Unfortunately, nobody is going to be persuaded to purchase your product or service by a ‘buy now’ button.  So you need to spend quite a bit of time building your credibility, explaining the benefits of your product or service, convincing readers of what is in it for them...

If you haven't led up to your close with all of these important elements… gaining momentum and ushering your reader towards the ‘buy’ decision, you won’t be able to accomplish the task using the ‘close’ alone.

But once you've made it to the point where your reader is ready to hear it, you must ask for the order.

This is the number one rule of successful selling, as any professional salesperson will tell you, and it really can't be Emphasized enough.  It's just amazing how many people simply neglect to ask for the order... and lose a HUGE chunk of their profits because of it.

Marketing gurus have proven time and time again that the one thing that would increase your sales by at least 80% is simply asking for the order.

There are a number of ways to ask for the order... and really, you’ve already accomplished some of them.  Transferring ownership is part of it.  Creating urgency is also part of it.

At the very end of your sales copy, it is extremely important that you flat-out ask your potential customers to buy from you, and tell them exactly how.  Here are a few examples of simple, but direct ways of asking for the order...

1.  “Just click HERE to order now -- risk-free!”

2.    "To order your copy today, along with your 5 free bonuses, click here now!"

3.    "Click here now to take advantage of this limited time offer!"

In the moment of the ‘hard sell’, you will want to restate the strongest benefits and main selling point of your product or service, then clearly direct your readers to your order form.  Without this direct approach to asking your customers for the order, they won't be given the final ‘nudge’ they need to pull out their credit card.

Make it easy for customers to contact you

At this point it is extremely important that you make sure it is possible for your customers to contact you!  Give them a number of different ways to order your product or service -- like via an online order form, or mail/fax order forms.

Also be sure to provide plenty of contact information so that a potential customer who still has a few questions can feel perfectly comfortable about getting in touch with you to ask.  Provide your e-mail address and phone number, and state the best time of the day to call.

Include names of people to talk to so that your customers feel better about calling or e-mailing.  When the sales office says: "call this number to speak to a representative," it is much less inviting than saying: "you can call at any time at (number) and ask for Jane."

This may seem like an obvious part of your sales process -- but it's shocking how often it's overlooked!  A separate page of contact information on your web site is not enough.  You need to extend a personal invitation to call or e-mail with your questions or concerns, right at the end of your sales copy.

Use effective formatting techniques to present your offer

Formatting your copy can be just as important as writing it.  Your message can be lost in a jumble of text or a dizzying array of colors unless you are using effective, emphatic formatting techniques.

We see it all too often: our customers and clients ask us what's wrong with their sales copy, why their sales pages are not convincing.  When we ask to see them, we are confronted by screaming colors and bolding, with everything capitalized and so much going on you couldn't even find the sales copy in there!

So the number one rule is: keep your formatting simple!  Here are a few more formatting tricks to keep in mind as you create your sales copy:

a)    Text width:     Don't spread your text across the entire width of the page (or computer screen).  It's hard to read and looks unprofessional.  Keep your text width to 500 or 600 pixels, as this is what the human eye can handle.

b)    Justification:     Avoid centering large chunks of text on the page; instead, center only short chunks of key benefits and important points.  Leave the right margins of your text ragged -- never right justify! It is just too hard to read justified text.

c)    Fonts:     Keep your font style and sizes consistent; otherwise, your site will appear jumbled and chaotic.  Pick no more than two or three fonts and font sizes and use them consistently throughout your site... and make sure you format the headlines on each page and keep them in the same fonts.

d)    Emphasis:     Use bolding, italics, and colors sparingly in your sales copy... otherwise they will no longer have the required effect of adding emphasis, and will only give your readers (the few who stick around) a headache!

e)    Images:     Never use images and graphics just for the sake of using images and graphics!  They’ll just clutter your pages, distract your viewers, and distract potential customers from your product.  Make sure that every image you include contributes something to your sales process.  This usually means that you should stick to pictures of your products or the results of using your products.  Although you may want to include a photo of yourself as well -- it helps people to see you as a real human being rather than as a faceless salesperson.

f)   Background:     Don't fall victim to the allure of fancy backgrounds.  They only make for a cluttered appearance and make your text hard to read.  If you look at some of the best sites online -- like Amazon.com, Yahoo.com or Google, you'll notice how well simplicity works... and you'll never find wallpaper here!  A plain white background with black text is the best way to go 99% of the time.

For formatting in HTML, we recommend that you use a powerful HTML editor such as Dreamweaver.  It is an excellent "what you see is what you get" program that is as easy to use as a word processing program.

Dreamweaver can help you create clean, attractive, professional looking documents and web pages -- even if you don't know a thing about HTML.  You can download a free trial version of Dreamweaver at http://www.adobe.com/downloads/.

The essential elements that are needed to create good sales copy are just like the ingredients for any recipe: skip one, and your entire cake will be ruined. But once you start practising a little, you'll be surprised at how quickly you get the hang of incorporating these elements into your own copy!  And the surprising thing is, even if you think you've made a bumbling attempt at creating urgency... or including lots of benefits... or solving the problems of your audience... chances are, your copy is still hundreds of times stronger than it would have been without at least attempting to include these important techniques.

As we said, it's all a matter of science.  Just stick with copywriting techniques that have been tested by the experts over and over again for the past few decades... because they will definitely help to improve your sales and your business.

No matter what your business... no matter who your audience... no matter what type of product or service you offer... the techniques we've discussed in this module are a fundamental requirement of your sales process and the key to your business success.