Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What is your writing tone?

You visit a car dealership. Not more than three steps inside the door, a smiling guy in a suit gets in your face. He is using every hard closing sales tactic in the book, relentlessly pursuing you around the showroom and the lot.

This guy could not be more clear, he wants to sell you a car, and he does not mind you knowing it. And yet, we hate this guy. We want people to put our needs and comfort levels first, and those who do are the people we reward with the sale.

Are those friendly people any less interested in making the sale than the obnoxious car salesman? Or are they just less transparent about how they go about it? Do we care if they are being genuine, or do we just need to feel as if they are?

Picture this: You are introduced to some loud-mouthed young marketing consultant at a party. He is half-tanked, cursing like a sailor, and insulting every third person who passes by, all while trying to convince you to hire him. He even insults you and your wife a couple of times in lame attempts at humor. Is he not just keeping it real?

On the other hand, I once read a story about a businessman who everyone loved. This guy kept everyone in stitches with his jokes, and yet he always took the time to listen attentively when others spoke. In short, he made everyone feel good, and he was hugely successful in business because of it.

The story was told by a close friend of his, who revealed that the guy actually had no sense of humor at all. He just repeated jokes that he heard others tell, even though he did not get why they were funny. Further, the mans compassionate listening abilities were simply a learned behavior. He knew how to make people feel good, but he never cared at all what people said or thought. He just wanted to be viewed as a person who cared, because it was good for business.

When it comes to copywriting and conversational marketing, it is all about how you say it, combined with a strategic decision as to what to say so that you can meet your goals. You are trying to create an experience that others respond to favorably, just like you would in person. Think about the last great conversation you had with an engaging person. How did it make you feel?

Where do we draw the line with transparency and authenticity? What if no one likes the real you?

For more details and my inspiration for this article you can visit my site mentioned in the Author field.

The author Vincent Sparreboom is a Problogger from the Netherlands and the inspiration for this article was the Whitesmoke Writing Software 2008 Review he wrote for his blog The World of Office, XP and Vista Tips & Tricks

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