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« Before the Beginning Comes the End | Main | Copy Always Matters »

September 06, 2007


Shaune Clarke

Hey Ryan,

This really is an excellent post. I atrribute much of my success, both in writing copy and in securing clients, to my 16 years as a Direct Sales rep.

It's a tough pill to swallow, for most copywriters, but the idea of getting a part-time sales job is one of the least expensive ways to train yourself to write very persuasive copy.

The fact that you actually get paid is Sweeeet! : )

Eugene Schwartz talks about your best copy coming from your subconscious material.

You can best access your subconscious material when you're "in the flow."

You best get in the flow when your understanding of persuasion is "automatic" -- you don't think about it it's just "there."

The problem is that becoming fluid in the art of persuasion takes time and practice.

No question about it -- A part-time sales job is the best opportunity to do so.



Ryan Healy

Wow. Not many people have 16 years of sales experience. That's great.

Thanks for the compliment, Shaune. It's nice to get affirmation. :-)

Robert Lehrer

Great blog, Ryan. Your points underscore the point that copywriters must be effective salespeople to succeed.

Last fall, I attended Dan Kennedy's No B.S. Marketing & Wealth Creation conference.

Dan said that he still refers to Zig Ziglar's "Secrets To Closing The Sale" book when writing copy. He strongly recommended it. I bought the book, read it and couldn't agree with him more.

Ryan Healy

Thanks, Robert. And thank you also for the recommendation. I'll have to check out Zig's book as well.


If you're looking for a great book on how to talk to prospects, I'd recommend 'Customer Focused Selling'. It shows the importance of getting away from talking about what you do and focusing on the customer.


And, I'll one up Shaune with 22 years of sales experience.

Ryan Healy

Nice, Susan. Two decades and counting, eh?

Customer Focused Selling sounds good, especially if it helped you sell jets to millionaires. :-)

Joseph Ratliff


Chiming in with 17 years of sales experience here...

My recommendation for a classic sales book to read is "Master The Art Of Selling" by Tom Hopkins.

Great book to read for getting the "mechanics" of sales down.

Joseph Ratliff

Ryan Healy

Hmmm... am I seeing a pattern here?

Shaune, Susan, and Joseph all have more than a decade of sales experience. And they are all successful marketers and copywriters.

By the way, thanks for the Tom Peters recommendation, Joe.

Brian Ochsner


Excellent advice. When you go through 'live' sales situations, you get an idea of what a customer may be thinking, and/or what questions she may have about a product or service.

You'll also know how to anticipate and answer these objections in your copy, and how to reassure the reader that there's no risk to them (assuming you have a solid product or service that can deliver what you promise, and back it up with good customer service).

And... if you know how to sell and negotiate, you can open up more possible deals and increase your income. While writing copy (also known as selling in print) is a great skill to have, being able to sell in person is equally valuable. Especially when trying to land higher-priced copywriting assignments.

Great post, hope you get your current house sold soon and get into a new one!


Shaune Clarke

Geez Susan -- Why be so modest : ) -- Every copywriter should have your "Turning Prospects Into Customers" program.

As you know many of my coaching clients have given testimony to how great it is.

I don't get anything for doing this -- I've just witnessed it's power -- Anyone interested in securing more quality clients should visit Susan's site and check out her 5 Step System. It's ridiculously cheap...


Tracey "Word Doctor" Dooley

Thanks, Ryan and everyone for all these great suggestions. Now I know what I'm getting for Christmas. : )

Quick question:

How much time per day/week/year during your working hours do you allocate to reading these sorts of educational guides?


Ryan Healy

Hi Tracey - It really depends on how busy I am. The more flex time I have, the more I tend to read.

Also, I usually read in the mornings or evenings, not so much during my work day.

I usually read about 30 books a year. Eighty percent of that is non-fiction: marketing/sales, theology, history, economics, etc.

tower defense

How much time per day/week/year during your working hours do you allocate to reading these sorts of educational guides?

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