Image courtesy of: Mail-Order-Brides.com
The famous direct-response copywriter Dan Kennedy amassed a fortune crafting offers for blue-collar workers, and specifically truck drivers (I believe he consulted on one of the more successful “mail order brides” offers)
Dan had a simple test for determining whether he had a winning offer. He would buy a round of drinks for a small group of truck drivers, read the sales letter aloud and also hand them copies.
“What do you think about it?” he would ask, after allowing enough time for them to digest it.
If they said the copy was great and no more, he knew the offer would likely bomb--and he needed to go back to the drawing board.
The true test of a potential winner was if at least a few of them asked “where/how can we get this thing?”
You see, he would intentionally leave out the ordering details and sometimes the price, to see if anyone also asked, “how much does it cost?”.
Everyone who is successful at face-to-face sales develops intuition around this i.e. reliable buying signals that may be counter intuitive.
Realtors, for instance, know that when a prospect gushes about the property she will not buy. It is the one who complains that the windows are too small or about the paint, that is likeliest to give you money and should therefore be top priority.
Experienced seducers (yes this is a kind of sale!) never offer their name when initially meeting a woman. They wait to see if she asks theirs. Telling her one’s name is a wasted opportunity to gauge interest. A woman who asks your name may have some interest and is worth engaging. One who does not, has zero interest.
Once you hone this instinct for your market, it is much easier to write high converting copy—it is the words on a landing page that do much of the heavy lifting.
Luni Libes (the founder of Fledge Accelerator) advises founders to ignore people who say their idea is great, when doing initial surveys to determine product-market fit. Instead, after describing your product or service, tell them it will be available soon and then ask for money.
Most will say no (even the ones who said the idea was great) but do not stop there. Ask them why they would not pay for it. This is the only way to get meaningful feedback and direction on what to build.
The rejection hurts, but is a lot more helpful than people telling you how great your idea is (which feels nice)!