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Interesting insight from Owen Frager:

In a new study released in the New York Times, it turns out that the typical NY police officer only hits 34% of the time she fires a gun. Even from a distance of six feet or less, it’s 43%. Obviously, Bruce Willis is the exception.

Seth Godin wonders how it changes your decision making when you discover that you’re only going to be successful one out of three times. Never mind blasting a weapon out of an assailant’s hand, we’re talking about hitting the target at all… How does a cop have the guts to even pull a weapon knowing that most of the time, it’s not going to have its desired effect (my guess is that the threat and the noise and chaos is as positive an outcome as an actual hit…). Seth knows that he would never have the guts to do that job.

Salespeople have a harder time with this than marketers. Marketers have lots of ‘bullets’ and they don’t notice the ones they miss (I usually miss 99.5% of the time online, and more than 99.999% elsewhere). We just reload and blithely continue on. But salespeople have to deal both with personal rejection and the expectation of the boss.

The poor hit rate of selling explains call resistance. Non-professional salespeople almost always wash out because they can’t keep at it, day after day, once they realize that most of the time, they fail. I guess my point is that if a policeman can risk his life doing it, we can probably find the nerve to go on one more sales call.

To ensure you hit the mark more then miss and deliver quality leads to your salespeople, consider Ted Cooper’s Never-Been-Improved-Upon Copy Formula:

1. Make a Promise

2. Prove It

3. Ask for Action

4. Leave Everything Else Out

It’s because writing copy is not just about words.

It’s understanding the core desires of the audience being targeted, the ability to create unbeatable offers to get people to buy and creating campaigns that work, create response and create loyal customers.

The promise you make in a headline needs to be about something someone already knows they want, or a problem they already know they have. And it needs to be in the same language they use themselves when they describe what they want or what their problem is.