In another life, I worked in technical support, a job that is highly dependent on getting people to explain their problems. One day, I was assisting an older lady who was having a difficult time explaining what was going on with her device. After rambling on about everything but the problem, she said in an exasperated sigh:
I’m sorry I’m so verbose. I’m a writer, so I’m not very good with my words when it comes to talking.
Unfortunately that is the problem with many of us writers. We are so in love with the sight of our own words, that we struggle when having to do so face to face. I say this from personal experience. Although I’ve got years of face-to-face and phone sales experience, I am much more comfortable (and logical) behind my pen.
The truth of the matter is writers frequently struggle with the right words. Just because someone writes doesn’t mean they are excellent communicators! Additionally, if it is not something that the writer is personally comfortable with, the message may become convoluted- just like with the lady I was trying to assist. A skilled copywriter will not only know how to use words (writer), they will also know what words to say (the copy part).
Companies that hire professional writers must be aware that there is a difference between someone who writes and someone who writes sales copy. Writing is a creative skill. It is the ability to create or take an idea and artistically express it with the written word. It does not require any specific knowledge per se, but having a toolkit of good grammar and vocabulary does help. Writing is an art that can be mastered. The world needs writers to express those things that cannot be said, but we also need to recognize what they are and what they are not.
Every writer is not a salesperson, just like every salesperson is not a writer.
So why do so many companies, hire writers to handle their sales writing? Wouldn’t you think it would make more sense to use someone that understands how to close a deal if you want them to close your deal? Hiring a writer with some type of knowledge of your message seems to be just logical.
But apparently it is not. Our data-analytic driven society believes that keywords can take the place of quality written compelling copy. They have shown that people, just like web crawlers, scan for the important information and don’t bother to read the in-between. To give you an example of how that looks I will rewrite this post in that format.
Writing is a skill that depends on creativity, passion and knowledge. For the best sales-copy hire a knowledgeable sales copywriter.
That isn’t writing, it’s professional Mad-Libs.
Which by the way was my favorite past-time as a kid.