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Look Out For The Smoking Gun

by Scott Bywater

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Published on this site: April 2nd, 2010 - See more articles from this month

In the legal world, there is a term called "Smoking Gun" which refers to that critical piece of information which makes it impossible for your opponent to win a court case.

It's a fact, a piece of evidence or whatever which proves what you have to say beyond any seed of doubt.

And there are a lot of correlations between law and advertising because when you are selling via the printed word, your jury is your customer.

And you must do everything in your power to prove your case beyond any shadow of a doubt.

So what could be some examples of a "smoking gun" in the advertising world?

Well, let's say I own a piece of property on the coast of Western Australia and I want to sell it. But I am having trouble getting the price I want.

Perhaps a "smoking gun" piece of information I could find is the fact property in coastal areas has gained 20% or 30% or 40% (or whatever) greater capital growth returns than properties anywhere else in the country.

Makes sense, right?

Of course, I have no idea if it is true.

But if I was the buyer, I'd find it pretty hard to ignore a fact like this.

What about if I was selling tyres? Well, this is a pretty easy one. If I owned a tyre shop, I would be looking for a piece of information about what percent of accidents happen from old tyres.

How about shoes?

If I was selling shoes, I would look for information about how the shoe affected other areas of the body. Looking into things like foot reflexology, and the interconnectedness between feet and overall health, feet and its effect on back pain, etc.

And if I could find that little gem of information, no longer am I purely selling shoes, I am selling an overall health solution. And people will pay for quality if you can prove that it's going to make their overall health better.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

So today, consider doing some research on these facts. Check out web sites such as the Sydney Morning Herald, Daily Telegraph, CNN, Highbeam Research and CNN and see what facts you can dig up about your industry which could be your "Smoking Gun."

Scott Bywater is a direct response copywriter with extensive experience in B2B and B2C writing. Mr Bywater is the author of Cash-Flow Advertising and More Customers Made Easy. You can gain access to his copywriting and marketing tips via his entertaining and eye opening "Copywriting Selling Secrets" newsletter available at http://www.copywritingthatsells.com.au/.

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