A salesperson who doesn’t know how to write sales copy? Don’t worry; you’re not alone.

As a salesperson, you probably have above average skills when it comes to engaging in conversations. You’re great in person, over the phone, and even on Skype. You talk a lot, but you also listen, because that’s when your prospects are telling you what they really need.

But do you know how to sell with your mouth closed? If you’ve never learned how to write sales copy, it’s an essential skill that could increase your numbers and commissions more than you likely realize.

Exceptional sales people know how to write in such a way that the customer comes to them and says “Please, tell me more!” Writing really top-notch sales copy is something you can hone and develop over time, but as you get started, there are some basics you should always keep in mind.

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The AIDA Formula: How to write sales copy like a pro

What you write — e-mails, PowerPoint presentations, product sell sheets, brochures — will depend on your company and the industry you work in (and whether or not you have a solid marketing team). The general rules of how to write sales copy, however, can apply to pretty much anything you craft.

Have you ever heard of AIDA? No, not the hit Broadway musical — it’s an acronym for a sales writing formula that all good copywriters know. Write this down and tape it up in your cube or office so it’s never out of your sight:

A – Attention
I – Interest
D – Desire
A – Action

AIDA guides you through how to write sales copy and breaks it down in a way that helps you stay organized. First, you need to get the person’s attention with a snappy headline or intriguing opening sentence. Then, get them interested in what you’re selling right away. If you don’t pull them in immediately, there’s a good chance they’re just going to stop reading. Once they’re interested, start to build desire — you got them interested initially, but desire is what will push them over the edge. Once they desire your product or service, you need to wrap up with a call to action; encourage them to call, visit your website, or e-mail you to move forward with the sales process.

The #1 secret for how to write sales copy? Shift your focus.

When writing sales copy, it’s not uncommon to want to focus on what you’re selling. You list what your product does, why it’s so wonderful, and how much it costs. Take a moment, however, to get out of that product-focused mindset and shift to a customer-focused mindset. Sit and think about who you are selling to, what problems they may have, how your product can solve those problems, and how they feel now versus how they may feel after purchasing your product. Your copy should use the words you or your more than the name of your product or company.

Appealing to a prospect’s emotions is an essential part of writing good sales copy. If your product or service doesn’t make them feel anything, they aren’t going to care. Make the benefits your focal point rather than the features — the benefits evoke emotion, while the features will just make them bored.

Common sense should guide you in how to write sales copy

If you’re just learning how to write sales copy, don’t overthink it too much. Study what other companies are doing and what gets your attention. Analyze what it is about those pieces that make you feel something and try to incorporate that same concept into your sales writing.

As a final piece of advice? Even the best writers have editors look over their work before publishing. Once you’ve written your sales copy, have one (or more) trusted colleagues look over your writing. They should be checking for grammar, spelling, and typos, but ask them how it makes them feel and whether or not they’d be inclined to act if they were a prospective customer. Constructive feedback from individuals that you trust and respect can play a huge role in improving your sales copy and helping you grow as a writer.

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Have you ever written successful sales copy before? Why do you think it performed so well? Share your thoughts with our readers in the comments!