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What I've found so far:
* Write benefits, not features
(yes, I'm sure that everyone has heard of this one)
* Build around what you uniquely have to offer
(this one too)
* Tell the customer what to do ("Contact Us")
* Write scannable copy (spacing, bullets, highliting, headlines)
* Build trust; Remove risk
* Put a lot of thought and work into headlines
This is a good start (much more than I new before I started research), but I know that there is more. Also, if anyone has any tips about the things I mentioned, please share them.
My specific interest is in selling a high priced technical consulting service to a business - I need to build trust, and convey professionalism and competence, while setting myself apart.
On high priced sales, besides asking for the whole enchilada right up front, can you use a number of other, smaller offerings to build a relationship (gain trust, build top-of-mind awareness, etc). I call this selling on a gradient.
For instance, I have one client who offers high end consulting services. One client can pay the salaries of three people for a few months. But on their website, they also sell:
1) subscriptions to technical white papers (with some free samples)
2) an electronic glossary which stays up-to-date on the rapidly changing acronyms and buzz-words in their industry.
Sales of these items would never generate a stand-up business on their own, but as part of a whole picture, they keep people involved and principal clients have come from the ranks of the small buyers, over time.
You can't hit a home run with everyone on their first visit. So make it easier to score by also offering regular trips to first base. I'd say write with the long-term relationship in mind. Use all the sales power you can command, even when you pitch the freebies.