When I get to the end of a discussion with a client, I consider it to have been successful if I’ve finished my coffee while my client has barely touched theirs.
Because it means that my client has done most of the talking and that’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing because I’ve made them feel comfortable enough to share insights into their business. And while I’ve steered the conversation to make sure I’ve got what I need and asked relevant questions when necessary, I’ve also avoided putting words into their mouth or attempting to second guess anything. By the end of the conversation I have unfiltered, unbiased insights into:
- their business, what it’s all about and why it’s different to their competitors’
- what the copy needs to achieve or the problem it needs to solve
- the way they speak and phrase things so that, where appropriate, I can reflect this in the copy I write.
The same thing applies in a discussion with a client’s customer. When they’ve done most of the talking it means they’ve shared lots of valuable information about the real reasons for choosing my client’s product or service and given me plenty in interesting insights I would never have got from a conversation with my client alone.
So the next time you’re writing a piece of copy, remember that being a good listener is one of the most important skills a copywriter can have.
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