Hello, Joshua Boswell here with Copywriter Marketer. This is my video newsletter series and today we’re going to talk about the writing skill called the false close. Now, I’ve got to tell you that this false close concept is super powerful and it’s pretty simple to understand but it’s not as simple to implement because you’ve got to get good at storytelling, which I’ll explain here in just a minute. You should be good at storytelling anyway because, wow, storytelling captures the imagination. It inspires us and excites. Stories are great, wonderful things. I just enjoy telling stories. Let me tell you a quick story.
The other day I was standing in line with a couple of my little girls and my little girls, they love gum. They just love gum. I don’t know why they like gum. Gum drives me crazy. They’ve got long hair, I don’t want it to get stuck in their hair and then you’ve got to do the peanut butter thing or cut it out. We’ve done that a few times in our life. They love gum nonetheless.
We regulate it pretty heavily because of said reasons. We’re standing there in line and I’m holding my girl’s hand and she looks at me and she goes, “Daddy, can I have some gum?” She goes, “Look, there’s a new flavor.” I’m like, “No. No you can’t. No, we’re not getting any gum.” She’s quiet for a second. Pretty soon she squeezes my hand and I squeeze her hand back. Have you ever played that game? You’re like, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. All the kids love it. She’s squeezing my hand and she looks and she goes, “Daddy, I love you,” and she gives me the big bright smile.
Then she starts telling me a story, “Oh, daddy, remember when we went on that hike and we saw the cute butterflies and we did all the fun stuff? Wasn’t that great? That was so cool.”
“Yeah, that was really nice. It was really fun. Yeah, that was awesome.”
We sat and talked about this hike that we had together and we were just squeezing each other’s hands and we were laughing, having all sorts of fun and we’re getting closer and closer to the register and we get finally up to the register and she says, “Mommy says that that kind of gum isn’t bad for you teeth, daddy. Can I please just have some?”
Oh, man. The eyes and the please and I hesitated for a second and she says, “I won’t get any in my hair and I’ll throw it away and won’t play with it at all.” Conquered. The six year old slays me. I’m down and out so I grab the gum and I buy it and I go on. What you’ve just experienced is a beautiful, masterful rendition of the false close.
Here’s what I mean by the false close. Here we all are, happy little people. We’re going along in life and we’re getting all this information. Everyday we’re bombarded with tons and tons of information. Offers for this, promotions for that, requests for our time for all of these different kinds of things. In order to protect ourselves because we can’t do everything and we don’t want to be suckers and gullible. We don’t want to spend all of our money. Most of America’s already spending way too much of their money and going too far in debt anyway, but we like to try to avoid getting suckered into stuff.
Our initial response is to build a wall. This wall says, “No, no! I’m not going to buy that. I’m not going to watch that DVD. I’m not going out to dinner. I’m not committing to that volunteer thing. Just no. I’m not doing it.” We create a barrier, a wall.
Now here’s the thing. What I’m going to explain to you right now is enormously powerful and could be used by some people for bad manipulative purposes. I can’t control how they use this information but it could be used for that. I don’t think you’re one of them, therefore I’m going to share it to you. If you recognize that that first response is always no, then you have a challenge. Here’s what a typical sales guy will do, or a typical salesperson who doesn’t understand that this is going on or understands it but doesn’t know how to work around it. What they will try to do is batter a hole through this wall. They’re going to try to go straight through this wall and to break it all up and create a big tunnel there where they can push through. And they do that with persuasive, manipulative techniques. They do this with constant persistence, with just hammering you and nagging you down. These are the kinds of people that believe no is not actually the real reason, it just means they need more information.
You say no, they give you more information, no, they give you more information, no, they give you more information, and it’s just bam, bam, bam. This is why we don’t like this. Nobody likes this approach. It makes us feel yucky. It creates buyer’s remorse. It’s frustrating to us. We don’t like having our wall battered down and crammed through and shot into a million, zillion pieces with logic and arguments and manipulative tactics. That’s why we talk about used car salesman with such disdain. I know that there are really nice car salesman out there but stereotypically we find people that are salesman or door to door salespeople, right? You know the pots and pans guy that don’t exist anymore? Why don’t they exist anymore? Because we don’t like the tactics. We don’t like having our wall broken down and destroyed.
Is there a better way? I’m going to say yes, but I want you to remember the most important underlying fundamental thing here is that you are providing real value. Okay? If you’ve got a product and at the core of that product there’s not really a lot of value or benefit to the user or the consumer…you’re just trying to make a buck and you’re selfishly focused on getting your product, your service, your client’s stuff out the door without any thought of this end user…then you’re on shaky, shady ground and you’re dealing with this stuff that people are going to regret.
The first thing that I want you to do is have a little bit of ethics. I know that probably sounds crazy in this world of ours, but decide that you’re going to use your sales skills, your writing skills, your ability to get people to take action, your persuasion skills for something good, for something positive, for something that’s going to be a win-win deal and not leave the consumer high and dry and without any kind of value.
That’s why I’m not a gambler. You can go in and you’re expecting something for nothing, but what you end up doing is you end up giving a lot to get nothing. You reap what you sow in this world of ours, so if you go and expect something for nothing you’re going to give a whole lot and receive nothing. See how that works? What I want you to do is I want you to give value. I want you to always be thinking, “is there real value in this? Is this going to be a big benefit to the person that I’m selling to?” If it is, if you know that it’ll benefit them, then you can feel total confidence of doing everything you can to encourage them to buy. It’s like this service, it’s when I go speak, anytime I engage in something I already have vetted the product, the service, the people, whatever it is. If I’m going to write for somebody, if I’m going to sell for somebody, if I’m going to do something, I really want there to be real, lasting value.
Now, I can’t control if the end buyer or end reader or end whatever, I can’t control if that person in my life actually decides to take up and use the value. That’s their choice, but as long as I know there’s value there I can proceed.
Here’s how the false close actually works. Instead of trying to batter through the wall, what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a false close. In a sense what we’re going to do is we’re going to come up along side this person. We’re happy, positive, giving value writers. We’re going to come along side this person and we’re going to go with them on a little journey. This little journey is going to take them down, around, and up on to the other side of their barrier, their resistance points. As we do that, as we come around here, now they’ll be much more susceptible and eager and anxious to say yes because their initial defense system is down. If it makes sense for them, and it doesn’t always make sense for them.
Even if you’re providing value, it doesn’t always make sense for them personally. We’re going to go up and around and take this journey with them. Their wall is down. Their protective barrier is down. They can think clearly and now they can make intelligent decisions and decide whether or not this is really a good purchase or action or thought or behavior for them. Hopefully when you get to other side then they will have a smile on their face and they’ll say yes.
Okay, now how do you do this? It’s very simple. Three basic steps. Let’s just walk through these three steps very quickly.
Step number one, here’s the first thing that you do. The first thing that you do is you give a clear offer. Whatever it is you’re trying to persuade them to do, whether that’s to buy something, whether it’s to think something, whether it’s to attend an event, whatever it is. Whatever the action you’re wanting them to take…and by the way as a writer, I just want you to understand your job is always and forever to get them to do something. You want them to do something different in their life. If you write an article you want them to start thinking differently, or learn new stuff so they behave differently. You might want them to buy something. You might want them to go somewhere. You might want them to support something. You might want them to do whatever fill in the blank. But action is the end result of all that we do. Either action of thought or action of body. This is what we do as writers. We’re persuaders. We’re activators.
The first thing is you want to give them a crystal clear offer about what you want them to do, but you want to give them this offer without a call to action. You just want to present the offer. “Here’s what I’m offering.” “I’ve got a set of pots and pans”. “I’ve got a used car.” “I’ve got a vacuum.” “I’ve got a set of bottles and this is all the stuff that they do.” “I’ve got this potion or lotion.” “I’ve got this cream.” “I’ve got this vacation.” “I’ve got this whatever.” “This is the offer.” “I’ve got a political viewpoint.” You present the offer in it’s fullest without giving a specific call to action. When you do that, bam! Initial response will be the wall goes up. Oh, I’m being pitched here. Wait a minute. You want to actively trigger that response. That’s an important part of this process. You want to actively trigger the response. You want that barrier to come up. You want their concerns to come up. You want their questions to come up. You want to actively trigger that response. That’s the first thing. You do that with a crystal clear, very specific, look them in the eyes kind of an offer.
Number two, now you want to tell a story, because when people go into story mode they no longer feel like they’re being sold and their defenses come down. This is why when I talk about building out your information packet and I talk about the bio, I say don’t use facts and figures. Inside your bio tell stories because when they’re reading the bio, they will become engrossed with your stories and excited about it and then they’ll be more receptive and want to hire you. The bio in your information packet, by the way, is a mode of false close that we’re looking at here. You want to tell a story, so what kind of story? You want a story that will highlight things like the benefits, the end results. Maybe it highlights your guarantee. In other words it reduces the risk. It shows that they have risk involved in this conversation or in this decision or transaction, or it’s minimal risk. You might want to highlight things like case studies, social proof.
The story can come in all kinds of different shapes and forms and formulas, but here I might say something like, “Hey, I’ve got this vitamin that I really think you should buy because it does x, y, and z. If you’ve got wrinkly skin it’ll perk your skin up. It’ll give you more energy. You’ll feel like you’re a new man again or a new woman, whatever it is. This vitamin is absolutely amazing and really I think you should buy it. You didn’t do a close. You’re just setting it up. They’re like, “Oh, I don’t know if I can afford that. I’m not going to buy it.” You’ve already told them the price point, you’ve given them a crystal clear offer. Then you might say, “Don’t worry about that right now. Before you make any kind of decision let me tell you a quick story. Let me tell you a story that’ll help you understand how powerful this is.
“Back in 1952 there was a scientist and he was walking down the road and he saw this little plant and he realized that everybody in the village was super healthy and they were all young even though they were all 200 years old and he realized that they were all eating this same plant so he harvested this plant and he brought it back and he started feeding it to his children because they were really sick and then they got better. Then he realized, ‘Oh, this is a miracle plant!’ And he figured out how to grow it in his backyard and he grew a bunch of it and he packages it up in little bottles and he gave it to all of his neighbors and all of his neighbors got better and then he realized that he had this wonder plant on his hands and everybody was happy.” Obviously I’m totally making up this story. I’m going to give you some examples of legitimate false closes. I’m blowing this up so you see the extremity of it. First I’ve got this offer that I’m telling the story and I’m telling the history behind it.
You’ll notice if you read any kind of major direct sales stuff this’ll happen. Any kind of good social media stuff, this kind of stuff will happen. You’re going to tell this story.
Then the third thing that you want to do is you want to circle back around now to the hard close. You want to circle back around immediately to the hard close. Again, let’s just recap this. This is very simple. You say, “Oh, everybody in this village has this and they’re all excited and they’re doing all these things.” You tell the story, you tell some benefits and you say, “Look, because everyone else in this village got cured and was happy doing this and it solved their life, it helped them out, you need to make a decision now because these same benefits can be for you so it’s decision time. Here’s the offer.”It’s $59 for this bottle. It’ll help you with all your challenges and what not and you should buy right now. Here’s the order form. Act now. Make a decision. You’re at a crossroads.” However you do your hard close. By the the way, that’s the real close we’ll talk about in just a little minute.
This is basically the pattern. Give them a clear offer, activate this wall. Tell the a story. The story takes them and brings them around. They forget about that they were saying no and they get engrossed in the story. The story can highlight a number of things, the benefit, your results you’ve got, social proof, minimizing their risk. Whatever it is you want to tell that story on or multiple stories. Two or three could be done in order to activate this false close. You bring them around and then as soon as you know that you’ve got rapport with them, which I’ll close by talking about that. When you know you’ve got rapport and you’re connected with them and they feel comfortable with what you’ve said, then you do the hard close.
All of this is wrapped up in something that you need to do that’s not directly part of the fase close, but it’s part of the whole process and that is you need to make sure you’re developing rapport with them.
They need to know that you’re sincere. They need to know that you know your stuff. They need to know that you’re an expert. They need to know that other people are doing this. You need to develop rapport with them in order for this to work. That’s another topic but that’s something you should weave throughout the entire process from the initial contact with them all the way through the followups and the close, the false close, etc. If you’ll follow this pattern, and you can follow this pattern with anything. Remember back to my story with my daughter standing in line and first asking me about gum? She didn’t know this pattern but she instinctively knew it. Children always do. She first asked and then I said no and then she starts playing a game with me, tells me how she loves me, then offers me some convincing facts, this guarantee, this lower my risk level of, “I’m not going to chew it and then going to sleep with it and get it in my hair. It won’t hurt my teeth,” right?
She gave me these elements. She false closes me and then she goes for the jugular and asks once again for the hard close. By that time it was a done deal. It was over. You can do that same thing in the process of your writing. You can bring people around the wall and get them to say yes to whatever action you’re trying to get them to take. Use this false close.
I’d love to see some examples. Feel free to post some examples on the Facebook page or in the comments below, some examples of how you’ve used this false close whether it’s in emails, social media, white papers, long copy sales letter, interviews, whatever it is. You can use this technique in any circumstance, any situation, and it’s very, very powerful so I’d love to hear some of your stories about how you’ve used it and the results you were able to get. Thanks for listening. I’ll talk to you soon.