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Opening Act If your headline falls flat, your audience may not stick around for the whole show.

By Jerry Fisher

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Suppose you were in the cabinet-refacing business trying to sellyour services door-to-door. You walk up to a residence, ring thebell, and when the surly homeowner comes to see who'sinterrupting his ballgame, you utter only two words: "Cabinetrefacing." That's it. Or maybe you make it into aquestion: "Cabinet refacing?" Either way, you'regoing to get a door slammed in your face and never again believe awelcome mat.

I exaggerate to make a point. Merely identifying what you'reselling is no way to sell it--yet many entrepreneurs take thisroute in their advertising, claiming that creative advertising isnot their forte. I'm here to tell you that shouldn't be aconcern. Early last year in this column, I did an emergencyheadline transplant on a brochure that had the cover heading"Corporate video services." I found out that the company,among other things, tries to interest medical professionals inpromoting their various procedures via video. So I recommended anew headline that asked "Doctor, have you ever consideredwaiting-room videos to promote your services?" It's notcute, clever, witty or creative, but it piques the curiosity of theprospect in a way the original brochure never would.

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