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