Why Your Customer Needs Should Come First!

I’d like to talk with you about customers.

This is something I preach but I don’t do. It’s one of my biggest challenges.

If you’re like me and most people, you see customers and other people as tools. As numbers, metrics. You seem them as entitled brats impossible to deal with, irrational, want only free stuff, don’t want to pay for shit and are the obstacle between you and your money.

And this is true. Customers are feeling entitled to get a lot of value for almost nothing – just as we feel entitled to get their money for doing nothing at all in exchange. It’s not that their jerks. We’re all jerks.

And here’s the problem – the skill you’re lacking, we’re lacking.

It’s compassion. Not empathy. Empathy is saying “I feel bad you feel bad,”. Compassion is saying “I want to understand you, you are important for me”.

I mean, customers are used to being treated like shit, like they don’t matter. I’m surprised nowadays when I get good service. I know that if I want to be treated as a human being; I need to pay the big bucks – otherwise, I’m cattle, just like everyone else.

But your business exists only because of customers. Without them, you’d be nothing. Without people to pay for your shit, you’d have no business at all. Sure, you can create value but if nobody is paying that value, then what are you achieving?

And this is where compassion comes in – the willingness to try to understand and appreciate and treat the person in front of you like he matters. 

How often do you hear from someone who wants to sell you something “I want to understand you and your needs better first? Don’t pay me now. Show me where you are and let’s see what we can do about it”. I never hear this. I don’t think there was a person in my life that had the chance to sell me on something but didn’t, to make sure I need his shit.

How often do you hear from a vendor “Well, based on what you’ve told me, you’re facing this and this and this. Let’s see if this can help you?”. Chances are that you have heard this if they use the SPIN model of selling but it’s very rare and it’s usually in high ticket sales. For a $100 purchase, nobody gives a shit about what you need.

And this is where we fail as businessmen and entrepreneurs. We think we’re geniuses. I think I’m so fucking smart and important and that I’m mind blowing. And maybe sometimes I am. But you know what’s the catch here?

Me being good as a copywriter and as a marketing consultant is useless without you as a customer. If I was a writer, yes, I could write for myself and not give a fuck. If I was a painter, I could do this too. But I’m not. I help people sell more and in this equation, it’s not my skills that matter, it’s you.

You’re the one paying for my time and my services. You’re the one that is giving value to what I do. Without your active participation by purchasing what I’m selling, everything I say and do is worthless. There is no intrinsic value to what I create, there is only the value you give it as a customer.

And I’m not telling you this to feel good. I’m scolding you because most people I know treat the customer like the doesn’t matter. It’s “what I want”. It’s “the product I like”. Everyone is thinking how to get more traffic or how to get more conversation but few people think about how making the customer matter.

And this is where the most basic disconnect lies in marketing.

If you don’t treat your customer like he matters, then you will have a business, but one without sales. And a business without sales doesn’t survive. Your customer lies at the center of everything. He’s the fucking reason your business exists. He’s the nutrition that your business needs to exist. That’s the engine of what you do – not anything else.

But let’s get back to compassion…

People are used to be treated like tools. You have no fucking idea how many people come like I owe them something for free and like I live my fucking life to help them for free. This is why sometimes I’m a fucking asshole and I reply with anger and even hate – because some asshole before you made sure this to happen.

And I sometimes… well, most of the time treat people like this too. People come sometimes with open hearts and just want to be friends and I treat them like they don’t matter. I rationalize this by saying I’m busy but to be honest, I think of what I need and not what they need too. I lack compassion. This is one of my biggest challenges and it’s something I’m trying to learn. 

The same is with business partners. I have people coming and saying “hey, I have this and I want this and this and I want it because of this”. And I look at my screen or sometimes in person and I ask myself “what the fuck? You haven’t even asked me what do I want and you tell me what you want? Who do you think you are?”

I remember an example on Facebook, on a comment. There was this Indian girl that posted an arrogant post about how she needs people for her business, I think an MLM. And I explained to her that this is not how you do it – that you tell what’s in it for them.

Her reply?

“What do I care what others want? It’s what I want,”.

And this is how most business people think. They think of what they want – good customers, good fees, etc but fail to look at what other people want and need completely. For them, the customer is just a dollar sign and the customer can go fuck himself as long as the customer pays him.

But… your customer is the only way you exist as a business.

You sell something because it creates value for others. Even if you have a more abstract mission like saving the environment, you’re still selling to businesses or individuals that want to save the environment through your product. You’re not going to the forest and the trees will pull out their Amex and pay for your shit. No, you’re selling to another human being just like you and me.

This idea of compassion applies to everything, not just customers.

In a business, there are three four groups.

First, you have your customers. These are the people that pay for your stuff, duh. Second, you have your team members. These are the people who work for you and without which the business couldn’t run. The third are partners, other people with their own things which add value to what you do and you add value to them. And fourth you have investors if you use venture capital.

All of them are people.

I know it’s a hard concept to swallow but both Sue your secretary and Adam, your investor worth $50.000.000 are humans and as humans, they don’t like to be seen as tools. They have emotions and biases and beliefs and want to feel important and they feel hurt when they’re treated like they don’t matter.

So just like you need compassion for your customers to serve them well, because this is the way your business exists, so you need compassion for the people you work with (just because you pay them each month this doesn’t make them robots and you’re an asshole if you think this), compassion for people who work with you as strategic partners and compassion for the people who bring money in your business.

If you approach life through a filter of “it’s not what they want, I don’t care that, it’s what I want”, you’ll succeed, but you’ll succeed alone because nobody will give a fuck about you. The only way is to think what they want and need, what’s in their mind and heart and take it from there. Nobody wants to be a tool and nobody wants to be a dollar sign.

You develop good products through compassion, the use of compassion. When you think about what hurts them, what makes them suffer, you create solutions that keeps them in mind. It’s not what’s good for you, it’s what’s good for them. 

You develop a team that will follow to hell and back through compassion. When people feel like they matter and that you are grateful to have them in your business, they give 110%. Everyone wants to feel important and nobody wants to feel like a cog in the machine. This doesn’t mean that you’ll treat your employees as buddies but treat them with the respect and dignity.

You develop strategic partnerships when you talk in terms of their interests. It’s not your needs. It’s their needs first and then your needs. It’s solving their problems first and then you solve yours. It’s “let’s see how your list could enjoy this” not “I have a product and I need you to promote it because fuck, I need money”. 

You develop good investor relationships when… well; I don’t know. I’ve turned down all investment offers so far because I’m afraid to not waste people’s money. But I can assume that it’s when you consider what they want, their fears, their frustrations, their goals. I mean, take it this way. 

You ask someone to invest in your business. You see only dollar signs because we’re all fucking selfish assholes with this. But the other person bids away her retirement. If you fail, she loses all her money for old age or her kids college funds. Or maybe she’ll get fired for making a bad investment. Or maybe she’ll miss the opportunity to invest somewhere else because she invested in yours.

You think about “give me, give me” but she thinks about all the things that could happen. And you make investors trust you when you think in terms of their needs and their emotions and feelings and not just in terms of what you want.

I suck at this. I admit it. I feel so self righteous and self important sometimes that I feel to treat people like people. And I’m sorry. It’s not that I feel bad about it but I know that it’s not serving me. It’s something where I’m growing too. But believe me, based on what I’ve seen so far in other businesses, I’m further away than most people. At least I’m realizing what I’m doing right. Most people don’t give a fuck. Most people think they’re the center of the universe and they’re entitled to customers and employees and partners and act like they have a God given right for the world to give them success.

If you want money, care about your customers and serve them instead of serving yourself. If you want good employees, understand their needs and help them fulfill those – give them the dignity and the respect to make a difference. If you want partners – focus on solving their problems and then see how you can benefit as nobody gives a fuck about what you want. If you want investors, treat them as human beings with fears and goals and an own agenda and not as piggy banks. 

Do you have a sales letter that is not converting or are you starting a new project? Send me an ema and I’ll give you a free copy critique. In this critique I’ll give you at least six practical strategies for you to sell more

Do you have a sales letter that is not converting or are you starting a new project? Send me an email (click here) and I’ll give you a free copy critique. In this critique I’ll give you at least six practical strategies for you to sell more


PS: If you’ve found this post useful, please share on social media. I don’t run any paid advertising on this blog so all traffic comes from word of mouth. Please share this with your network and don’t forget to add me on Facebook by clicking here.

The Reality Check You Must Go Through Before Writing Copy

In writing good copy, you may need a reality check.

This means you have no idea how your marketplace talks… or what. So I suggest a simple experiment.

Get in your car or bus and go to the nearest shopping mall. Then find a seat and listen to what people speak. Don’t do it as a stalker or as the American psycho but in a discrete, “I’m playing on my phone” type of way.

You’ll learn something important and that most people are not the way you think they are. They don’t talk about their goals or anything important.

Sometimes they’re vulgar and most of the time they make little sense. This is because when people are not under the spotlight, they act naturally. And if you want to write good copy, you must talk to them as when they act relaxed.

You know, if we go to a restaurant now, you’ll meet a different me. I’ll wear a blazer and shoes and cologne and I’ll sit properly at the table. I’ll eat slowly, I’ll not talk with my mouth full and I’ll nod my head and say “hmm, yes” a lot to appear smart.

But that’s not me.

Me is the one at 23:00, eating fries while playing on his iPad. I have a fry in one hand and I’m with my hand on my iPad and the screen is full of oil and I drink Coca Cola and I eat too fast or too slow. 

Or meet me in the morning. I sit in bed, in my underwear, I bring the fan close and I watch gaming reviews on YouTube because there’s this guy that swears a lot and he’s hilarious. I don’t move even to take a shower.

This is the uncensored “me” or you or whoever.

It’s the person who acts naturally when nobody is watching. Contrary to popular belief, most of my conversations with people don’t start with philosophical insights and some are generic – like what movie have you’ve seen last night. 

But if you’d try to sell you’d try to sell to the person I appear in front of you, even if I try to be authentic. The neat, organized, got his shit together person when sometimes, I’m not like that. Sometimes I get lost and I lose my shit and I take it on the person next to me and I act like a 16-year-old girl having a nervous breakdown but guess what? So do other people when you’re not looking at them.

So this is why it’s important to get to know people as they really are. This means meeting them in their natural habitat, surrounded by friends they trust and in which they need not put a show of being better than they are.

It’s like in relationships when in the dating phase, she always wears make-up and such while later, she simply acts natural and doesn’t try to appear perfect every time.

And if you notice people in this environment, something magical happens.

You learn how to sell to them.

You hear the exact words they’re using on a day-to-day basis. You hear their frustrations. You hear their pain. You hear the dialogue they’re having with themselves based on what they talk with others. It’s the shower talk that really makes sales, not the talk in the fancy five-star restaurant.

But most copywriters and marketers don’t want to get down and dirty like this. They prefer to sit in their air-conditioned offices and assume how people talk, based on how they wish they’d talk, which is wrong. Pretty girls swear, big tough guys can act like a bitch, most people talk about generic things all the time and the main topic of conversation is what others have done, gossip is more important than self improvement and so on.

True, non-regulated behavior is far different from what we think about others. It’s like when someone is alone at home and will fart, that’s what he wants to do. He’ll never do this surrounded by guests, but at home, screw it, why not?

Let me give you an example.

A long time ago, I met a guy. This guy was my aunt’s boyfriend. It was a sad event in my family, my grandma died. In Romania, there’s this tradition to go find kids to walk in front of the funeral march because it brings good luck or whatever.

So I went with him and since it was a long road, I chatted with him. The first topic – what we all guys bond over are women. I told him “well, it’s hard to trust a girl nowadays”. He told me “I know, you need to install cameras everywhere to see what she’s doing”.

At first, I laughed as this shit was so funny, dark sense of humor, I love this in people. But I’ve realized that he wasn’t laughing. He was the paranoid type and the following months proved this. He would blame and accuse my aunt for things she hadn’t done, he would try to spy on her and many other things. You know, crazy, “I know they’re out to get me” type of shit.

I think I was the only person who knew from day one because he told me that. In front of everyone else he was normal… or almost normal. But believing I’ll share his beliefs, he told me what he really thinks.

And that’s the real world. In front of others we are in a certain way but with our friends or our loved ones, we are very different. And that is the authentic self you must evoke and use to make the sale. That’s where you find your nightmare story. That’s where you find your irrational fantasy. That’s how you build your magnetic message. You use what’s real, not what you wish it was real or what people project.

Good copy enters a conversation that’s already happening. I underline “what’s already happening” and not what should happen or hope to happen. It’s the real, true, vulnerable, authentic self that’s freaky and fucked up and almost nobody knows about. And the closer you get to that in your copy – when you use your qualifying questions or your conversion story or anything else, the better he’ll relate to everything you’re saying and the better your conversion will be.

Bad copywriters write for how they imagine human nature to be as they have almost zero experience in dealing with people.

Average copywriters write for how people act, what they project. They pay attention but they’re appealing to the persona, the construct, the “polite society” self.

Great copywriters appeal to the rough and dirty and otherwise obscene selves. They talk to the person who sits in his bed, too lazy to take a shower, thinking all these things that make no sense and that he’d be ashamed others to find out of, that he drops food on the floor and picks it up and eats it and that he doesn’t wash his hands after going to the toilet.

For them, good copy is like a psychic reflection of what the prospect is thinking and doing and not what could be / ought to be / should be and other bullshit variations like this.

So go in a shopping mall or somewhere and listen. Or get close to your prospect. People are very different from they appear to be. The difference can be huge.

Without proper research and detective work, your prospect looks like a young lady dressed amazingly well, smelling nice, a big smile, great hair, acting like a true young lady.

With proper detective work, you’re talking to the same lady, but now she’s in front of the TV, her legs opened wide and her underwear showing, with a box of ice-cream in front of her, her hair messy, saying “fuck, I have no more cigarettes”. 

When your copy mimics the language and the emotions of the second one, the one that acts like this because there is no one to judge her otherwise, then it sells.

Do you have a sales letter that is not converting or are you starting a new project? Send me a PM and I’ll give you a free copy critique. In this critique I’ll give you at least six practical strategies for you to sell more


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Don’t Even Dare Write Your Copy Before Refining Your Magnetic Message!


So let’s say you’re trying to sell me a fitness product.

If you’re an amateur, you’ll tell me you have a way for me to get in shape. If you’re better, then you have a way for me to lose a few pounds.

But that’s not what I want. I don’t want to get in shape. I want a deeper emotional benefit. I want to go on the beach, take my t-shirt off and all the girls to stare at me, some to even smile. I want their boyfriends to be upset because they’re more interested in me than them. I want to feel validated and special and to have people approach me.

This is my irrational fantasy and if you want to sell me a fitness product, translate your product to this outcome, otherwise, you’ve lost me – because I have no interest in abstract benefits as 12% BFI.

And this is what I want to discuss today – the magnetic message, a very confusing, very complicated concept in marketing that almost everyone I’ve met gets wrong.

About a week ago, I went on vacation to Vietnam. To get there, I took a bus to the airport. I’ve spent about two hours in the airport and three hours on the flight. Once in Vietnam, I’ve spent another two hours in a bus. 

Was this what I wanted? No. I wanted to enjoy the vacation in Vietnam, to try new stuff, to meet new people and see new places. I wanted the adventure and the joy.

Yet, I couldn’t have gotten there without flying there. There’s no teleportation machine invented as far as I know.

And so is the deal with your product. 

Your prospect doesn’t want your product. He doesn’t want the DVDs, or the downloads. He doesn’t even want the techniques inside. He wants the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, whatever that may be. He wants the vacation, but not the effort to get there. He hates you and your product because you’re an obstacle between where he is now and where he could be and he’d rather snap his fingers and be done with it.

And this is your magnetic message. It’s the concept you must match what your prospect really wants with what your product delivers in a way that’s emotionally hard hitting and calls to action.

And it’s so damn complicated that I don’t even know how to explain it, but I’ll try.

So, basically, your magnetic message is a statement that appeals to your prospect’s deepest desires and it promises to deliver that outcome fast, easy and in a risk-free manner. It’s like an USP on steroids. 

First – define their frustration or pain or suffering where they are now emotionally. This goes back to knowing your customer well and seeing the world through their eyes. It’s not “it sucks to be fat”, it is “I’m tired of never being asked out by a guy” or “I know that I’ll always be the bridesmaid but never the bride because I’m so fucking fat”.

Everything in this message is emotional and deep. 

For a business owner it’s not “stop losing money” but rather “I’ve lost money for the last six months and my wife doesn’t know. If she knows we’re broke, I fear that she may take the kids and leave because she didn’t agree with me starting a business to begin with,”.

This part will also be your nightmare story.

Second – define their desired outcome. This is what they want, their irrational fantasy. It’s not achieving 12% BFI but going in a nightclub and having a hot girl pick you up on the dance floor… or buying that new car for your parents in cash. 

This will also be your fantasy story.

A very important part here is to be specific. You don’t want to leave it to interpretation. It must be as simple as “do what I say and you’ll get this”. It’s about a specific sum or a specific car he’ll buy or a specific circumstance that will happen for him.

You don’t want to be wishy-washy and throw generalities; you want to paint a clear picture. For all intents and purposes, you want to do this all the time.

Third – the last part is your risk reversal. People don’t want to feel like they’re taking a risk. If there is a risk, they want it to be on your side. Risk is not just money but also looking stupid, wasting time, hassle of trying to get a refund, etc.

So make it so that if they make a mistake by buying your product, you’re the one losing, not them – because they can keep the product for free or they get their double money back or whatever. Frame it in such a manner that if they buy the product and it works, they win – if it doesn’t work – they still win, that there’s no circumstance in which they’ve lost something.

It’s like with Amazon. You get the best price, next day delivery, etc. If it’s not what you want, you get your money back. If you got what you want, you’ve got a great deal. Period.

These are the top three elements of your magnetic message.

Now, it’s important to write it in their language. The idea with the magnetic message is that it joins a conversation that’s already happening. It’s like you read their thoughts and tell them exactly what they need to hear to buy. So you must match their language – their self-talk. You can’t talk as the expert, you need to talk as the customer. 

Basically, this means you’ll express everything in your magnetic message through the same words, phrases and words that your prospect is used to hearing. It’s not about being sophisticated or not, it’s about congruence. It’s like your magnetic message is a Lego piece and this piece must match their self talk.

Second – it’s important to get it right. Most people don’t get it right. Most think only at a surface level and find it hard to impossible to relate with customers. The biggest problem I see when I give a free analysis or I do consulting is the disconnect between being an “expert” and the marketplace itself.

The expert sees the world in a very different manner. That’s why he’s an expert. But the customer is far more irrational and has a lot of biases and irrational beliefs and doesn’t have your clarity. And here’s where the disconnect happens – it’s like when going to see a lawyer and he uses this big fancy words and you nod your head but in your mind you’re like “what the fuck is this guy saying”?

Or when you go to a doctor and he’s talking using Latin terms and giving you some complicate explanation and you’re lost. You have no fucking idea what anything means and this leaves you alienated and frustrated. 

Well, avoid this. You talk on his language, both in this phase and in the rest of your copy.

Now, your magnetic message can be a tagline or a one paragraph copy or anything else. It’s not a clear part of your copy but rather a construct designed to match your solution with what he wants and where he is now and to make it easy and risk free to enjoy your solution. So don’t think of this so much in terms of a sentence, it’s not a tagline, but rather, as a paradigm.

Your magnetic message can be as simple as Domino’s pizza – Hot, delicious pizza in 30 minutes, or it’s free. Do you see how it works? Hot and delicious is the outcome they want. 30 minutes or it’s free is the risk reversal, in which no matter what happens, they win – they either get hot pizza or cold pizza but which is free.

There is a certain amount of word smithing in writing your magnetic message as finding the perfect message and so. But if you get right the pain they’re in and where they want to be and you translate your product to that outcome (remember – if you’re selling fitness advice, everything we do is getting me to being on the beach and getting stares of admiration and desires from hot girls), you’ll be fine. 

Last, try to make your process fast and convenient. Make it as easy as possible for people to order and don’t add obstacles in their path. It’s kind of stupid to have a prospect read a sales copy, decide that he wants your product and then have to complete a 15 minute questionnaire to get the product but I’ve seen it.

The more friction you have, the less you’ll sell because your prospect may do it later, when he has time, something that will never happen.

If you find the magnetic message confusing, you’re not alone. I’m sometimes confused about it too. I don’t even know how to write the proper magnetic message for my thing – because I offer a service and it’s not as easy to offer risk reversal as with a physical product.

But the basic idea is to…

#1 – Understand the pain he’s going through.

#2 – Understand the irrational fantasy he wants to be a part of.

#3 – Translate your product to get that specific, irrational outcome.

#4 – Make it risk free so no matter if it works or not, he wins.

#5 – Make it easy to order and convenient.

Do you have a sales letter that is not converting or are you starting a new project? Send me an email (click here) and I’ll give you a free copy critique. In this critique I’ll give you at least six practical strategies for you to sell more


PS: If you’ve found this post useful, please share on social media. I don’t run any paid advertising on this blog so all traffic comes from word of mouth. Please share this with your network and don’t forget to add me on Facebook by clicking here.