Copywriting Sample: Restaurant Sales Letter

It’s Time for an adventure: enjoy great Cuban food and drink with me this Friday night at Iowa’s only Cuban restaurant, THE LOST CUBAN

Dear Laura,

You and I have often discussed the fact that we’re each bored with the dozen Chinese, Mexican, Italian, and other restaurants in the area, and I’d heard of the Lost Cuban, so it was on my short list of places to try.

BECAUSE GOOD FOOD ISN’T ALWAYS EASY TO FIND.

So, I recently tried the Lost Cuban, Cedar Rapids sole Cuban restaurant. I’m so very glad I did.

 The Lost Cuban is located in Cedar Rapids newly-revitalized downtown. I arrived after 6 pm, which is, happily, when the downtown parking meters and parking garages turn Free, so parking was a breeze.

The host was friendly and seated us right away, explaining the specials and taking our drink orders as we were seated. The restaurant is geared more to the lunch crowd, so it was brightly-lit with high-topped tables and stools, but the lack of atmosphere or mood-lighting was forgiven as soon as we tasted the food.

 GOOD CUBAN FOOD IS HARD TO FIND

The owners use the best and freshest ingredients available, and he uses recipes that were handed down from generation to generation in his family. As they put it, “Straight from abuelas recipe book to your plate.”

I’ve had some great Cuban Sandwiches before, but that was in larger, more cosmopolitan cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago, so I didn’t know what to expect from a Cuban restaurant here in Iowa. I need not have worried, the pulled pork was amazing, tender and juicy, and better than the pork at those bigger cities, and the Cuban bread, which was baked fresh on the premises, was wonderful. They even offered a pineapple habanero sauce that complimented the pulled pork perfectly and made my taste buds dance just a little.

My companion tried the slow-cooked Ropa Vieja, served with sides of yuca, plantains, and black beans. She said it was the best Ropa Vieja she’d ever tasted. Cuban Ropa Vieja is a delicious shredded flank steak marinated in tomato sauce with bell peppers, onions, garlic, and brown sugar and cooked slowly for at least 4 hours. Ropa Vieja is Spanish for Old Clothes, but the taste is amazing. Comfort food at its best.

Other specialities include fresh baked Cuban Bread, and Mojo Roasted Pork. All marinades and sauces are made from scratch.

You’ll love The Lost Cuban.

I’ll pick you up Friday at 7:00 PM.

Sincerely,

​Chris Becker

P.S.  They also have a newly-built full service Bar. The Mojitos were fantastic.

5 Old-School Sales Tricks that Still Work

Originally published on Medium.ComJun 1, 2016

Times have changed. But then, that has always been true. It’s like the old adage (are there actually NEW adages?) about the weather: If you don’t like the weather… wait a minute. In other words, change is inevitable.

And yet, there is nothing new under the sun, as King Solomon allegedly said about 3000 years ago in the Song of Songs. Human nature does not change that much.

With that in mind, here are 5 sales Old School techniques that have worked magic since back in the day.

  1. MAKE THE CUSTOMER THINK THAT BUYING YOUR PRODUCT IS THEIR IDEA:

The number one rule of sales, according to legendary ad man Michael Masterson, is: People Don’t Like Being Sold. The concept is simple enough for the salesperson, let the prospect know what it is he or she needs to know about the product… features, functions, benefits…then back off. Let them come to you. Give them a choice… “So, do you like the red one or the blue one.” Or, better still, say something like, “It’s up to you… you’re the boss.”

2. PEOPLE BUY WITH THEIR EMOTIONS

All the Features, Functions, Benefits, and Rube Goldberg Devices in the world will not work if you are not playing to their emotions. A great list of emotions you can use are: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, and Sloth. Look familiar? If you remember the movie “Seven” or you’re deeply into Manga, you’ll recognize this list as the Seven Deadly Sins. Really, though, they are a list of powerful emotions which we’ve all given into throughout our lives.

They are also powerful sales tools:

Pride: If you buy this, you’ll be the talk of the neighborhood;

Envy: Are you going to let Mr. Jones have the latest technology while you’re still using last years model?

Gluttony: Yes, I DO want fries with that… in fact, Super-size me.

Lust: Sex sells, baby! Just ask Don Draper.

Anger: They kicked sand in your face, but not anymore. Show ’em what you’re made of, baby.

Greed: You’re getting the best deal ever. This product will help YOU to rake in the cash.

Sloth: This gadget is so convenient, it will drive your kids to school.

Emotions like these can be used in your ad copy, your sales pitch, your rebuttals, and they can also be uncovered as the buyers “Pains.” Once we uncover their pains, their frustrations, we can offer solutions to those pains.

3. ONCE SOLD, MAKE THEM FEEL THEY’VE MADE A WISE DECISION:

“Oh, man, Mr. Smith, you’re gonna be the envy of the neighborhood when they see THIS bad boy.”

This is a simple technique, but is hugely important. The customer needs to feel validated. This also minimizes the amount of cancellations you get on the back end, and you’ve made a potential regular customer. Making them feel good about their decision helps you and/or your company to sell the customer’s NEXT order. The sad reality is many salespeople don’t take the time to nail down this last detail, but it will pay off in the future.

4. DON’T JUST TALK… LISTEN:

As the saying goes, we each have two ears, but just one mouth. Listening to the prospect helps us to build rapport, helps them to blow off steam regarding previous sales attempts, products that didn’t help, and their pains and frustrations. Sometimes the prospect will yell at you, but he or she is not really yelling at you, but rather at dozens of bad salespeople who DIDN’T listen to them. So listen. Even if you don’t make a sale, at least you had a nice conversation as opposed to just spouting off another sales pitch, then giving canned rebuttals.

5. ASK FOR THE SALE:

This is the most obvious sales technique of all, but, in my experience as a sales professional for over twenty years, it’s one technique that most salespeople do not use. All the rapport building, needs-identifying, and product knowledge in the world won’t work if you don’t say, “So, will that be cash or credit?” If you’re waiting for the buyer to say, “Sounds great, I’ll take it,” you’re going to wait a long, long time.

Don’t feel like you’re being pushy. It’s your job. They know it’s your job. The key to a good close is this: lay your groundwork first. Remember Sales Rule #1? People Don’t Like Being Sold? If you lay your groundwork: listening as much as talking, identifying needs, selling to their emotions, gaining their confidence through product knowledge… then asking for the sale will come organically. It’s when you ask for the sale without creating a consultative sales environment, when you’re just giving them a sales pitch, a spiel, a few verbatim rebuttals, that they feel like they’re being sold, hustled, conned.

Don’t waste their time and yours. Be a consultative seller, an authority seller, an expert in your product or service.

Happy Hunting!

Why I Write

THE BIG QUESTION

Probably the most asked question in the writing game, after “How do I get an agent” and “How do you get your ideas” is “Why do you write?” It should be the first question all writers ask of themselves.

I’ve been writing since I wrote my first creative writing assignment in 5th grade. That was in 1969, over 50 years ago.

BACK IN THE DAY

I’ve considered myself a professional writer since I began writing my first mystery and science fiction short stories for submission to magazines in New York. That was in 1982. Those first stories were terrible. I honestly did not write a sellable story until 1995, and I didn’t actually sell those two stories which I wrote as part of a Fiction Writing class for Writer’s Digest School.

To get to that point, I’d lived an extra dozen years, plus I’d majored in Journalism in college, and the successes I had as a student journalist sharpened my writing skills.

That’s all background, though, it doesn’t answer the question of Why I Write. That’s a difficult question to answer. It might be easier to give you a list of wrong answers. In other words, a list of reasons which are NOT my motivations for writing.

5 REASONS NOT TO BE A WRITER

  1. I don’t write to get rich. (Should that somehow happen, cool. But it’s not a certainty.)
  2. I do not write to get famous. (Same as above.)
  3. I don’t write because I have “Something to say.” (Who cares what I have to say? I don’t.)
  4. I do not write because of my huge ego. (My ego is easily deflated.)
  5. I don’t write because I feel the world needs to read my writing. (The world does not need to do so.)
  6. Today’s Internet market has created a new golden age for writers. Thousands of writers are getting paid to write. Some write Fiction, some Content Writing, some Copywriting, or whatever. I DO have enough ego to know that I’m way more talented than many of those professional freelance writers. I might as well take part in the cash grab.

THE NEW GOLDEN AGE

For Fiction Writers, which I primarily consider myself to be, the Internet, as it is in 2022, is The New Pulp Era, similar to the original Pulp Fiction Era of the 1920s-1950s, and the Paperback Era of the 1950s-1990’s. And for Nonfiction writers, it’s a Bonanza unparalleled since the Slick Magazine era of the 1950s-1970s… with a lot MORE markets than there used to be.

I write because it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I said that I don’t write to get rich or famous because I’m a realist. I’m a very good writer. Some day I may be a GREAT writer. But there are hundreds of thousands of good writers who can do what I do.

Still, I should be able to make a comfortable living from my writing, even if I have to write Web Content and Ad Copy by day, and write my Genre Fiction at night.

LET’S GO

One thing I have learned from studying what works and what doesn’t in Indie Publishing, Freelance Copywriting, etc., is that the more content a writer puts out is the more chance that writer has of finding a paying audience. In Indie Publishing they say an author needs “A Dirty Dozen” titles in his or her catalog before the sales start to show. That could be 12 to15 full-length 100,000 word novels, or 12 to 15 standalone short stories or novellas. Depending on the subgenre, either will work. You still need to market your work like crazy, but all the marketing, paid ads, and Social Media in the world will fail if you only have a catalog of 1 to 3 titles.

I’m still working on my first dirty dozen titles, so I can’t exactly say that I’m leading by example. I’m the preacher whose sermons are 90% for myself.

Until later,

Keep reading and keep writing.

CJB

Welcome to Chris Jay Becker.Com

Hello, there, I’m Chris Jay Becker. I’m a veteran writer. I’ve written everything from screenplays to mystery/crime novels to stand-up comedy. I’ve also written ad copy, radio and TV commercials, telemarketing scripts, and website and blog content with or without SEO. I’m also a freelance editor specializing in both Fiction and Non-Fiction Kindle books. Let me know what you need written, edited, or both.