Week #23 – Derek Borthwick – How to Talk to Anybody


This week’s blurb breakdown is Derek Borthwick’s, How to Talk to Anybody.

At the time of writing it was number 1 in Amazon UK Global Business, Finance & Law.

Here’s a screenshot of the Amazon sales page…

Here’s the Amazon link if you want to check it out.

Let’s breakdown it down…

First, a note about the subtitle. They’ve stuffed it with about 17 keywords short tail and long tail keywords. They’re taking the scatter gun approach, hoping to snag as many passing fish as they can at the expense of subtitle that makes sense. It’s a strategy to maximise organic reach, but does little to help build my desire.

Let’s see how the rest of it pans out. Here’s the opening hook:

(With Bonus Audio) Would you like to skyrocket your communication skills in your career, personal and intimate life?

Would you like to be able to draw people towards you like a magnet?

Opening with the bracketed bonus, again, looks like they’re cramming as much info and benefits in as possible. But it’s out of place. At this point in the buying journey, I’m not sure if I want to buy the book yet. I want to know more about the benefit of the book, not the bonus. It’s kind of like the MacDonalds cashiers opening with ‘Do you want fires with that?’ instead of first taking your food order.

If I were to improve the opening, I’d start by moving the reference to the bonus.

Now the actual hooks. Opening with a question is a classic technique to get us engaged…And yet, I can’t help but dislike the first line. I don’t think anyone has been lying awake at night thinking ‘I wish there was a way I could skyrocket my communication skills’. Now, the second question is much better.

It’s better because it’s more visual, I can imagine it. And, more importantly, I can imagine that that is something I’d want.

Right, on to the body copy:

This book is NOT just another communication book and is NOT just a book of tips.

This is the ultimate communication system for talking to anybody, anywhere and in any situation.

These to sentences form a positioning statement. It’s a way of differentiating this book from other communication books. There are other ways to position against, like Chris Voss in his book, Never Split the Difference. He is positioned against other books using his status as an FBI negotiator.

The second sentence is a straight up promise. Personally, I’d make this the second line, with the first line being the one about drawing people towards you.

Next:

Using the scientific principles of communication and ©POWER2MIND technology, it will have you talking and communicating to anyone with confidence, charm and conviction, rapidly and naturally.

This sentence hits us with a trust builder. Using the words ‘scientific principles’ does two things, it gives us confidence and creates a knowledge gap. When I read this, I thought ‘Ooh, what principles?’, which created an open loop. As did the proprietary title, I mean I have no idea what ©Power2Mind technology is, but it gives what could be an abstract idea some weight.

However, it’s a long sentence and hard to read out loud in one gulp of air. There are rather a few ‘and’s and not enough room to catch your breath. This makes it harder to comprehend the point. When we stop to take a breath, we’re also giving our brain time to process the information. I’d definitely suggest tidying this up.


This will massively transform all areas of your life.


To be honest, this line doesn’t do much for me. It’s a telling sentence rather than a showing sentence. I can’t ‘see’ it in my mind’s eye.


[Includes a Rapid Learning Accelerator Audio to download to accelerate your success] 

This could be the bonus audio mentioned in the opening hook. I have no idea. But it’s almost as if they thought, ‘How can we make this sound faster and easier to do? I know, let’s add fast words like rapid and accelerator and if we bunch ’em all together it’ll make it sound faster!’ Ermmm…nope. We’ll just leave that one there.

Onward to the bullets…

YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO:

✓ Skyrocket your communication skills in your career, personal and intimate life.

✓ Effortlessly talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere and in any situation

✓ Powerfully take control of any conversation

✓ Intuitively master small talk

✓ Effectively develop unstoppable charisma

✓ Naturally get anyone to like you

✓ Easily attract real new friends and intimate partners

✓ Successfully talk to difficult people

✓ Automatically draw people towards you like a magnet every time you speak

And a lot more…

If you skim this list, you might think it’s good. But look closely and they pretty much all say the same thing. It’s as if they got ChatGPT to write it.

Gosh. This is turning into a harsh critique. Let’s move on…

TWO BOOKS IN ONE

In Part One, you will learn how people are wired, what they respond to, and what motivates them.

In Part Two, you will learn how to use all the principles and techniques to be a truly masterful communicator.

These are two really good sentences. They summarise the main selling points of the book and yet they’re buried right down the bottom of the sales page. They should be moved right up top – with a rework of the ‘Two books in one’.

Are you ready to skyrocket your business, personal and intimate communication?

I’m not a fan of the use of the word ‘Skyrocket’. Sure, copywriters use this type of exaggeration all the time, it gives a visual sense of movement and momentum. But as I said, no one alive (or dead probably) has ever thought to themselves, “I wish I could skyrocket my business,’ and I can guarantee no one has ever uttered the words, ‘I wish I could skyrocket my intimate communication.’

And the final sentence…



Scroll up, click the “Buy Now with 1-Click” button and Start Reading Now!

This direct call to action, at the end of the book description, on an Amazon sales page is an error. This was written by someone who read somewhere on the inter webs that you should always have a CTA at the end of the copy. I’ve probably written about the reactance this triggers before.

But another reason for not using a direct call to action like this, is because of the context.

Understanding the context in which a piece of copy will be read is an important conversion factor. Here, Amazon have trained customers so frecking well that the CTA is already baked in. So much so that if you want to buy the thing, you don’t even need to think where the buy now button is. You know intuitively. And less logical thinking = more buying.


Conclusions

I ripped into this one a bit. It could definitely be better. What is does show us is that there are other factors affecting sales. Like the much weight the author’s brand and credibility can still influence the sale. People might be more willing to over look a weak blurb in favour of their trust in the author.