The Most Important Business Skill

BY Tom Antion

I’ve been in business 40 years formally and way more than that if you count all my entrepreneurial endeavors starting at about 10 years old. I hit multi-millionaire status about 17 years ago and have maintained that ever since. So, I think I know a little bit about the skills you need to thrive in a business.

Certainly to be in a thriving business, you need all kinds of skills. Customer service, sales, product development all come to mind as obvious ones. The one that stands out the most in my not so humble opinion is copywriting. No, I’m not talking about “copyrighting” which is protecting your intellectual property. I’m talking about your ability to write words that make people want to give you money.

Getting copywriting skills pretty much lets you write checks to yourself.

This skill really trumps all the others. Without copy you wouldn’t have any customers to service.

Without copy no one would call your company so that you even have a chance of selling them.

Products would just sit on the shelves if it wasn’t for copy.

I’ve preached for years to all my high-end mentees . . . “Copywriting is the number one skill I’ve developed in my entire business career”. . . . And one more thing; If you really like writing, people too lazy to learn this skill will be forced to pay you big money to do it for them.


Copywriting is not like writing a novel. I’d say it’s a hundred times easier since you don’t have to have a plot full of twists and turns and a bunch of character development. It’s way easier than writing a how to book (which is pretty easy) because it’s not nearly as long. I will admit many books are written only to be a GIANT sales letter for the product that is written about in the book. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about using simple writing techniques that create desire for your product. And guess what . . . you can “swipe” most of them.

You don't have to be a hyper intellectual scribe to write great copy.


Let me be clear. Taking into consideration my consumer advocacy and anti-scam TV show I’m developing I’d be the last one to advise you to steal someone else’s work and claim it as your own. However, in the field of copywriting, borrowing ideas and customizing them to make them your own is pretty much the norm . . . NOT the exception.

Every top copywriter keeps a “Swipe File” of copy they have seen that really grabbed them. They use the idea of the copy, but insert their own material and tweak it to make it their own. This is relatively easy since you are surrounded by advertising copy every day both when you are out and about and when you’re in front of your computer.  Just start collecting things you like.


This excuse always cracks me up. There’s no one busier than I am, but I can find the time to write copy because it makes sense. Hiring a copywriter will not save you time. . . . Hmmm. Let me think about that for a second. I guess hiring a bad copywriter would save you time. A bad copywriter will not take the time to interview you about your product and it’s benefits for hours. Of course, the copy you are paying for will most likely flop. You did save time though.

The real reason hiring someone will not save you time is that a good copywriter will want to know every detail, every feature and every benefit of your product. He/she will want to know all the details of your target market. If you have more than one target market, you’ll have to tell the copywriter all the details of each market because each market will have to have the core sales letter tweaked to that market.

You will have to take time to carefully review each draft of the sales letter to make sure a false claim is not made about your product and to make sure the copywriter is conveying your wishes appropriately. Figure on at least three drafts with hours spent on each draft and days or weeks wasted between drafts. I’m not exaggerating here. A good copywriter will have many clients and won’t be able to spend full time on your project unless you’re willing to pay a super-premium price.

Bottom line is that you will not save time. A sales letter that you could knock out in a day or two-part time could conceivably take months to finish.  I.e. you’re paying for things to take longer. I don’t have that kind of time and money to waste.


When you ignore this skill and hire a copywriter for a product, all you get is a sales letter for that product. What about all the other things you need copy for? Video scripts, blog postings, articles,flyers, brochures, post cards, facebook type ads, Google type ads all contain copy. You may not realize it, but all of those things you need for your business to be more successful have elements of copy in them.

All your business materials, blog posting, video scripts, flyers and the like use copy. Do you want to have to hire someone every single time you need a piece of copy?

When you learn the techniques of writing words that sell, all your business communications will be more likely to move people to action. Compelling copy will start invading your YouTube videos, your social media postings, and all your business correspondence.

I’m not going to make you look like the proverbial used car salesperson, but ignoring the fact that there are techniques you most likely don’t know about that make people want to buy will cost you enormous amounts of money in the future.


Here’s a technique that you are surrounded by every day of your life and they even use it on the evening news. It’s called the Ziegarnik Technique. I’ll bet you’ve never heard of it. Bluma Ziegarnik was a Russian psychiatrist / psychologist who discovered an interesting principle of the human mind --- that it cannot stand unfulfilled curiosity. Let me show you several ways this is used.

But first let me tell you about two news directors from major TV stations that were in my mentor program a while back. They both told me they simply lie to you in their news broadcasts. They might say something at the beginning of the newscast like, “When we come back we’re going to tell you who Britney kissed. You won’t believe it.” Then they keep doing teasers like that and then they finally tell you at the end of the show.

TV News uses this technique against you every day.

How do I know about the Britney example? I witnessed it one time in Los Angeles while I was in my hotel room getting ready to go downstairs to speak to a big group. Even though I don’t give a darn about Britney Spears, I was almost late for my speech because I fooled around getting ready long enough to hear who it was. It turns out it was that guy she married in Las Vegas for about 12 hours. The Ziegarnik technique got me.

So how can you use this without being big liars like the news people? One place you use it is in subject lines of emails. Really the subject line of a promotion is by far the most important part of any email related online sale. If the email never gets opened, nothing else really matters after that.

Here are a couple Ziegarnik style subject lines and commentary:

Boy did I get in trouble!  (My readers wondered what I did to get in trouble.)

My Most Important Business Skill (People wonder what it is.)

The 3 Smartest Dogs (People wonder what they are and maybe think there is a list of all the other dogs so they can see how their dog rates.)

So, you can see that the Ziegarnik technique is used online to increase “Open Rates” on emails.

Now let’s look inside an email.

There’s a trend in email marketing to have shorter emails that drive people to a website. This is a good idea for several reasons. First, the shorter the email, the less likely it is to get caught in a spam filter. Second, when you have more website visits you look more popular to the search engines and you can control the look of your website better than you can in email. Third when you have people at your website it’s easier to expose them to a nice long sales letter, sales video and all the other goodies you have on your site.

Ziegarnik to the Rescue.

Here’s an example of the inside of an email using the Ziegarnik technique to get people to click through to a website:

Dear Sally,

Did you ever wonder how your dog rates when it comes to intelligence? Click here to see if your pooch made it in the top three, and if not, where your little bundle of joy falls in the smarts section. Don’t worry, we love every one of them no matter where they rate.

Click here now!

I’m not saying you should always do super short emails. I’m just trying to show you options that work.


The bottom line is that your business will climb in sales AND save a ton of money if you bother to learn to write copy.


There are many easy-to-learn, yet extremely powerful techniques just like the one above that savvy business owners know. The same exact techniques are used in any type of business. You just change the words to suit the industry you’re targeting.

These techniques can be the difference between a business that’s losing money and one that’s profitable. They can be the difference between a business that’s making some money and one that’s making lots of money. Plus, remember if you like to write, you can get others to pay you large sums of money to write for them.

To learn more I have an extremely popular FREE webinar that teaches five super powerful techniques that by themselves can triple the effectiveness of all your promotions. The online event will be held at three convenient times this week. Register now!

Anyone and I mean ANYONE can add these five techniques to their business. You don't have to be a good writer or even be able to spell that well. Even though I'm only going in depth on 5 techniques on the webinar, I'll be showing you 31 other salesletter elements that are used to sell more of your ideas, products and services.

If you want to massively increase your bottom line, don’t miss this webinar

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