Estimated reading time: 14 minute(s)
A rousing intro. A brilliant argument. A thundering close. These are fun to write, and often fascinating to read. But do you need them—any of them—to win over a b2b reader on a website, in a byline, on a one-sheet?
No. You do not.
What you need is far simpler. A killer statement. One sentence that slays the reader, and causes him or her to surrender, to buy in, to become your buyer, with all the gut certainty and the heart trust and the mental non-interference that entails.
Salespeople know what I’m talking about. Every sales rep craves that moment: the symbolic close, when you know the prospect is on board. When minds meld and hearts align, and resistance melts away.
Your website copy, sales collateral, or marketing content can produce this, too. In mere seconds, a killer statement can slice bone.
It’s not that the typical approach—punchy opener, compelling storyline, contextual explanation—is wrong. Not at all. It’s just noisy. And it requires too many detours.
But these things are the norm. It’s the norm to bury your killer statement in a tidal wave of lesser words, rather than a swift, deadly martial move. It’s the norm to miss your statement completely… feeling around, flailing, and failing to develop your edge.
If you want to kill, you need a samurai. Every one of our MarketSmiths finds the killer statement—and wields it dangerously.
The Killer Stroke in Action
Here’s one such samurai at work. In writing a website for a tenant-side commercial leasing firm, Paul, one of our senior copywriters, wanted the client’s lease renewal page to generate urgency.
The typical approach might say: Renew Your Lease. “We can handle your commercial lease renewals for you. And there’s not a moment to spare.” (Zzzz).
Nah. Here is what Paul wrote instead:
Know what you’re entitled to.
When it comes to commercial lease renewals, know this: the landlord is not your buddy.
You’re paying his mortgage. Putting his kids through college. You don’t own an investment building in Manhattan for kicks.
At the same time, it costs your landlord money—and time—if you leave. These are painful, and he wants to avoid that pain.
The best deal for you might not be about dollars per square foot. It might be about flexibility. Or getting your office spruced up—paint, new lights, faster WiFi. Maybe it’s about securing a month of free rent. What matters is how we can capture value for your business—and get exactly what you want.
The quicker you act, the more powerful your leverage. Get started while time is on your side.
Let’s review your renewal offer >
Here’s how Paul delivers the killer statement:
1. Paul doesn’t mince words. He jumps right in, framing the bad news with the good. This is a carefully calibrated picture of where 99.5% of renewing tenants stand.
2. There is zero ink dedicated to defining what our client does.
- We do not say they handle lease renewals. Wasted ink.
- We do not say that they’ve been doing so for 20+ years, or 450 combined years. Wasted breath.
- We do not say they use best practices, are “best in class,” or employ any other meaningless qualifier. You know why not.
3. We must get the reader in our orbit. So we stick to their point of view throughout—which makes for a far deadlier kill.
4. Then we crank it up. A call to action. “Get moving.” That’s it.
Climb Into the Skin of Your Product
Sam, MarketSmiths’ editorial lead, wrote this page for a manufacturer that co-develops drugs for Big Pharma:
Formulations that work, even when no one’s watching.
The best preservatives are the unsung heroes. They work silently behind the scenes, keeping a product looking, feeling, and smelling just as good at the bottom of its shelf life as it did when your consumer put it in their cart. And when preservatives do their job, the consumer never knows they’re there, because they keep your customer safe and satisfied—as you always intended.
This is the type of preservative we make at XXX.
We treat preservatives as a crucial component, not an afterthought. That’s why we work in tandem with brands, creating tailored preservation solutions that make formulations function as well as possible, for as long as possible. Because we understand that preservation is more than chemistry. It’s an essential part of life. […]
Here’s how Sam delivers the killer statement:
1. Like Paul, she jumps right in. She casts the character—preservatives—and puts it center stage (it has a shelf life!). She plays up the character’s importance, so that you understand that it’s not in a bit part.
2. Like Paul, Sam focuses on your product, your brand, your consumer. And she downplays us: our client, the manufacturer. She only talks about “us” in conjunction with the you.
3. She gets in. She kills in line 1. She gets out.
To recap, the copy on your website, brochure, sales collateral is battling tough odds. It needs to cut—swiftly, sharply—through doubt, boredom, confusion, skepticism, fear, and procrastination.
So, let’s sharpen your message until it’s lethal.
Enlist a ‘Smith for help. Then watch as the layers of resistance surrounding your reader fall away at once—and wins you the start of something new and wonderful.