Fire, Wait, Fire – How an Airborne Trooper Makes the Sale

Did you ever notice how sometimes a new problem in your life gets solved by some old skill from your past that seemed totally irrelevant at the time?

I love it when that happens

It’s amazing how our brain has these weird ways to combine our memories with present scenarios and come up with an elegant solution.

(By the way – that’s the what the best innovators do – combine things together. Nobody can really create anything. We’re just people, not God).

So anyway, back in the days when I was a soldier in the Israeli army, they trained us in special warfare tactics.

They trained us to save our ammo, and… (I hope my Middle-Eastern brutal language isn’t too much for your delicate soul… ) KILL as many of the enemy with as little bullets as possible.

One memorable tactic was that of an ambush -

Your force is hiding in the bushes waiting for the enemy troops to show themselves.

You get all weapons on targets and simultaneously fire off some bullets.

You don’t go crazy Rambo style and fire all your ammo all at once – that’s cool in the Hollywood movies but doesn’t really work in real life… just a short burst of hell… and then…


For what?

For the enemy to assess casualties, try to figure out what happened, and start moving again.

YOU KEEP WAITING some more… wait patiently until they think they’re out of danger and get the courage to get organized again and keep going… and THEN you UNLEASH HELL.

So why am I telling you all of this? Am I some kind of sadistic Israeli nut?

Well, maybe I am who knows…

But the reason I’m writing about this ties back to my twisted brain’s way of combining and creating an elegant solution -

See, this warfare tactic is pretty much what real effective copy does.

Bullets in copy don’t kill, but rather create fascination and extreme curiosity in your prospect’s mind if done properly. It’s those usually short sentences in bold writing with a bullet next to them that you’ll see in sales letters or promotions, telling you about some very interesting features and benefits of the product or service being offered.

So you “fire” a couple of curiosity raising bullets to engage the enemy… err… I mean your reader (sorry, that barbaric Israeli in me gets excited when talking about these things), and then… do you fire all the rest of your intriguing bullet features?


And the copywriting version of waiting is providing valuable content.

See if you just fire all your bullets in the copy, your reader (and always think of him in terms of the skeptic that he REALLY is… ) will start thinking “this is just teaser copy… There’s nothing in here I can use… I’m outta here) and you lost him.

So instead – give something valuable. Some excerpt from your product or service. Something to keep him engaged by thinking “I’m glad I’m reading this – there’s some useful information in here… )”

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