Making decisions is difficult. And whether you're asking people to buy a sponsor's product, give a monthly donation or sponsor a missions outreach, it all comes down to this: you're asking people to make a decision.

How do you get people to choose your offer? Writing coach Ann Wylie says it comes down to answering four key questions.

1) Where is the pain? The best way to sell detergent is to talk about stains. Every mom has to fight messy stains … that's a pain point. Identify your audience's pain point and use that issue as a starting point for your message.

2) What is the crisis? In the detergent example, we've identified the pain point as a stain. Pain becomes crisis when it seems there's no option or alternative. Again, to use the detergent example, you'll never get rid of stains if you continue on your present path.

3) What is the choice? Do you offer an alternative? What does your product offer that no one else does? Whiter shirts? Cleaner socks? Can you back it up with evidence? What difference does it make?

4) What is the decision? Answer the “why.” But remember, you're really answering the question, “Why should I make a change?” You'll also need to give an emotional reason to make the change.” Use our sponsor's detergent because you'll spend less time getting stains out of your kid's jeans and more time playing with your kids.”

Yes, this is an extremely simplified way to explain spot writing or donor messaging, but if you can answer these four key questions, you'll be on your way to creating powerful stories that convince your audience to choose your offer.

Bill Arbuckle CMW

Bill Arbuckle is a media and marketing pro with over twenty-five years experience in creating media promotions.  You can connect with him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it....

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