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5 steps to writing a great sales letter

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5 steps to writing a great sales letter

Ali Golds

I love writing sales letters. Taking a blank piece of paper and crafting a message that will reach into the desires of your client, or potential client, and encourage them to work with you is immensely satisfying. Years of practice (and mistakes!) have got me to a point now where I know what to say where and when, what works and what doesn't. 

I remember the time I sent out a mass campaign to potential new clients and the company I worked for insisted that we use first names in the salutation. I was very resistant, sure that this was an etiquette faux pas, but my boss was adamant. So that's what I did. Cue the irate call from one lady who asked if I knew her, and if I didn't why was I using her first name. Yep, I never made that mistake again.

The moral really is that you must go with your gut instincts when working on sales letters. You know what clients want (even if you haven't yet brought in one yourself, you've likely been in the industry) and how they like to be approached. Use that knowledge wisely, and don't let others sway you - especially when it's your name and signature at the bottom.

1.  Know what you want to achieve

Before you even put pen to paper, you must be very clear about what you want this letter to achieve. Are you just putting the word out amongst interested leads? Are you looking for meetings? Are you trying to make a sale? Whatever it is, be clear before you start writing. It's easy to get side-tracked and end up writing something totally irrelevant; a waste of your time and, if sent, your opportunity to bring in a new client.

2. Know your audience

I wouldn't recommend sending anything out until you know who you're dealing with. What are their needs and desires? What makes them tick? What turns them off? How might they like to be addressed or approached, and do you employ a hard sell or a soft, consultative sell?  This is all critical information that will guide how you write your letter.

3. Sell the benefits

Successful sales people sell the benefits, not the features, of their product or service. It's very straightforward but lots of people get it wrong. Tying down the benefits can be a lengthy process, with lots of tinkering but it's vital. I want to know, as a client, what benefit there is to me from spending my money with you - show me!

4. What is your call to action?

So you've written your letter, it looks great, you've remembered all of the pointers and then you send it out. But you don't get any response. Odd, you think. I thought I'd covered off everything. Just check - did your lead know what they were supposed to do? What was the call to action? Did you include a 'register now' link if you were telling them about an event; or a 'buy here' if you wanted them to purchase something? And if you're trying to get a meeting - don't ask leads to call you. They wont. Always tell them when you will call them, and make it relatively quickly after the letter was sent. They'll forget you in a heartbeat if you don't.

5. Update regularly

A sales letter that yields results is a wondrous thing. However, it needs regularly updating, just like your business plan.  Things change, you have new priorities, words can get a bit stale, so don't rely on using the same letter week in week out, or year in year out. Keep it fresh, and keep it engaging.

 

Would you like more help writing your sales letters? Or with your bizdev planning? I can help! Contact me today to book your FREE discovery session!