Writing Effective Sales Letters

If you plan on winning the sales game you will need to be able to write effective sales letters and correspondence to prospects and customers.  All too often sales letters are written from the viewpoint of the sales person.  They usually center around what the sales person or the salesperson’s company wants to do.  The interest of the prospect is totally obscured in the message.        writing letter1

Here is an example of a sales correspondence written to get an appointment with a prospect

Dear_______,

My name is __________ ___________with ABC Company and we supply the best paper in the area for businesses.  I would like to make an appointment with you to discuss your needs and how we can be of service.

Now who is the focus of the letter?  It’s the sales person.

Here is another example of a more customer focused correspondence.

Dear __________,

The challenge to service your customers has never been more difficult that it is today.  The need to have proper paper inventory levels can allow you to be more competitive and at the same time minimize your costs.

We understand your challenges at ABC Company and have provided solutions that have saved companies just like yours 3 – 5 % in margin due to cost reductions.  A no obligation 30 minute consultation could explore how you could start saving too.

See the difference?  Now I just made up this scenario, but the idea is the focus of your correspondence should be on the customer or prospect.  When you address their needs they are more likely to want to talk with you.

So when you are writing sales letters of any kind, look to see how many times you are using the word “I” or “We”.  Instead, see how you can incorporate the word you.  It will increase the receptivity of your message

How to Make A Pre-Call Plan

One of the major pieces but often one of the most overlooked parts of the sales process is pre-call planning.  Pre-call planning is what you do to prepare yourself to succeed on the sales call.  What goes into pre-call planning?

The first step of the pre-call plan is to establish what you want to accomplish on the call.  Depending on the length of your sales process, you could make anywhere from 1 to 20+ calls on a prospect before you reach agreement to do business.  You want to have it clear in your mind before making the call what you want to accomplish.

The step in pre-call planning is to determine how you will know you succeeded in accomplishing what you wanted to accomplish.  In other words, what does success look like on the call?  For example, let’s say in step one you said you wanted to accomplish having your prospect agree to a free trial.  Then in this step you want to state what the prospect will do to agree to a free trial.  It could be the customer will sign the paperwork necessary and set a date to begin.  At first glance you might say this looks like step one.  It is not.  Step one in the what, this step is the how.  If you don’t know what it looks like to achieve the call objective, you won’ know if you were successful on the call.

Next you want to determine the key points you want to discuss on the call.  Never go into a call with the idea of “winging it”.  Without planning it is easy to forget or get distracted and not cover the main points you intend to cover.

Next you want to plan how you will enter into the discussion of the points.  Here you want to be relevant to your prospect.  You might want to write a list of questions you plan to ask or statements you plan to make.  The idea is to know what you are going to say and how you are going to say it in a relevant way to your prospect.

Next you want to plan how you will convey your call to action.  Every call you make it should have a call to action.  The call to action is what you want your prospect to do to have you achieve the goal of the call.  You want to plan the compelling “offer” you will present that will move your prospect to act.

If you will take the time to plan out these five things before you make each sales call you will move prospects through the sales funnel faster and more efficiently.  To download a copy of a pre-call planning worksheet, click the link below.

Click here to get your Pre-call Planning Worksheet

Are You Fanatical?

We’re dead smack in the middle of football season.   Every Sunday and Monday teams line up to compete on the football field with the goal to win the game.  The players expend a lot of energy on the field and one group of players will be elated at the end of the game and another group of players will be disappointed and think about “what if”.   Just as interesting as the game, and more so in some instances, are the fans.  Fan is short for fanatical and that is certainly an appropriate name for people who follow a sports team.Fans

A fan is special.  They root for the team and never give up hope.  Their team could be down by three touchdowns with two minutes to go and the fan says: “it doesn’t look good but we can still pull it out.  A touchdown here, two onside kick recoveries, score two more touchdowns. Yeah that’s doable in two minutes!”  Well, that’s a fan for you.

You can sum up a fan in one word and that’s ENTHUSIASM.  All fans have it.  In fact you can’t be a fan without it.  Zig Ziggler said that the last four letters of the word enthusiasm, IASM, makes a great acronym.  He said IASM stands for: I Am Sold Myself.  Now isn’t that true of fans.  They are sold on their team.  And, if you say something bad about their team, they will make you curse your mother for giving you birth.  No question, they are sold on the team.

Zig made an application for sales people about the concept of “being sold”.  He asked: “how could you sell something to someone else if you are not sold yourself?”  Are you a fan of your company, the products you sell, the services you provide?  If not, a good thing to do would be to examine why.  You could get all the sales development training, the latest technology, and anything else, but if you are not sold on what you bring to the marketplace, you will not be successful.

C’mon be fanatical about your company and your products!  The bigger fan you are the more you will sell.