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

Measure Your Sales Performance

An old performance management tenant states, “When performance gets measured, performance improves.” The truth of this statement is revealed over and over. We see time and time again in the sports world how records continue to be broken. The reason for keeping records is so comparisons can be made to top performance. The same holds true winning the sales game.

Your Measurement System

The first step in setting up your measurement system is to determine what is important for you to measure. What sort of activities should you be measuring? The answer is every significant sales activity. For example, if you make cold calls to generate prospects, then you would want to track at a minimum the number of phone calls made, number of times contact was made, and number of appointments generated.

Once you have determined the activities to measure, make a simple form for you to track the activity. You can use an electronic spreadsheet or simply make tic marks manually. Don’t get hung up on what type of method to use, just use a method that works for you. Keep it simple and easy to use.

How To Measure Activity

After you have determined the activities you are going to measure, then you can assign a point value to each activity. Next, determine the number of points you want to achieve each day. Measure your performance daily and weekly to your goal. Remember the purpose of keeping the measurement is to improve performance. Reviewing your activity helps you analyze are you doing the right things and are you doing things right. If you are not doing the right activities to be successful, you can analyze your time management, attitude, etc. If you are doing the activities but not getting the results, you can analyze your methods, seek training, etc.

Therefore, in order to win the sales game measures performance and analyzes the results. Always seek to improve performance.