I recently received three emails from members of my Inner Circle Group asking me to critique recent attempts of drafting sales letters. This task has become increasingly difficult thanks to the COVID-19 situation.
In all three cases, I spotted a common mistake as well as a few other faux pas, which I felt compelled to comment on. Let’s see if we all can learn anything from my recent experience.
Because it is a subject you feel most comfortable with, there will be a tendency to write about your qualifications, sincerity, and interest at the expense of the more important focal point. THE READER.
Here are a few of my suggestions. “If the shoe fits, wear it.” If I am not talking to you, stop reading now and get back to your daily routine – as long as that does not involve whining and complaining of how hard life and business is these days.
- Decide whom you want to write to.
- Determine what you think they need to hear.
- Decide what you want them to do as a result of reading your letter.
Once you have a feel for the above three steps, begin jotting down possible answers. This simple exercise will help focus your attention on what is important. This task will soon take shape and become easier as you continue to draft your thoughts.
After completing your first draft, I want you to perform the following exercise. Count the number of times you refer to yourself vs. them. I, my, we, us vs. you, yours, them, theirs.
- Nothing positive can happen if they don’t read your letter.
- They will not read your letter if they don’t feel there is something in it for them.
- They don’t give a hoot about you or the horse you rode in on.
Assume (and correctly so), your readers will be asking themselves these questions:
- What’s in it for me?
- Why should I care?
- What’s the upside of doing what you are asking me to do?
I don’t believe there is an answer to the question: “How does one write a sales letter that works?” There are too many variables at any given point in time to hang your hat on just one hook. I am afraid I have to say what you do not want to hear. Trial and error. Test your letters and see for yourself what works. Just hedge your bets by NOT shooting yourself in the foot by making common mistakes of self-interest.
I’ll leave you today by sharing the salesman’s mantra which encompasses both letter writing and in person presentations: BE BRIGHT; BE BRIEF; BE GONE.
Following my own advice, I will simply remind you not to be a pest.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.