Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Most Incredible Marketing Letter to Supercharge Sales

In the last column I shared with you an Ingenious Sales Technique to reach an extremely difficult contact, those captains of industry who are senior executives of giant corporations. This column I want to describe a way to take your sales letter and make it the most powerful tool you can by adding a couple things to it.

Make it Short and Sweet

Personally, I favor a short sales letter. I do my best to hook them with the benefit at the beginning, then add a statement why they'll find my offering valuable expressed in terms relevant to them (time or cost saved, income gained, convenience achieved, et al.) Lastly, I add a guarantee or some type of language offering them peace of mind when they deal with me.

Marketers base direct mail on the premise that their readers have the attention span of a gnat, and you can assume a busy executive is no exception. You can be a superb writer. But unless you use an exceptional marketing message to pique the recipient's interest, your letter will occupy their attention for the time it takes to drop it into the trash. I want to grab my prospect's attention as soon as they open the envelope. So I put the marketing message as near the top as I can. That way there's a better chance I'll hook them and they'll read the rest of the letter.

There are a few things you can do to pique your prospect's curiosity and extend that time period.

By doing so, you'll have a greater chance of gaining the attention of your prospect. Better still, you'll gain the attention of the assistant which we shall see is often better.

Coax the Secretary

In Selling To VITO (Very Important Top Officer), the author asserts it's a good idea to cultivate a relationship with the assistant. This technique goes even further: it enlists the assistant to help.

By enlists, I mean you will encourage them to set an appointment with his or her boss. Using this concept will increase your chance of getting on their boss's calendar greatly.

You've written your polished custom-tailored sales letter and you're ready to send it along. First step: find out the first name of the assistant. The name of the assistant is much easier to get than the name of the executive in most cases.

Second step: add a handwritten P.S. at the end of the letter. You want this to stand out so use an appropriate ink depending on the letterhead. I use a red felt tip pen.

The Most Powerful Postscript

The postscript should read: "I shall call you at 2pm on Wed, Sep 23rd. If this time is inconvenient, please have Linda call me at 555-2121 to reschedule." Linda is the assistant's name and the time and date are a few days after you expect the boss to receive the letter.

Call at 2pm sharp (or whenever you indicate) and be amazed at how often the assistant puts you right through to the boss. I've had CEOs answer the phone themselves when I did this. One notoriously difficult to reach CEO of a large financial services institution told me upon answering the phone that I normally wouldn't reach him. He said I provoked his curiosity and that he had to know who had used such a novel approach. He didn't buy from me but he then offered me a position training his sales department.

Why does this technique work? First of all, Linda probably opens her boss's mail. Seeing one's own name is flattering; if you see your name on correspondence, wouldn't you be more likely to forward it? Given the assumptive tone, Linda may presume you've already discussed the matter with her boss. Whatever reason, this technique will open many more doors for you.

Don't be surprised if you get a call from Linda rescheduling your phone call. Also, I've had a VP I tried to reach call me out of the blue before the due date. All kinds of things can happen with this technique.

Use it in conjunction with the previous Ingenious Sales Technique to create a devastatingly effective method to reach a decision maker over the telephone.

Do you feel this combination would work for your business? Write a comment letting me know your thoughts.

In a later column I'll introduce additional concepts that you can incorporate along with these techniques into a mailing campaign. This will multiply the effectiveness of your acceptance. And later I'll share with you a bulletproof method of sales management. If you're a new or struggling sales manager, you'll want to read this. Stay tuned. Until then,

profitable business All!


  1. Another great article regarding sales advice and tips, myself I'm not in sales anymore, it's not my thing, but I still get involved with sales techniques just to improve the relations I can have between clients and visitors.
    The way you describe doing it is really smart, building on other people's assumptions is the best way to make sales I would assume.
    The method of course could work for anyone.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the article, Essex! When you were in sales, do you think this tip would have worked for you?


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