Outline the terms of a future contract with a customised online Letter of Intent, also referred to as What will this Letter Of Intent be used for? Sale of goods and services . a reasonable amount of time to evaluate the offer in a Letter of Intent.
I absolutely love writing sales letters. It’s not only where I got a fairly strong start, with regards to finding customers. But I also find it a fantastic exercise to understand exactly what I’m delivering to customers.
A well written sales letter will help you understand why someone would buy.
It can even become the entire backbone to your sales campaign, pitch and sales strategy.
Use the sales letter template below, to begin mapping out your sales letter. As an exercise, I encourage you to write out what type the individual pieces of a sales letter.
The fully written sales letter will help you piece together the journey that the customer needs to go on, before they will buy from you.
I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t send this sales letter to customers. But more than anything, it will help you with future sales content such as sales pages, videos, pictures, emails and even blog content.
Use the prompts below to create a sales letter for your product, service or entire business. Notice how it’s a different frame from introducing yourself and explaining your benefits.
The best sales letters, with the highest conversions, focus on emotional responses with the customer. Telling THEIR story and connecting with them, before converting to a sale.
You want to start with a clear and attention grabbing headline. We typically will try to cover through things in our headlines.
For example, headline could be “non-fiction authors: how to sell 1000 copies of your new book in your first week without spending a penny on PR”.
We might also put a subheading or subtitle underneath. Something along the lines of a result that the reader can get, if they read the full post. For example “book launch hack method revealed”.
Overall, the headline should be designed to potentially make and close the sale or by itself. It should be clear enough that it’s understood by anyone who reads it who it’s aimed at, what they’ll be able to do and what they won’t have to do.
Next we like to outline a promise. This is where we will spend a short section explaining what we’re going to help the reader to do.
This is part of the setup phase of the story. All sales letters are essentially a story with a setup, conflict and resolution.
This is where we’ll start to describe a future to the reader. Will make a bold claim about what the sales letter entails. Explaining what they will be able to do, have, become and see if they continue reading.
For example if we use the non-fiction author example above. We could explain how we’re going to help them increase the number of sales Lucy for the only book launch. As well as give them the step-by-step plan to increasing sales across Amazon, Kindle and traditional bookshops.
Essentially, what is the reader going to be able to come away with, after they read the sales letter?
This is where we begin to outline the problems the customers currently facing. What are the problems, roadblocks and negative situations that the customer faces today?
This is where we’ll currently dig into their average day, how they feel today and what status is with their friends, themselves, customers and their network.
The more descriptive we can be about where they are now,Who they are and what they are going through, the stronger the connection we build with the customer.
By this stage we don’t talk about ourselves. We keep it purely focused on the customer and their story and journey.
For example, “have you ever launched a new book, only to receive cricket sounds instead of sales? If you’re like every other first-time non-fiction author, you’ll struggle to generate the sales and revenue that you need. Maybe you’ve got bills piling up, holidays your having to put off and friends waiting to tell you that they were right all along. Does this sound like you?”
The more we can frame the start of the letter around who they are now, and the negative situation they face, the more successful the sales letter can be.
Don’t be afraid to write exhaustively on this subject. Writing as much as you can on where they are now.
This is where we will dispel a myth common misconception about the solution.
For example of where helping someone generate sales as a non-fiction author, will want to write out at least one method where people go wrong.
What is a common misconception within their space? What is it that everyone else tells them to do which is wrong? What something of try before that didn’t work?
The more you can write about common misconceptions, myths and where other people go wrong, the more you are demonstrating your knowledge of the area. This is where you begin building massive levels of trust with the reader.
As soon as you begin to outline the problem, and promised a solution or result, readers will instantly put up an objection barrier.
“But I’ve tried this before and it didn’t work” it’s now our job to reframe the problem, explain to them it wasn’t their fault, and demonstrate that we have the only solution that works.
For example you could say “most non-fiction authors, when launching their first book will use a PR agency to generate interest and sales. This doesn’t work, because it’s expensive and doesn’t generate the results you need”.
Next we need to frame the environment that our customers are in. We need to present a series of opportunities or threats to them and their business, that they need to address.
Remember the SWOT analysis from highschool business? We’re looking at opportunities and threats in their world, that they’ll either recognise or are new to them.
We’ve changed SWOT recently to just SWT or strengths, weaknesses and TRENDS. Trends are both positive or negative (sometimes both). We use trends because opportunities and threats, while a fantastic frame to place around an event, aren’t as immediate.
When we think of trends in the marketplace (Instagram launching Instagram TV or YouTube’s adpocolypse), these are trends in the market that affect our audience. We can then frame each event as an opportunity or threat.
We can present each event as a trend and then tell our reader why they need to protect themselves against it OR get ready to take advantage. You can also use a few different trends and really hit those hot buttons, posting some as an opportunity or some as a threat.
And of course, the entire purpose of this section is to position you as the solution to these changes and trends.
Finally, we can set each trend in 1 of 3 topics, to make it easy. Social, economic and technological.
These 3 areas are a great place to start talking about how things are moving in the market
and why they need to pay attention. This is essentially the question “why is this important and why you need to do something NOW”.
Sounds gory. It is.
You’ve explained the problem. You’ve talked about their future and where they could be in their life. You’ve outlined everything that’s changing that they need to be aware of.
Now what else? What ELSE goes on top of all that? Ever had you car break down, a text from your partner telling you they’re leaving you and when you finally arrive at work, you’re fired?
Sounds a little over the top, but this is where we want the final straw to come. We need to “twist” the knife that we’ve stuck in.
Finish the sentence “and to top it all off…”
Think about one final thing the reader has to deal with. Finish off the promise, problem, myths and trends with one final thing to remember.
Top off the sales letter introduction (promise, problem, myth, trends) with a knife twist that adds one more complication/conflict to the story.
By this point your customers are salivating. They see where they are, they see the world around them and they see where they could be.
Notice how we haven’t talked ONCE about ourselves or who we are? Why? Because they don’t care about us, until it’s clear how much we care about them.
We’re going to tell them what the solution is now. We’re not going to go into great detail, we’re just going to tell them what they need.
Introduce the name of the product/service and what it is. Simple as that.
It might have a small product shot or photo. But honestly, this is a story. Your reader is the hero and this solution is their quest item. This is the magic sword, kung fu training or Swedish supermodel.
It’s the THING they want to have, in order to have the life or results they want.
Name, what it is. That’s it.
Quickly we want to show a case study, or some kind of proof. Testimonials are crazy powerful at this stage. We’ve introduced the product and we’ve told them we can help.
Now we’re going to demonstrate that it’s helped other people.
Testimonials are great. But make sure they’re REAL. I like to go all out on my testimonials. I’ll make sure I have a photo of the person, their Twitter handle or website and their quote and name.
That might sound like a lot, but it’s critical to me that I remove all doubt about who those testimonials are from.
Or you could do a case study, talking about a real customer that you’ve worked with or helped.
What if you don’t HAVE any testimonials or case studies? Tell a story.
Create a character who isn’t real and tell your audience who they are. Tell your customers about the average day your hero goes on, what happens when they try to do it the old/wrong way and then tell them about their life after working with you.
No need to make it explicitly clear that it’s a made up story. Just introduce the hero/character and tell their story.
Weather it’s a testimonial, case study or story, the idea is that the reader sees themselves as the character and how the journey leads to a better life.
Benefits. Not features. Not what’s included. Not what’s delivered. Benefits.
Benefits sell. Features close. We need to SELL right now, so we’re going to lay out benefits.
15 point strap harness for maximum muscle workout, is a feature.
Get shredded and build lean muscle faster than ever, is a benefit.
A benefit is the future. What does the FUTURE look like? It’s an emotional state that the reader wants to be in, or recognise.
List out 5-7 benefits to the customer. That’s 5-7 points where their life is better.
If you’re struggling to list out benefits, try listing out how they’ll FEEL after working/buying and what their average day is like after buying.
What do their friends/partner/children think of them? What will they think of themselves? What are they going to see or do or feel?
Benefits are about THEM.
Another way to list out benefits, is to list out your features and ask “why?”. Why does this matter? Why would anyone care?
You might need to ask why a few times.
Feature: Facebook cold traffic campaign.
Why? Drive more traffic to the website
Why? Increase the number of people who see your business/brand
Why? Have thousands of potential customers reaching your business
Something people forget about benefits is that your reader and customers, KNOW what benefits they want. You’re trying to show them a benefit that they already want and know.
We can only EVER sell something that people WANT. We can’t sell what they need. Even if they need a traffic system, content and email CRM, we can’t sell it unless they want it.
Benefits are easier to sell, because people want them. Notice how we STILL haven’t talked about ourselves.
The CTA or call to action stage is where we offer to help. We give them the buy now button, the link, the order form. Whatever it takes to get the deal.
Don’t think of this as “asking for the business”. Think of this as “offering to help them now”.
If you’re a doctor and someone comes in with a broken leg, you’ll tell them what you’re going to do and how you’re going to help.
You then don’t walk out and say “if you’ve got any questions let me know”. You don’t feel embarrassed about offering to help them now. If anything, your patient would be annoyed that you’re NOT offering to help now.
Your product is the same. You’ve riled up the customer, explained what’s happening in the world, what’s wrong in their business, what their future could look like, how you can help and NOW you’re just going to leave them?
You must include a call to action and get them to take the next step.
Check this out. We’re going to introduce ourselves NOW. Almost 50% of the way in.
The big mistake people make with introductions is either doing it too early, or explaining too much.
Yes, people want to get to know you. But they do NOT care about your cat, your business or your interesting anecdotes. Maybe later, after they’ve got a deeper relationship with you. But not now.
Instead, keep it to these 3 key points.
You can keep this to 1 section or page. If you’re doing it as a slide presentation, the entire about us section can be just one slide.
Introduce your name and your business. Use a pitch statement, elevator pitch or tell people who you work with. Don’t spend too long introducing your business. There’s no need to go into your entire back story.
Introduce what you do but make sure you don’t tell people that you build marketing funnels. Explain that you help a certain market or niche, get a certain result. Now explain why you created this product. Why did you create this service? We can use the market need statements from the earlier exercise.
Finally, talk about your one Olympic gold medal. People don’t want a list of 5 to 15 things that you’ve accomplished. What they want is one amazing thing that you are known for. You could talk about one fantastic result you got for a customer, for example a revenue goal or sales generated.
You could talk about a book that you have published. You could talk about how many videos you have on YouTube. But keep it to one gold medal. Nobody cares about one gold medal and 2 silver medals.
Next we want to outline the results that the customer will get after they buy.
Results are measurable and tangible outcomes. Increased traffic, lower advertising costs, more sales etc. What will your audience have or achieve, after they work with you?
During this section I like to go into as much detail as possible, talking through each potential result. It’s also key to keep the results between 3 and 7 important results. And go into detail for each result.
This is the logic part of the sales letter. We’ve already sold to them, and if the emotional pull is strong enough, they’ve decided to buy. Now we are going to help close the deal and confirmed their choice.
Talk about each results and the measurable difference will make in their life. Talk about their average day after Dell buy from you all work with you. What kind of difference their business will see. The more you can clearly explain what they’re getting from you, the more likely they are to buy.
Next we clued a 2nd call to action. This call to action is to remind them that they can buy this, and access this right now. Around this CTA is when I like to say how quickly they’ll get results.
For example a funnel building consultation, or sales training programme, they could see results this week (or even today). Make sure the links, phone line or whatever action are extremely clear and easy-to-use.
This is when you need to have the world’s strongest, most ironclad guarantee possible. The point of a guarantee is that if you aren’t comfortable guaranteeing someone success, you shouldn’t be selling it.
You need to take as much of the risk as possible from the customer. This means offering them a timeframe to return or cancel the product, sometimes called a cooling off period. As well as a refund. We say to our customers that if they don’t think that the workshop has been life changing for the better, then we’ll refund every single penny of their consultation workshop and let them keep all the materials.
We say there is absolutely no commitment to work with us, if they don’t want to, after the initial consultation workshop. We don’t guarantee results, for example increases in sales because obviously that’s almost impossible to guarantee. But we do guarantee that we will work on their business and do everything we can, to help them get the results they need.
In this next section we talk about the pricing breakdown and what’s included. This again is another closing technique designed to help people justify the purchase.
People decide whether they want to buy based on their emotions and feelings. But they commit to a sale, when they feel they can justify it to their friends and their own internal values.
We try to stay away from explicitly giving a line item for every single include. But breakdown the pricing and usually I’ll explain the value of something compared to what they are actually paying.
For example a 5 day marketing funnel workshop, might have a value of someone bought it separately, a $5000. But when purchased today with our funnel building programme, you might get it for $2500.
We also use this chance to go over the benefits and results that the customer will get, and compare them to the value that they would pay, compared to what they’re paying now.
For example an increase in traffic and more book sales might have a value of $10,000 but we are only charging $2500.
FAQs or frequently asked questions, are a fantastic place to answer objections within the customer’s mind. Think about 2 to 3 common objections, or reasons why someone wouldn’t want to buy. What’s stopping them from buying?
Write out those questions and answer them in the sales letter. Amazingly, you can even repeat things you said inside the sales letter, such as the guarantee, price and terms of payment.
Next I like to add in a financial close. Which is essentially reiterating the economic trend from earlier, and explaining the consequence of not buying today.
This is just reframing the reader’s perception around when is the right time to buy. If they’re reading this is a pretty good chance that the right time is now. So you need to do everything you can to help them realise that you can help them today.
Will then try to find another testimonial or case study to repeat to the customer. Again using the same format as above. It must be both real and easy to understand.
We begin to wrap up now by writing a little bit about their goals. Their goals are going to be very closely tied to the benefits and results. We’ll simply ask them if they want this goal or that goal now, then now is the right time to buy. Absolutely nothing is stopping them from achieving those goals, you’ve even got someone like you willing to help them, there is no better time to take action than now.
This final close is designed just to frame your business to them. The fastest way to lose a sale is honesty to become pushy and desperate. But during this close, we going to stick our hands up and say “I totally understand that this isn’t for all businesses. Some businesses are happy to stay where they are and to continue suffering from [problem]. I just also know that you aren’t one of those businesses.”
We are saying that we are not desperate for the money, were not desperate for the work. But we are desperate to help businesses that want to grow.
We finish with a final call to action, reiterating the guarantee, timescale and when thou see results. We leave the price they’re available and tell them that they could start working on this today.
An offer letter to be used for a prospective employee paid in whole or in part on a commission basis, such as a salesperson or sales representative, or as a.
The job offer letter is provided to the candidate you have selected for the position. Most frequently, the candidate and your organization's Human Resources staff have verbally negotiated the conditions of hire and the job offer.
Generally, the candidate has indicated that he or she will accept the position under the stated terms, prior to the final drafting of the letter. The job offer letter confirms the verbal agreements. It is an important document in that it protects the interests of both the employer and the soon-to-become employee.
You will want to regard the position acceptance as tentative, however, until the offer letter, and the confidentiality agreement, if you use one, are signed and in your hands.
The following offer letter works for positions such as sales representative, telephone sales, business development, and outside sales. Use this sample template as you write your own job offers.
The sales professional will frequently make an effort to negotiate more positive conditions of employment. The sales professional is driven by money and numeric success. So, he or she is likely to look carefully at the base salary, the commission structure, and any bonus potential the job may offer. The sales professional expects a reasonable base salary, although some sales positions offer commission only. These jobs are hard to fill.
The sales professional will negotiate frequently for $5-10,000 additional base salary; three weeks of vacation time; a better commission structure; bonus eligibility for over-producing to sales goals; and additional bonus potential for the success of the sales team.
If you are making a job offer to an excellent candidate, the sales professional will want to see proof that the commission and bonus potential numbers are achievable. Consult your attorney about any job offer that is more complicated or more extensive than this sample.
Use this sample job offer letter to make your job offers to sales and other business development positions. Download the sales job offer letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Download the Word Template
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
123 Main Street
New City, CA 54321
It is my pleasure to extend the following offer of employment to you on behalf of (Company Name). This offer is contingent upon your passing your background checking which includes our mandatory drug screen, our receipt of your college transcripts, and any other contingencies you may wish to state.
Reporting Relationship: The position will report to (Name and Title)
Job Description is attached.
Base Salary: Will be paid in bi-weekly installments of $_________, which is equivalent to $_______ on an annual basis, and subject to deductions for taxes and other withholdings as required by law or the policies of the company.
Commission Structure: Define the commission potential of the sales job. Often, the commission schedule is attached. Many organizations guarantee the commission structure for a year. Others retain the right to change the commission structure with the changing needs of the business.
Draw Against Commission: Often, and especially with a product or market that has a lengthy selling cycle, the sales representative is enabled to draw or obtain some additional salary, for a specified period of time, that will eventually be subtracted from future commissions. This can have a specific ending date if the employer desires.
Bonus (or Commission) Potential: Effective upon satisfactory completion of the first 90 days of employment, and based upon the goals and objectives agreed to in the performance development planning process with your manager, you may be eligible for a bonus. The bonus plan for this year and beyond, should such a plan exist, will be based on the formula determined by the company for that year. Additionally, any sales team incentives or bonus for teamwork or shared territory or overall sales should be enumerated here as generally available.
Benefits: The current, standard company health, life, disability and dental insurance coverage are generally supplied per company policy. Eligibility for other benefits, including the 401(k) and tuition reimbursement, will generally take place per company policy. Employee contribution to payment for benefit plans is determined annually.
Vacation and Personal Emergency Time Off: Vacation is accrued at x.xx hours per pay period, which is equivalent to two weeks of paid time off on an annual basis. Personal emergency days are generally accrued per company policy.
Relocation Expenses: Spell out any moving or other transition expenses the company will pay.
Start Date: Enter start date.
Car/Phone/Travel Expenses: Normal and reasonable expenses will be reimbursed on a monthly basis per company policy.
You acknowledge that this offer letter, (along with the final form of any referenced documents such as the job description), represents the entire agreement between you and (Company Name). No verbal or written agreements, promises or representations that are not specifically stated in this written job offer, are or will be binding upon the (Company Name).
If you are in agreement with the above outline, please sign below. This offer is in effect from (Name of Company) for five business days.
(For the Company: Manager's Name)
Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.
When putting down an offer, homebuyers who want to stand out from a crowd of offers in today’s market are often told to write and include a personal letter.
If it is a seller’s market, it means the economy is better, which sort of sucks for the buyer. This means you’re competing with other prospective buyers for a quality home, maybe even your forever home.
Typically, if a family is selling the house (as opposed to investors), a personal letter could be the difference between winning and losing your dream home. Quality property doesn’t stay on the market forever. You’ve got to be able to make a decent offer money wise but when it’s an even playing field, a buyer’s cover letter may nudge you in the lead. For our family, it won us our dream home.
We were in our 4th month of the homebuying process and were getting more and more frustrated. We’ve must have seen 50 homes in person and hundreds online. So the timeline was…
Thursday: I saw a new house on the MLS. On paper, it’s perfect. It’s got the neighborhood, square footage, upgrades, and price. I text our realtor immediately and tell him to “get me in this” (True Story).
Friday: Our realtor says they’re having a open house this weekend, he knew the selling agent so he set up to tour the home before the open house.
Saturday: We see the house, and IT IS perfect. Husband and I crunch some numbers and put our best offer on the table.
Sunday: I’m still thinking about the house. I can’t let it slip away. I remember our realtor saying a cover letter doesn’t hurt if there’s multiple offers. I search for sample buyer offer letters. They suck. I decide to get creative with our cover letter.
It took me an hour but once I was done, my realtor was impressed, our loan officer was impressed, and the selling agent was impressed. We included it with our offer. Now it was a matter of seeing if the sellers were impressed.
Monday: Our realtor says the open house over the weekend brought in 7 offers. SEVEN???!!!! After ONE open house?!
Monday night: I sulk, I think there’s no way we’re going to get this house. So I browse the MLS once more.
Tuesday: still waiting to hear but I’m thinking we’re done for. We’re VA buyers, and I’m thinking other buyers offered more money.
Wednesday: Text from agent “Call me”. I call him…
“What’s the news?” I ask.
“Congrats, they accepted your offer,” he said.
Our realtor then explained while there was another offer for more money, the sellers loved our cover letter. It was creative, eye-catching, and set us apart.
30 Days later, we closed on our first home. So what does this epic buyer cover letter look like? See below. Names and photos have been changed for privacy.
Our buyer offer letter told:
It was designed to be eye-catching. If the sellers are sorting through multiple offers, I knew a letter like this would incentivize the sellers to read about us and (at least) look at our offer.
The following sales job offer letter for sales candidates contains placeholders where you can fill in your company's data. Feel free to tweak the tone and modify .
A primary and widely-used form of communication, a sales letter is a marketing tool that can build your client base and increase your sales. This guide will take you step-by-step through the process of writing an effective sales letter, from deciding what your objective is, through editing your final draftu
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GETTING STARTED [top]
A primary and widely-used form of communication, a sales letter is a marketing tool that can build your client base and increase your sales. A results-oriented sales letter requires careful planning and must encompass the principles of effective sales writing.
Sales Letter and Direct Mail Letter Comparison
A sales letter is similar to a direct mail letter. Both seek to accomplish the following:
Despite similarities, a sales letter is different from a direct mail letter in these important ways:
Businesses That Use Sales Letters
If you are selling a relatively inexpensive product or service, such as a magazine subscription or a carpet cleaning service, a direct mail letter is an appropriate marketing tool. With relatively inexpensive products you can motivate your customers to take immediate action, such as use a coupon or fill out an order form.
The more expensive your product or service however, the more personalized your sales efforts need to be to overcome a prospect’s sense of risk. If you’re selling costly medical products to a hospital for example, you will have to convince the administrators to invest a considerable amount of money in your company. Plus, you may need to establish purchase and payment plans and will have to become actively involved in solving any problems that may arise from use of your products. A sales letter would begin this process for you, not generate an immediate sale.
PROCESS OF DEVELOPING A SALES LETTER [top]
The process of developing your sales letter will follow these major stages:
Understand your prospect.
Think about your potential customers. What do they care about? How can your product or service fill a need for them? These are two of the most critical questions you must answer before you begin writing because the content of your sales letter will be driven by them.
Write down your prospect’s wants and needs:
Suppose you are a long distance phone company and have had great success in reaching the general consumer market. Now, you’re looking to grow your business by providing long distance telephone services to small companies who generate sales through 800 telephone orders. One of the companies you’re targeting is a clothing wholesaler. Like most small businesses, cost will be a major factor in whether or not you can sell your service. Dependable products and services will be another major factor because if the phone lines go down, no business can be generated. Cost and quality are the most obvious product attributes your potential customers are looking for.
Understanding other specifics about how your target market operates their business is important as well. For example, when are their peak times of business during the day, seasonally? How much of their sales occur over the phone? Where are their customers located? The better you know them, the better you will be able to meet their specific needs.
Understand the difference between your product’s features and benefits. After you have a solid working knowledge of your potential customer’s wants and needs, you must communicate how your product or service will meet them.
It’s important for you to distinguish your product’s or service’s features from its benefits. While features are valuable and can certainly enhance your product, benefits are what motivate people to buy. Keep in mind it’s benefits, not features, that appeal to people’s emotions.
Many new sales writers tend to confuse features and benefits. What’s the difference? A feature is a characteristic of a product or service that automatically comes with it.
For example, the telephone company may offer an automatic switching line to reroute calls to another location in the case of a power failure. That’s a feature. The benefit to your customer is that sales won’t be lost. (Features become benefits when you tell the reader in your letter what it will do for them.)
For example: You’re the manufacturer of an anti-theft car device. Your product is a steering wheel lock made of a new steel alloy that cannot be cut. That’s a feature. The benefit to the buyer is added security in knowing that a thief can’t saw through the device to remove it.
In one column, list the features of your product or service. In the other, list the benefits each feature yields to the buyer.
Your letter needs to communicate how your product’s or service’s benefits will meet at least one basic business or human need. Saving time and money, and enhancing customer service are benefits businesses look for when purchasing products and services. Safety, good health, financial security, the desire for love, status, and success, and appearing attractive to others — are all examples of needs consumers have.
When you write your sales letter, you must communicate what your product or service can do for the buyer that no other product or service can do. Identifying what is most unique, different, and helpful about your product will help you write and direct the flow of your copy.
Now, from your features/benefits list above, isolate the most unique feature(s) and benefit(s):
This benefit will become the driving theme of your lead paragraph, discussed later in this Business Builder.
Anticipate your prospect’s major objections and counter them in your sales letter. The best sales people know in advance, mostly from experience, exactly what obstacles they might encounter when trying to close a sale. The best sales
letters follow suit.
The long distance telephone company, for example, might anticipate that businesses are reluctant to employ a long distance telephone carrier they’ve never heard of.Objection: “How come I never heard of you?”
Counter: “We don’t spend millions of dollars in advertising like AT&T and MCI. We choose to pass the savings along to our customers.”
Sales Letter: Like many of our valued business accounts, you’re probably wondering why you haven’t heard our name before. The answer is simple. We don’t spend millions of dollars in national advertising like AT&T. We prefer to pass the savings along to growing companies like yours.
Objection: “There are many anti-theft car devices on the market. Why should I spend $100 more for yours?”
Counter: “Every other anti-theft car device can easily be sawed through by a thief. Ours can’t. Isn’t peace of mind worth another hundred dollars?”
Sales Letter: You may think $100 is a lot more to pay for an anti-theft device. But the truth is this $100 buys you peace of mind. Your car cannot be stolen when you use Theft-A-Way. No other anti-theft device guarantees that.
If you leave your prospect with serious questions and objections after reading your letter, it will be much harder or even impossible, to get them to send for more information, call you for more information, or grant you an appointment.
Write down any objections you think your potential customer might have about your product or service, then counter them:
Decide what your immediate objective in writing your sales letter is. Ask yourself this question: “What do I want the prospect to do after reading my letter?” Send for a sample and sales brochure, call me to schedule a meeting, be interested enough to take my telephone call and schedule an appointment with me? You need to determine this before you begin writing because you will need to decide what you’re prepared to offer in order to provide the reader with an incentive to act.
For example, if you distribute a line of hair care products to beauty salons and you want the owner of twelve salons to meet with you, you might offer to supply him with enough of your product to use on customers free for a month. Or, you could offer a special 10% introductory discount if he agrees to distribute your line of products. Whatever incentive you offer, limit the time frame you will offer it. You would let the salon owner know that the special introductory discount is only available until August 1. This will create a sense of urgency in his mind.
Make sure the person you’re writing your letter to is the person who makes the decision to buy. If you’re going to the effort of trying to establish a relationship, you want it to be with the person with the authority to make decisions. With small companies, it’s usually the owner and president. But with larger companies, you may have to do some research. You can call the company and try to get the information from the receptionist: “Can you tell me the name of the person in charge of buying long distance phone services?”
If you feel the receptionist doesn’t know, you might ask to speak with the person you think is the buyer for your product. Or, you can try to get information from her assistant or secretary. “I’m going to be sending Ms. Smythe some information in the mail. Can you please tell me her title. Is she the person in charge of buying long distance services?”
Do Your Homework. Study other businesses’ effective sales and direct mail letters. You probably receive sales letters at your office on a regular basis. Or, think about the vendors whose products or services you use now or in the past. You’ve probably saved their correspondence in a file.
Find all the sample letters you can and as you study them ask yourself the following questions:
Outlines are useful tools for organizing ideas. Experienced writers almost always use them before they begin writing. If you’re writing a sales letter for the first time, your outline should be extensive before you attempt to write your letter. Once you have more experience, you can adopt a less formal approach, such as simply writing down key ideas in the order they will appear. To construct your outline, take a piece of paper and write a few sentences for each of the following major points.
Direct mail letters commonly include headlines because they help grab a reader’s attention. Should your sales letter employ one? It depends. If your letter is addressed to someone you’ve met at a trade show or have already made contact with over the telephone, a headline isn’t appropriate.
Remember, a sales letter endeavors to establish a relationship. A headline will make your letter appear more like an advertisement than a highly personal form of business communication. People are highly likely to read a letter from a person they know or have already met. But if you haven’t made any personal contact with your prospect, you should consider a headline. You need to grab your prospect’s attention and induce them into reading your letter.
If you feel a headline is appropriate, here’s some basic principles to follow when creating one:
A headline is a short statement, one or two lines at the most, that appears at the top of the page between the address and salutation. A headline should do one of the following:
Immediately tell the prospect what potential benefit they will receive:
You Can Cut Your Long Distance Expenses by Half.
Or, the headline should imply the benefit:
Were You Shocked by Your Last Long Distance Phone Bill?
Ask your prospect a question they will find compelling:
Are You Sure Your Car’s Anti-Theft Device Really Works?
What Would Happen to Your Sales If Your Phone Lines Went Down?
Tell your prospect important information they might not know:
Your Long Distance Phone Company Will Raise Their Rates By 20% This Year!
Most Anti-Theft Car Devices Can Be Cut Using A Tool From Your Local Hardware Store!
If you use a headline, it should appear in a larger font, with all the words CAPITALIZED and in bold.
Instead of a headline you may choose to use a supporting statement such as a testimonial, product review, or an endorsement. Whether you choose to use one in your headline or not, you should use a supporting statement in your sales letter. It’s especially important to do so if your product or service is expensive. Supporting statements help eliminate risk in a prospect’s mind.
Testimonials are statements from satisfied customers:
“Island Long Distance has cut our long distance phone bills by 30%!”
— Ellen Walker, President, Peacock Fashions
“I’ll never forget the hurricane that downed our phone lines for one week. And I’ll never forget how quickly Island Long Distance rerouted our calls to our New York branch. They saved us during our busiest sales season!”
— Alan Fisher, Sales Director, Candy-By-Mail
Product reviews appear in newspapers or magazines:
“If you have a car, you should have Theft-A-Way protecting it.”
— Car and Driver Magazine
“Smart salon owners should check out Natural Beauty’s line of terrific products.”
— Hair Salon Magazine
Write your headline:
Endorsements are statements from experts:
< BLOCKQUOTE>”Recommended for Use By The American Medical Association.”
“Theft-A-Way Is Good News For Car Owners and Bad News For Car Thieves.” — Officer John Montgomery, Bellevue, Washington Police Department.
Testimonials, reviews, and endorsements should appear as quotations. Text should be in a slightly smaller font and in italics. Underneath the quote, you should indicate who said it or what newspaper it appeared in.
Watch Out For…Don’t crowd the top of your letter with a headline and too many quotations because it will appear as an advertisement and not a personal form of communication. You can use quotations in the body of your letter or at the end.
Write your lead paragraph.
Your first, or lead paragraph represents the most important sentences of your letter because if you don’t compel the reader to read, your letter will have no impact. Your first sentence should logically flow from the idea you created with your headline. Professional writers often refer to the headline and connecting lead paragraph as establishing the “hook.” It’s called a hook because you must interest your reader right away with the headline then keep them reading after the first paragraph.The hook of your sales letter must:
If your headline was: Do You Know How Many Long Distance Companies Overcharge Their Customers? Your lead paragraph would answer the question: “A recent survey by the American Marketing Association indicates that the big three long distance phone companies overcharge their customers…”
The benefit of your offering is the heart of your sales appeal; remember that your prospect is interested in what’s in it for him. Reveal the main benefit of your product or service in your lead paragraph.
For Example: “We’re not one of the big three. That’s why we can save you money on your monthly long distance phone service.”
If you’re not using a headline because you’ve already had some personal contact with the prospect, here is how you should write your lead paragraph:
Acknowledge that you’ve met or spoken recently.
For example: When we met at the Direct Marketing Trade Show last week, Julie, I promised to get back to you with some more information on how Island Long Distance can save your company as much as 30% a month.
Get to your hook quickly.
…Let me begin by telling you something that will probably shock you. A recent survey released by the American Marketing Association indicates that the big three long distance carriers all overcharge their customers!
Watch Out For…Don’t wait long after your first meeting or telephone contact to write your sales letter. You want to remain fresh in your prospect’s mind.
Write a few sentences that describe additional benefits to the reader.
For Example: Not only is our long distance service 25% less expensive than our competitor’s, we offer a rerouting system that will direct your calls to another location in case of a power failure. This means you’ll never lose sales!
From your planning stage, write down any objections to your product and how you will overcome them.
If you are going to state a product or service’s price in your letter, remember this important point. Expenses should be expressed over short periods of time and profits over the long term.
For Example: “This service costs you only $50 a week” is better than writing “this service will cost you $200 a month or $2400 a year.”
For Example: “This service will increase your profits by 25% over the next four years” is better than writing “this service will increase your profits by $600 month.”
If you are offering a special discount or bonus to the reader, refer to it after your lead paragraph. Don’t spell out all the details of your offer yet. You want to build excitement and intrigue. But it’s important to refer to it early on in your letter, especially if you don’t mention it in the headline because it will keep your reader’s interest high.
For Example: If you purchase before July 1st, not only can you take advantage of our special discount, you’ll also be eligible for free freight!
Support your product claims with testimonials, examples, or statistics. These statements will add credibility to your benefit claims. Remember, businesses and consumers like to have risk eliminated before they buy a product.
Spell out the specific details of any special offer or a discount.
Close. Write a statement or two for each of the following points:
Ask the prospect to act, or let them know what course of action you’ll be taking such as, telephoning next week to schedule an appointment. If you want to schedule an appointment with your prospect, don’t leave it up to them to telephone you. Indicate when you’ll be contacting them, and then make sure you follow through.
Add a post-script. You can use a P.S. to reinforce your offer or benefit.
Example: P.S. Don’t forget, our free freight offer is good only through July 1st!
Thanks to your extensive outline, the process of actually writing your letter should be fairly simple.
Here are some general guidelines for your letter’s format:
Underline, bold, or italicize key points and words, such as “no cost to you,” “free,” “new,” “a special offer.” This will help them stand out and be noticed.
Set up your letter properly. A standard business letter consists of six basic parts:
|Specific Individual:||Dear Mr. Jones:||Dear Ms. Brown:|
|Nonspecific Individual:||Dear Sir:||Dear Madam:|
After writing the name of your addressee in your salutation, Dear Mr. Jones: always use a colon. Some people use commas or semi-colons after the name of their addressees, but only the colon is proper in a business letter.
If you don’t know whether your addressee is a man or a woman, try to find out. If you c
an’t, then use a gender-neutral salutation such as “Dear Patron,” or “Dear President.”
Here are some guidelines to follow as you begin expanding upon your outline:
Use these key words in your sales letter:
New: People love novelty.
Save: People love to save money and time or anything with perceived value.
Guarantee and Proven: Help eliminate feelings of risk.
Results: People want to know what the outcome will be before they buy.
But the most important words in any sales letter are YOU and YOUR. Remember that your sales letter is a highly personal form of communication between you and the buyer. Keep the attention focused on their wants and needs.
You can save your company 25% a month on your long distance bills.
Use action verbs such as save, evaluate, accomplish, improve, and discover.
Use the active voice. Use “you spend” rather than “you are spending.” The active voice is more powerful and keeps the pace of your letter moving quickly.
Edit your letter. Effective sales writing requires thorough editing.
Once you’ve edited your letter, give it to at least one other person to edit. It’s often difficult to catch your own mistakes. Typos and spelling mistakes will reduce the effectiveness of your letter and will make you appear unprofessional in the eyes of your prospect. Be open to criticism and suggestions for improvements.
When you read your sales letter, ask yourself the following questions:
Only when you can answer “yes” to each of these questions is your sales letter finished. Don’t be discouraged if you have to rewrite your sales letter. Do what it takes to create an effective sales tool. And remember, the more sales letters you write, the easier the writing process will become.
As you write additional sales letters, keep careful track of which ones are effective in generating sales or helping you establish a relationship with your prospect. Incorporate the elements of the more successful ones into each new sales letter you create.
SAMPLE OF A SALES LETTER [top]
The following sample letter will give you an idea of how to bring all the elements of a good sales letter together:
PHONE EXPENSES BY 30%!
Dear Ms. Smythe:
It’s true! Island Long Distance saves direct mail retailers just like you as much as 30% off their monthly long distance phone bills.
We offer the same fiber optic telephone lines that your current service now offers, except we charge a lot less for our high quality service. And, with Island Long Distance, you never have to worry about lost sales due to a power or systems failure. In the event of an emergency, our computer will automatically reroute the calls from your 800 system to another location of your choosing.
Maybe you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of us. That’s because unlike AT&T and MCI, we don’t spend millions of dollars on expensive advertising campaigns. We choose to pass this savings on to you. In fact, most of our new business is generated the old fashioned way: our customers recommend us to their colleagues.
But that’s not all. Island Long Distance offers:
But please don’t just take Island’s word on it. Here’s what some of customers think about us:
“Island Long Distance has cut our long distance phone bills by 30%!”
— Ellen Walker, President, Peacock Fashions
“I’ll never forget the hurricane that downed our phone lines for one week. And I’ll never forget how quickly Island Long Distance rerouted our calls to our New York branch. They saved us during our busiest sales season!”
— Alan Fisher, Sales Director, Candy-By-Mail
I’ve enclosed a brochure that further details our state-of-the-art rerouting system and delayed payment options. Please be advised the free month of long distance is available only to new customers who sign with us by July 1. You must act quickly to take advantage of this exceptional savings opportunity.
I’d like to meet with you to discuss how Island Long Distance can immediately begin saving you up to 30% on your monthly long distance expense. I’ll be contacting you next week to schedule an appointment. I look forward to meeting with you soon.
P.S. Don’t forget, you must sign with Island Long Distance by July 1, 200x for your free month of long distance service!
Even if your sales letter is well-written and effective, you will often need to follow-up with your prospect directly or with an additional sales letter. If you’ve sent 100 sales letters, construct a follow-up plan based on your best chances to generate results.
Make a list of all the prospects you’ve met or have had contact with and telephone them directly.
Next, send another letter reminding your other prospects of your initial letter and any deadlines for special offers.
___ Understand your prospect. What do they care about? How can your product or service fulfill a need for them?
___ Understand the difference between features and benefits.
___ Anticipate your prospect’s objections and be prepared to counter them.
___ Decide what the main objective of your letter is, and develop an offer to help meet that objective.
___ Make sure the person you’re writing to is the buyer.
___ Study other samples of sales letters.
___ Write a headline or use a testimonial, review, or endorsement.
___ Write down your lead paragraph that states your product’s primary benefit.
___ Write down additional benefits.
___ Outline objections and counter them.
___ State price and profit potential.
___ Mention special offers or discounts.
___ Use supporting statements such as testimonials and statistics.
___ Write out the details of any offers or discounts.
___ Write your closing paragraph.
___ Use the proper format.
___ Use key words.
___ Use the active voice.
___ Edit and rewrite.
Complete Sales Letter Book: Model Letters for Every Selling Situation by Rhonda Harris and Ann McIntyre. (Sharpe Professional, 1998).
Sales Letters that Sell by Laura Brill. (AMACOM. 1998).
About the writer — Susan MaGee, formerly Publicity and Book Club Sales Director for Running Press Book Publishers, now operates her own Philadelphia-based business specializing in public relations and business writing.
All rights reserved. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.
The offer letter gives you a reason to "own" your offer and explain your if the sale falls out because he has your contact details close to hand.