With email marketing campaigns to Internet landing pages now comprising a significant amount of the marketing budgets, some people have abandon the traditional, word processed pre-approach sales letter. Yet, taking this marketing and sales strategy may be somewhat short sighted.
Before anyone engages in writing any business letter, the first question needs to be answered is "What is the purpose of the communication?" Upon successfully answering this question, then and only then can a well written letter be constructed.
So what is the purpose of a pre-approach sales letter? Years ago, the answer might have been to secure that first time appointment to just a friendly introduction to just a means to increase sales. Today, I believe the purpose is two-fold:
1. First attempt to showcase what makes you different or how you stand out away from everyone else
2. First demonstration of your core values
To stand out in the crowd or to be that Red Jacket as I like to say means that you have hone and executed these sales skills when crafting that pre-approach sales letter:
1. Fact finding specific to the market place
2.Research about the qualified prospect
3. Ability to speak and write a compelling story using the A.I.D.A. model
4. Relationship selling
Sales Coaching Tip: Many pre-approach letters fail because they are not sent to qualified prospects who have a need; a dedicated budget; are the decision maker and there is urgency to take action.
Additionally, your core values must always be present from each word you speak or write to your behaviors after you send that pre-approach letter. In other words, write truthfully and avoid using language that may suggest you are less than honorable and authentic.
Every qualified prospect has specific problems or issues that they know and may not know. These issues may be commonly shared within the marketplace or be specific to that qualified prospect. Your pre-approach letter must be able to showcase your understanding of these issues and how you can potentially solve these problems.
Once you have completed your research now you must write a compelling story. The A.I.D.A. model serves as a good and consistent guideline. First your message must get their attention. Accomplishing this step may include the packaging of your letter to those first few words and how they are positioned within the letter. Small Business Sales Coaching Tip: People remember the first few words and the last ones. Your pre-approach letter needs to build interest so that they read to the bottom of the letter instead of just skipping down to the infamous P.S.
Next, your compelling story must generate both Interest and Desire. You want your qualified prospect to keep reading and begin to feel emotionally connected to what he or she is reading. Small Business Sales Coaching Tip: People buy from an emotional level first and then justify those emotions with logic.
Finally, your pre-approach sales letter must end with a call to action. If well written and there exists urgency, your letter will have your qualified prospect picking up the phone and calling you..
Research continues to demonstrate that long, pre-approach sales letters have value because these letters tell a compelling story. I believe that shorter pre-approach sales letters also have value, but you must be very careful in their construction.
Your qualified prospect is very busy. However, when you write a purposeful pre-approach sales letter that communicates an understanding of the marketplace, addresses the most pressing needs or issues and provides a potential solution all within a compelling story, you will stand out away from all of your competitors.