Hit Pay Dirt With Prospecting Letters

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Prospecting letters can uncover goldbut only if you observe these tried-and-true rules:
Personalize. Businesses dont buy from businesses; people buy from people. Address your prospecting letter to people, not to their businessand never to "occupants." Target your letter by using recipients names and titlesspelled correctly of course.
Demonstrate expertise. Before prospects will consider you, you need to demonstrate that you know what youre doing and that you have the track record to prove it. Are you the "largest manufacturer of widgets?" Are you rated highest in Consumer Reports? TELL THEM!
Emphasize. Instead of reading, prospects may just scan for essential points. Make your most important points easy to find and easy to come back to. Use underlining color highlighting, boldface, UPPER CASEeven circle your most important points.
Keep it simple. Brevity and simplicity reduce clutter. Prune your words to their essentials by reading and re-reading your letter before it goes out.
Say what you mean. Choose active, colorful words that say exactly what you mean. Avoid over-used expressions and wimpy words that lack punch.
Appeal to the eye. Today, layout is often as important as content. Place your key points first. Ensure readability by careful choice of typeface, paragraph spacing, margins, logo placement, and color usage. Use your computer to automate and enhance impact, but dont go "font crazy"nothing says amateur so much as too much.
Show respect. Dont waste your recipients time through irrelevance or exaggeration. Tell the truth, and relate your service or product to the real worldtheir world. Address their goals; solve their problems. After all, a truckers concerns will differ from a cosmetic surgeons.
Make replies easy. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postage-paid card. Emphasize phone numbers and contact names, and be consistent and clear when describing what youre offering. Unless recipients can easily restate your message, they havent grasped the nature of your offering.
Add a postscript. Many sales are made solely on the basis of what comes after the main body of the prospecting letter. Got a special offer to make (trade-in allowance, clearance prices, extended warranties)? Place it at the end, in a postscript. A p.s. is an effective summaryyour offer in a "nutshell"and may be the one item of content prospects refer back to and remember.
Call for action! Tell readers what you want them to doand remind them of why they should act right away: "To take advantage of this one-time only, 50% discount, reply by December 31 using the enclosed, postage-paid envelope." Few products or services can survive the selling silence of a prospecting letter that omits the call to action.
Go for the hidden goldput these prospecting tips to work today!
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