Letter Writing, 101
by Jeff Davidson
Your sales people and all others who come in to direct contact with customers and clients further your sales efforts by sending their own letters. Why? Targeted action letters have proven to be excellent means generating good will, enhancing good customer relations, and in the long run, increasing sales. In the era of excessive emailing, you must build staff letter writing into the system — make it a regular and ongoing part of your staff’s overall job responsibility.
Letters of All Stripes
What kind of letter should your staff be writing? A thank you letter to follow up an order, sales or contract is most important. Also important are letters to provide follow up information even when it wasn’t asked for or expected by the customer, brief notes introducing new products or services, and simple “keep in touch letters” that need say nothing more than “we are thinking about you” or “hope is all well.”
In using letters as a proactive marketing technique, here are several tips:
* Have a second party (in-house) review the letter before it is mailed. This will ensure that a wrong message isn’t inadvertently conveyed, and that spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct.
* Or, produce a set of standard letters your staff can use. Standard letters can cause problems as the letter may appear stilted, the same customer may get the same letter twice, and it is difficult to keep on top of which customer received what.
* Provide a brief amount of staff training time for writing effective notes. This requires no more than one hour per person, and can be done on mass. Have your most effective note writer lead or have significant participation in the session.
* If conducive to your line of business, establish daily, weekly or monthly goal figures. These can be mandatory or not depending on your aims so that your staff knows what is expected of them in this area.
* Encourage staff to circulate any customer or client replies. Make a cause celebre’ out of any particularly flattering reply.
* If you are so moved, provide reprints of some note you have written, which you are particularly proud.