Sales Prospecting Letters – A 3-part Formula

It’s not about you

A common mistake made in sales prospecting letters is the overuse of the “I” word.

Recently I received a letter from a company introducing their offerings and was struck by how many times the word “I” was used. In three paragraphs the author used the word 19 times.

The letter was about the person’s passion, her practice, her credentials, and her accomplishments. The author of this letter was more concerned about herself than about the benefits she was offering. She didn’t offer me any solutions. She didn’t identify any problems I might have that she could help with. She just told me how great she was.   “So What?” I thought; what does this have to do with the issues I need to solve?

The 3-part formula

When sending out sales prospecting letters or proposals, think in terms of the other person’s interests.

Identify what you do, what is the result of what you do (aka the feature), what is the benefit, and what is the real value to the customer. So think:

  • Feature
  • Benefit
  • Value

Example: After a massage from XYZ Massage you will feel like a new person [result] because XYZ Massage has developed a technique that reduces stress [feature]. The advantage to you is that you will feel better [benefit], but the real value to you is that you will be able have more patience and be less reactive [value].

So remember, all your credentials don’t mean a thing to your prospect unless they understand what benefit they will gain from working with you. In the end, it’s all about the prospect’s needs, not your own achievements.

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