Nearly everyone agrees it’s tougher than ever to get prospects to respond to your approaches, and all sales professionals know that if there is no appointment there is no chance for a sale. In today’s world, salespeople have many means and methods to try to get a quality appointment and all have a place. In fact, we strongly recommend you use multiple messages in multiple media to break through. We outline that in our Don’t Give Up process.
But, let me point out a tool seldom used, which is proving to be very effective in the appointment setting process: sending a letter – in the mail. Yes, I am talking about snail mail. You may be chuckling right now, but before you dismiss the idea think about it for a minute. How many emails do you get a day? (Most people have a three-figure number here.) What happens if you don’t spend time cleaning out your inbox? You know, you are deluged quickly. And when you clean out that inbox, how much time do you spend with emails from people you don’t know, especially one who looks like a salesperson? I thought so.
So, here is another question for you. How many pieces of mail do you receive at your office every day? Hmm. That’s what I thought. Now you can see why something sent in the mail can stand out, right?
But, it’s not as simple as sending a letter. Content matters. Here are some suggestions:
- Be different, personal, and tailored in your approach. How will you stand out considering all the other messages your prospect receives?
- Clearly state your Valid Business Reason for writing today. Remember, your Valid Business Reason is why the prospect should agree to see you, not why you want to see them. It rarely has anything to with your product.
- Use the prospect’s point of view throughout. Is it clear you are thinking about things he or she might be facing, or does it sound like something you are trying to get accomplished?
- Demonstrate useful knowledge about the customer’s business, from your expertise, your research, or what you have observed in visiting their website or the physical location.
- Mention satisfied customers and show how you have solved problems for other clients. You have those, right?
- Indicate the next steps you’ll be taking, and specifically what you want the prospect to do. Once you have piqued their interest, be clear about who’s going to do what next. No surprises.
- Keep it short. No more than one page. Use paragraphs so it appears to be easier to consume. If it is longer than one page, get out the scalpel and cut.
- Hand write the envelope including the return address. People love to get personal notes but hate to get junk mail.
Understand we are not saying to use only a letter in the mail as means to secure a quality appointment, but you can see how powerful (and unusual) it is in these days of electronic communication.