Thursday, January 8, 2009

Writing A Sales Letter: Practice Tips On Making The Pitch © Mario Churchill

The meat of any sales letter lies in its ability to make readers pull out their wallets and buy a product or service. Making a sales pitch is difficult enough off paper; on paper, it has to be quick, terse, and convincing. A sales pitch has to be brief, but neither too short so that it appears hurried, nor too long so that it becomes less and less believable as the sentences run by. A sales pitch also has to be eager, but neither too eager so that the reader is tired out reading it, nor too staid so that the reader ends up bored to death.

Writing a sales letter pitch is difficult, but you can practice writing it by following these simple tips.

- If you are in the marketing or sales department of a company, writing a sales letter will be inevitable business for you. You might not be assigned the job at once, but this should be no excuse for you not to practice. Do not wait until you are given a sales letter to write. Start practicing, so that when you finally get sales letter writing duties, you are already an expert at the art and craft.

- Buy a good book of style and usage. Writing a sales letter does not merely mean putting together sentences and disregarding grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules. You need to watch your language, and now, more than ever, simply because it is your only weapon in fighting your big sales battles. A poorly-written sales letter can turn off customers faster than a poor product or service. After all, customers will not care about what you sell until they know that you care about them first. If you cannot care for your grammar and writing skills, then why should they buy anything from you? The last thing anyone needs is a careless person, and your customers know that.

- Practice the craft on products or services that you are familiar with. Start practicing writing sales letters on a product or service that you actually like and use. Although this sounds easy, it can actually be difficult. How do you make a product or service sound good without sounding like you are hollering your praises out? How can your favorite shampoo sell without you having to showcase how beautiful your hair has turned out? How can you make your potential customers get that spa treatment of their dreams without you sounding like the spa paid you millions to make the endorsement?

- The best writers are those who can sound interested in something that they do not even remotely like. This can be a good practice exercise for you if you have already sharpened your writing skills for the previous exercise. Pick a product or service that you do not like, and try to endorse it. This can prepare you for the times when you might be assigned to do a sales letter on a product or service that you do not believe in; you can always opt out and tell your boss that you do not want to get in the way of your principles, but this option is one of the biggest no-no's in the sales and marketing world.

- As soon as you know how to get your sales pitch out, it's time to trim it down. The best sales pitches are no more than a few hundred words long. When writing a sales letter, you need to keep your words convincing, but to a minimum. Remember, not all your readers have all the time in the world to listen to what you say. You need to make your little letter worth their while.

Look back at all your previous exercises and count how many words you used in describing a product or service that you liked, or did not like. How many words did you use? Did you use five hundred or two thousand words? Keep exercising: write the same sales pitch over again, with fewer words this time, but with the meat of your pitch still in it. Keep on trimming your pitch until you are left with nothing but the convincing summary of your endorsement.

Writing a sales letter can be difficult if you do not know how to make a sales pitch. As with any other letter, you need to be formal and respectful, but not stiff and boring. You need all your skills as a writer and salesperson, and you need to put them all into practice. So what are you waiting for? Pick up that pen, or get to that keyboard, and start writing a sales
letter!

About the Author: Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For more information checkout http://www.websiteconversionexpert.com and http://www.killercopywritingblog.com

Making a List and Checking it Twice: Resolve to Get Your Business Mojo On

By Karri • Dec 23rd, 2006 • Category: small business

As a business owner, if you don’t know where you stand on important strategic issues, how can you create effective interactions with those who are interested in what you have to sell? All successful entrepreneurs adhere to guiding principles that set the tone for everything they do within their business. Here is my own high octane list of rules to live by and profit by.

Ooh, I love a good list! Especially at Christmas time. It just gets you feeling all warm and fuzzy and productive, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, most resolution lists read like a Martha-Meets-Oprah-Make-Your-Life-Really-Special instruction sheet. You know, stuff like “Always show you care with a hand written thank you note. Use high quality, recycled card stock, and sign in calligraphy.”

Not exactly inspiring.

And as sticky sweet as your nephew’s half eaten candy cane.

So, I’ve prepared a different kind of list, one that’s pure octane and 100% sugar free with nary a saccharine euphemism in sight. The politically correct should step aside. The rest of you should strap yourself in and keep your mouth closed - there’s gonna be some dirt flying.

Without further adieu . . .

Karri’s 11 Commandments for Entrepreneurial Success:

1. Sometimes you have to grit your teeth and get the job the done when you really don’t feel like it. I have no solution for this except to promise yourself a cold alcoholic beverage when you have finally finished the dreaded task.
2. Leverage your knowledge, not your time. There are limited hours in a day and just one of you. But the power of knowledge to generate wealth is limited only by your imagination.
3. If you are not making any mistakes, you’re playing it too safe. If you are not learning anything from your mistakes, why are you even doing this?
4. Respond to all correspondence within a reasonable amount of time. In this age of depersonalization, it will not go unnoticed.
5. Follow up on every qualified lead. If you do not hear back right away, understand that most people live harried lives and try again. If you still don’t hear back, let it go. It wasn’t meant to be.
6. In most situations, it’s beneficial to everyone when you say what you think, unless you are not thinking.
7. Being useful is more important than being right.
8. And integrity is more important than being honest.
9. Recognize inefficiencies and remove them. If you can’t, outsource them.
10. There is more than enough wealth to go around in this world. You just have figure out how to ask for it.
11. It’s never about price.

Happy New Year.

Karri Flatla is a business graduate of the University of Lethbridge and principal of snap! virtual associates inc., a consulting firm providing Internet marketing services to the progressive entrepreneur. Karri also produces Outsmart, the newsletter for small business with big purpose. Visit http://www.snap-va.com/newsletter to subscribe and get your free Copywriting & Usability Checklist now.

How to Acquire Free Web Site Promotion

You have finished making your own website. You have introduced your company and presented your products and services. You have added propositions and promos to catch your target audience’s attention. You have achieved the dos and don’ts of building a company web site. But why isn’t your website a major success?

Maybe you’re not planning the key to the best promotion of your web site. Here are some guidelines on how to acquire free web site promotions for your company’s success.

If you have started to promote your web site, keep it constant. If you promote your site with persistence, it will catch your audience’s attention.

Be patient. Try each method in promotion until you acquire the best, free promotion there is. You have to accept trial and error for your web site to reach the top.

There are many ways for your web site to be seen. Here are some free web site promotions you could try until you find the most effective.

*Free promotions such as search engines and directories would give your web site the deserved traffic you always wanted. Make sure to check your web site’s ranking to know whether or not this type of free promotion is right for you.

*Make a deal with other web sites on trading links which could help both web sites. Make sure to use words that could easily interest the audience.

*Find free classified ads that could boost the promotion of your web site. These ads could be seen by other people who you are not targeting for, but may as well be interested in your services.

*Free and low-cost internet banners are spread all through out the World Wide Web. Banners that pop-up at the top of a page or in a separate window would automatically catch your target audience’s attention.

If your web site and its free promotion did not work even after accomplishing these methods, analyze your web site. Track down all visitors, advertisements, and transactions. Then locate errors in your web site. Upload new files to your web site continuously for audience to return for new products and services. Monitor your own web site if it’s up in the market or down.

Then be ready to try the methods again and surely it will work.

It has always been said that the best things in life are free. Yes they are. And as soon as your free web site promotion proves to the audience its worth, then you’ll believe it’s true.

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