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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

Routinely Sending Customers Letters Helps Achieve Top-of-Mind Positioning

 
Last week, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) marketing whiz Marka gave savvy salesperson Zoot some tips on how to show customers they’re appreciated. This week, they discuss how sending letters in response to common business events can help FEI better stick in the mind of potential fire buyers. Remember, fire = print.

One Saturday afternoon, Marka and Zoot were sipping Grogaccino at a local Grogbucks.

“I spend a lot of time making sales calls,” Zoot began, “but it still feels like I’m not staying in touch with certain prospects and customers as much as I should. The marketing communications we send out are fabulous, but I’d like to do something more…personal.”

“How about sending them letters?” Marka asked. “People love getting letters. These days, with so much of our communication taking place over the O-phone, O-mail or O-cial media, a salesperson who takes the time to write a letter really stands out. Such letters will act as frequent, nurturing touches that will help us achieve valuable top-of-mind position among key fire buyers.”

Zoot rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “I like the idea, but I don’t have time to send letters to every customer and prospect on my radar. I’d be up all night typing! My wrist hurts just thinking about it. Plus,” he added sheepishly, “I’m not much of a writer.”

“You won’t be writing a new letter every time,” Marka said. “Instead, let’s make a list of common reasons why you would send to a letter to a customer or prospect. I’ll develop a template for each type of letter. Then, whenever the event in question comes up, all you’ll have to do is fill in some key details about the company or project in question—and, of course, the person’s name and contact information.”

“That won’t take long at all!” Zoot said with excitement.

The pair spent the next few minutes brainstorming the types of letters Zoot could write. Some the topics included:

Apology:
  • Missed delivery dates
  • Service/product error
  • Substandard quality

Keep us in mind:
  • After lost sale
  • We miss you
  • Reactivate account with an incentive
  • Objection: We always use a competitor
  • Objection: Previous bad experience with FEI
  • Objection: FEI is too far away

Personal or corporate congratulations:
  • on the new job
  • on your promotion
  • on your company’s move
  • on a new product line
  • for your recent acquisition
  • for appearing:
    - In the news
    - As a speaker at a conference

Thank You for:
  • First order
  • Large order
  • First bid opportunity
  • Large bid opportunity
  • Kind testimonial
  • Referral
  • Survey response
  • Coming back to FEI after a long time
  • Visiting our trade show booth
  • Visiting FEI’s facility
  • Seeing me for our first visit together

“These are so obvious!” Marka said.

“The challenge will be finding the time to write them,” Zoot noted.

“Well, consider that a challenge no longer,” Marka said with a wink.

A couple of days later, Marka gave Zoot a series of letter templates to use. Soon, he found an occasion to use one of the “Thank You” letters after two prospects sent FEI a first quote for fire-lighting services on the same day. Sure enough, both companies responded, expressing their appreciation. Within a month, FEI had landed fire jobs with both businesses.

Today’s FIRE! Point
Develop a set of customer letters you can have sent in response to common business events. This will help differentiate your business and ensure your name comes to mind the next time a prospect has a need for printing services.

FIRE! in Action: Freelance Copywriter Uses Simple Letter to Generate Leads
Mark E. Johnson did a simple letter mailing to a list of 400 prospects. Over the next three months, he calculated that 406 people visited the landing page he’d created to connect with recipients—including five that became clients.

Next week: Marka shows Zoot the value of conducting educational seminars for customers and prospects.
 

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