Setting an appointment – free sales letter template
One of the challenging aspects of trying to attract new clients is setting up the initial appointment with them to discuss your service offering.
Use this tried and proven sales letter template to get the attention of your prospect before you call them by telephone to set an appointment.
Download it here: free sales letter template (2-page .doc)
Usually the best qualified sales leads you can get come from asking satisfied customers to refer their colleagues to you.
While you can certainly ask for referrals face-to-face, or by phone, it is often wise to have a standard referral letter available to use for this. A letter often makes it easier for the customer to give it some thought of who would be the best referrals for you, and to get back to you at their convenience.
Download it here: free referral sales letter template (Word doc file)
Struggling to write sales letters? Template makes the process easy
Are the sales letters and emails you send to prospects or clients not pulling the results you want?
Then consider spending just five minutes of pre-writing planning before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). This small investment of time on the front end will make every communication you have with a prospect or client count more toward the bottom line.
Many times, especially in this fast-paced electronic age of quick-and-short emails, our written communication is so casual, we miss opportunities. We forget to think-through our sales letters and follow-up before we write and send them off to the recipients.
This four-question pre-writing sales letter template can put more punch in your writing.
Don’t be fooled by its simplicity. The outcome of working through these questions before you begin writing a sales letter can be more powerful than you think.
1. Who are you writing to?
This may seem obvious, but the answer to the question is deeper than it appears. Take a moment to think a bit more about who you are writing to.
- What is their position in the company?
- What needs and pains are they experiencing in their business?
- What stage are they at in the buying decision process when they will receive your sales letter or email?
Put yourself in the reader’s shoes before you begin writing, and your message will be more relevant to them — and therefore more persuasive.
2. What is the overall objective of this sales letter?
Why are you writing it? What is your motivation? What do you want to happen as a result of this letter?
Again, this question can seem simplistic at first glance. But just like when taking a cross-country road trip in your car, you must figure out where you are going first to be able to successfully get there.
List the main one or two objectives you have for writing the sales letter or email.
- Is it to set a specific time for an appointment with the prospect?
- Is it to get confirmation of a request for proposal?
- Is it thank them for meeting with you yesterday, and agree on a specific time for another meeting?
3. What is the overall message you want to convey?
What supporting elements in the sales letter will appeal to the person in question #1, and make the goal and objectives in question #2 happen?
Here’s is where you think about what you really want to say…and also how you want to say it.
- Are there benefits of your service that you should highlight in this message that will appeal to the reader’s specific needs?
- What tone should the letter have (gratitude, empathy, excitement, etc.).
4. What is the action — or next step — that needs to be taken?
This is perhaps the most often overlooked element in sales letters.
Your email or letter should specifically communicate to the reader what the next action step is, and who is going to take it.
- Do you want them to review and sign your proposal that is enclosed?
- Or are you telling them you will email them a capability brochure with pricing tomorrow for their review before the meeting next week?
Sales letters without “calls to action” usually have miserable results.
In your pre-writing planning, be sure to clarify what the next step is.
Easy 7-step sales letter template for business-to-business services
1. Get attention
Getting the attention is the primary importance of any direct marketing piece. The goal is to engage the reader enough to get them to read the rest of the letter. The key to doing that is to make it interesting enough, but also it must be believable.
Here are several ways you can grab the reader’s attention in a sales letter…
- Promise a benefit (“Reduce your marketing costs in half in just 90 days”
- Ask an intriguing question: (“What do 90% of all small businesses overlook when saving on income taxes?”
- Make an offer (“Reply now and get a 10-page free report to help you get more customers”).
2. Identify the problem your reader has
After you get the reader’s attention, you immediately want to identify the relevant problem the reader has that your service can solve. Generally, the problems for most businesses fall under these general categories:
- how to save money (reduce costs)
- how to make more money (increase revenues, increase profits)
- how to improve operations, increase productivity
You’ll want to state the problem in a way that the reader can recognize it. In a essence, you must help the reader discover (or rediscover) a real problem, pain or predicament they have, so that they will be thinking about when you introduce your service as the solution to it in the next step of the letter.
3. Position your service as the solution to the problem.
Now that the reader is thinking about or feeling the pain of the problem you just identified, you now want briefly position that your service is the solution to that problem.
4. Prove that your service is the solution to the problem.
To prove the case, there are three basic items you should try to include in the letter to reinforce your position.
- mention the primary benefits of your service, and how they can measurably solve the problem the reader faces.
- mention any “social proof” that you have that your service provides the benefits you are promising. This can be done by mentioning testimonials of real clients, or describing “mini case studies” or success stories of previous client projects. It’s important to note results here, not just just make claims.
- what credentials do you have? In support of the other two items above, you can weave information about your experience, training, technology you use, professionalism, etc. While these credentials aren’t usually effective on their own, they do help support other types of proof in your letter.
5. Give them an offer
All sales letters need an offer.
Are you offering a free seminar? A free special report? A complimentary assessment or one-hour consultation? Or perhaps a low-cost introductory sampling of your service?
What is it that you are offering to get them to reply to you?
Offers can be spiced up by adding two elements: scarcity and/or exclusivity. Doing so you state that the offer is good only for a limited time, or for a limited number of people.
“Our seminar only has 30 seats available.”
“We are only offering the report until Dec. 31”
6. Make sure it has a guarantee.
A guarantee helps “reverse” any risk the reader might be worried about if he or she replies to your offer.
If you’re offer is free, you might try something like “The consultation is absolutely free. There is no obligation to purchase the service.”
Other guarantees include:
“If you aren’t satisfied with our work, you don’t pay.”
“Everything is done in 30 days or less, or your money back.”
7. Tell them what to do
This is the “call to action.” Many sales letters forget this part, even though it seems obvious to include it.
You must tell them exactly what you want them to do to get the offer — and make it easy for them to respond.
“Fill out the postage-paid reply card and drop in in the mail today”
“Go to .www.ourwebsite.com and enter your email address on the top of our home page.”
“Call us at 1-800-XXX-XXXX and our trained representatives will get the report out to right away.”
It’s also a good idea to provide multiple ways for readers to respond (such as mail, telephone, fax, email, etc.). The more way they can respond, the higher potential for response.
One of the best resource for free sample sales letter or templates is your own mail box.
Just think of all the free, unsolicited direct mail you get every day. You often think of it as junk mail. But consider this: most professional marketers and copywriters keep what they call a “swipe file.” A swipe file is selection of sample sales letters you get that you like.
You can create your own swipe file of free sample sales letters (and generate a sales letter template from them) by just spending a few extra minutes a day opening your junk mail.
If you collect these for a few weeks, you’ll begin to notice that some large companies that send them to you are repeating the same one. That’s often because they have tested this sales letter template or format and know that it works (which is why they send it more than once). Big companies spend thousands if not millions of dollars testing sales letters to find out which ones work best.
By spending some time building and analyzing your own swipe file you can take advantage of lots of expensive testing, and devise your own template for a successful sales letter.