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Letter Perfect

Ink the deal with a solid sales letter.

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This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

While I was speaking at a conference in Atlanta not long ago, I met an entrepreneur named Bob. He said he continually sent letters out with his company brochures, but he never got a positive response from prospects. In fact, most prospects couldn't even remember having received anything from him, and others refused to take his follow-up phone calls.

I asked Bob to send me a sample of his mailings. The brochure was professionally produced and was clearly not the problem. The sales letter, however, was another story. It was basically a letter all about Bob--what his credentials were, what his company did and how he really wanted to have a meeting with this particular prospect. Like many new entrepreneurs, Bob had failed to realize that prospect letters, like all other sales literature, must be outer-directed and answer the prospect's question, "What's in it for me?"

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