Tag: writing

Thank You Notes

Thank You Notes

When you were younger, did your parents make you send a thank you note to everyone that came to your birthday party and brought you a present? When you were married, did you and your spouse send thank you notes to all those that came to your wedding and wished you a long, prosperous and happy relationship?

So why don’t you send thank you notes to the customers and prospects that complimented you with the time allotted for a significant customer meeting? Even worse, why don’t you send them a thank you note for every order your customer places? You know they have competition for their time and money – don’t you think it is worthwhile to send a quick note thanking them?

Typing an email to your prospect for the meeting is easy. Thanking your customer for the latest order is easy.

All you do is just open up your email editor and send that person an email. In fact, it is so easy it almost has no value. Your competitor is also opening up his or her email editor and sending your prospect an email in thanks for the great meeting or demo. The difference is that your competitor is trying to encourage your prospect to eliminate you as a consideration for this upcoming decision. If you don’t match your competitors then they have the advantage. They are showing that they want your customer more than you want your customer.

In my book “Eliminate Your Competition” I explain that if your product (meaning your product, your company, or you) has the same feature with the same benefit as your competitor’s product, then it has almost no value in the sales process. Anything that results in a tie doesn’t eliminate your competition. It simply makes you equal. You are the same as your competitor. A feature that makes no difference in the sales cycle is not a feature, it is simply a checkmark. You may purchase my book “Eliminate Your Competition” from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Check, you have the functionality. Check, your competitor has the functionality. Tie. No differentiation.

If everything ends in a tie, then you don’t eliminate your competition from consideration. Your prospect can merely flip a coin. Who cares what product is selected? It is a commodity, so one vendor is as good as the next.

If everything ties then you end up with only one differentiator: which product is cheaper?

You need every advantage you can create! You need to win all of the big feature battles and big benefit battles. You also need to win the little battles as well. To eliminate your competition, you need to win every part of the sales campaign. You need to leave nothing to chance.

Since everyone can send an email thank you note, you need to do better. I suggest a handwritten thank you note. Yes, the old fashioned way. A piece of paper with ink on it sent via snail mail.

When was the last time your prospect received a nice piece of correspondence from a non-family member via the USPS? Probably months, but it could have been years! For that matter, it could have been NEVER (until you knocked on their door)!

Do you think that your customer will remember you sent a written note? Absolutely. Do you think it will be the reason that you won the order? Probably not, but then again do you think it will hurt? Do you think you will lose the order if you send a handwritten note?

Go buy some distinct stationery and some stamps. Don’t be the same as your competitor – be better.

Header Photo by 6072518 (Pixabay)
Effective Salespeople Know How to Write

Effective Salespeople Know How to Write

Probably the most critical skill of a salesperson is to be able to communicate effectively. Some sales managers will even have a job candidate do a presentation as part of the interview process. Also, many sales managers will review resumes and cover letters for signs of poor writing.

If you want to be a top producer in sales, you need to be able to write effectively. You will be writing emails and letters to prospects and customers. You will be writing proposals. You will be modifying presentations. You should also be writing LinkedIn posts and blogs. Effective writing is a required sales skill.

In my book “Eliminate Your Competition” I gave you several examples of newsletters and prospecting letters. You may purchase my book “Eliminate Your Competition” from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Your ability to communicate your ideas and your thoughts will improve the more you do it. In this post, I am not overly concerned with how you structure your communication. In this post, I want to make sure you are not writing with 4th-grade grammar and 2nd-grade spelling skills. If you are using the Microsoft Office suite of productivity tools, you can have that tool give you suggestions on spelling and on grammar. Unfortunately, it is not the best tool available, and I suggest that you look at Grammarly.

Grammarly is a great tool. It can be embedded into your browser or in Microsoft Office, or you can just use the web tool.

Once you create a Grammarly account for free, take a tour of the Grammarly editor. It shows you how to get feedback on your writing quickly, make your writing clear and adjust feedback to your preferred writing style.

Then open a new document and set a goal for your writing. You can set writing goals based on your:

  • The intent, e.g., inform, tell a story or describe
  • The audience, e.g., general or expert
  • The Style, e.g., formal or informal
  • Desired Emotion, e.g., mild or strong
  • Targeted Domain, e.g., academic, business or technical

When you’re ready, merely paste extracts of your writing for proofreading, grammar checking and catching spelling mistakes. Or you can write directly in Grammarly and then paste your work into your writing app of choice. After a few seconds, this proofreading tool underlines grammar mistakes similar to what you see in Word.

Grammarly Premium also provides a more detailed explanation than the free version (or Word) about why you made a writing mistake. This is particularly useful if you want to improve your knowledge of English grammar.

The free version contains most of the features of Grammarly Premium apart from an advanced grammar checker, a plagiarism detector, and some vocabulary enhancement suggestions. In other words, the free version of Grammarly is ideal for salespeople with a minimal budget for writing tools.

Grammarly Premium provides detailed information about each of your grammar mistakes. It also provides additional writing insights and an ability to set writing goals. It also finds and fixes more errors than the free version.

You can pay for premium on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. I currently pay for a monthly premium subscription as this strikes me as a nice balance between affordability and managing my expenses.

Yes, this blog post (in fact nearly all of my writing) was double-checked with Grammarly.