Monday, April 18, 2005

T.I.P.S. 101* Write Your Letter

Write Your Letter
By Gil C. Schmidt

The best way to build your business is through referrals. Advertising can be expensive and despite improvements in demographics and media management, targeting your best customers is still an iffy proposition.

Marketing, which includes advertising, selling and Public Relations, can be both more and less targeted than advertising, for you know who your customer is when you sell to him or her, but in Public Relations you diffuse your effort to the community as a whole.

Spoken referrals, also known as “word of mouth,” are the basis for business success. But another form of referrals, one that can have lasting and far-reaching impact, is that of written referrals. Testimonial letters are a powerful advertising instrument and are great ego-boosters as well.

But how do you get people to actually write letters about you or your company? Easy: You write the letter. And not as fiction, either, but as a simple description of the great service you are providing.

As you deal with a client, decide before you begin that they will be so impressed by your service that he or she will want to write a letter about the experience. If needed, take notes about what you do and as soon as you have completed the service and can see the client is satisfied, ask if they will provide you with a testimonial letter to help your business grow. (And ask them for referrals at the same time!)

If they say “yes,” don’t wait for them to write it. Offer to write “a draft” that they can modify and sign once they are satisfied with it. (If you wait for them to write it, you could wait forever.) Ask their permission to use it in your business ads, pointing out that they also get exposure at the same time. (But if you ask, make sure you do place ads. Service is also a matter of keeping your word.)

If they say “no,” don’t be discouraged. The Law of Numbers is on your side, you will have delivered great service, they might say “yes” later, you may have notes about solving a situation that could help someone else in the future and you have flattered the person by making it known that their opinion is important.

And if you’re not a confident writer, don’t worry. Testimonial letters are really “Thank You” notes, and you certainly know how to thank yourself, don’t you? (If you don’t, practice!) Encourage your employees and colleagues to “write the letter” and you will definitely see your business grow.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home