Cold Calling via Letter
Cold calling is a phrase used to describe the sales tactic of telephoning potential clients who are not expecting such a communication. In short, ringing up strangers and pitching products or services. This technique easily translates into letters to be sent to such individuals and organisations, particularly for salespeople who might be a little shy or believe that they can get a better message across when it is in writing. In fact, many salespeople now choose to send out letters and emails first, and then follow up by phone if necessary.
If you choose to cold call via letter, remember to address each letter personally, open with a hook and powerful introduction, clearly explain your product or service and why recipients need it and include a call to action as the next step for recipients interested in learning more. Enclosed a free promotional product might also help you gain better feedback when cold calling via letter.
Address Each Letter PersonallyThere is nothing more off-putting to potential customers than junk mail. Immediately avoid your letter becoming lost in such a pile of rubbish by addressing it personally. Find out the name and job title of the person with whom you would most like to be in touch and print this information clearly on an organisational envelope so that your letter stands out from direct mail pamphlets or fliers. Include this contact information in your letter as well, in a formal business format. Finally, don’t forget to use formal salutations (Dear Mr. Robinson) and closings (yours sincerely, John Martin) so that your letter is viewed as a true communication rather than simple sales pitch.
Open Powerfully, With A HookLetters which take the place of cold calls are essentially sales letters, so open your letters powerfully and with a hook which immediately draws the reader’s attention and captures his or her interest. Common hooks include opening with a question (How many hours have you lost this month due to slow computers?) or eye-catching statement (Your computers are too slow.) Sometimes hooks don’t even make sense until the reader finishes the letter (How many pets are buried in your back garden? As a hook for a letter about pet insurance and cemeteries), which can be risky but ultimately may pay off because readers are so taken aback by the hook that they continue reading to find out what the letter could possibly be about. How aggressively you want your letter to open is up to you, just remember that the point is to get recipients to read more of it.
Explain Your Product Or ServiceOnce you have your readers’ attention, explain your product or service so they know what this letter is about. Avoid the phrase I’m writing to tell you about... in favour of simply telling them what you have to offer and why they should want it. Will your product help them hold onto something? Will your services give them something new? Why should they pick your products or services over those offered by their competitors? How will what you offer make their lives easier, and why is it worth the cost? If the answers to these questions are yet in your letter then rewrite until all of this information is clear.
Include A Call To ActionWhen you close your cold calling letter include a call to action or a suggested action that readers can complete to learn more about your product or service. Quick and easy calls to action include Call now for a free trial, Email today for your free gift or Return the enclosed postcard to learn more. While calls to action do not necessarily need to include something free (trial, gift, first appointment, first private session, etc), offering something immediate and of value to the reader is a great way to get him or her to actually follow through on the suggested action.
Enclose A Free Promotional ItemIn addition to promising something worthwhile in the call to action, consider enclosing a free promotional item in your cold calling letter. Make this item useful, such as a pen or pencil with your contact information, a desk calendar dedicated to your business or even a magnet with your logo. These items tend to be very low cost to produce, but will keep your business front and centre in someone’s mind every time (s)he uses one.
Cold calling via letter is an easy way to get a message to many people at the same time. Such sales letter must be personally addressed to each recipient, include a powerful opening with a hook, explain your product or service, include a call to action and possibly have a free promotional item enclosed.