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Selling Yourself Through Your Writing
By Jane Watson   Printer Friendly Version

Business writing is fast becoming a survival skill in our high-technology, service-oriented marketplace.

Up until three years ago, your best salesperson was probably someone who was highly persuasive in individual sales calls. However, today-with a difficult economy and intense competition-face-to-face meetings are not always cost-effective. Today's successful salespeople have to be able to sell themselves as effectively in writing and as they do in person.

This brings to mind two other thoughts. First, the average person does not receive training in business writing in school. (Most schools teach academic or creative writing.) Second, the amount of paper crossing a person's desk has increased 600 % in the past ten years.

Therefore, everything your staff writes goes into a competition-a competition for the reader's attention that involves all the other reading material received that day.

Accept this as a challenge and rise to the occasion. If your staff can produce clear, concise documents that advance the sales cycle, they will shine and your organization will come out a winner.

Selling in writing is not much different from selling face-to-face. You have to show you understand your customer and his concerns. And then explain how you can help him solve his problems and reach his goals.

Omit irrelevant information that may confuse the reader. Figure out what he wants to know and what he needs to know and then tell him-in simple language. Don't use a lot of space glorifying your company. The customer is more interested in how you can help him.

To close your letter, ask for a specific action leading towards the next step in the selling cycle.

And remember-a good letter is a less expensive way of calling on your customers again and again, reminding them of you and your products.

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