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Used rightly, it is in many respects a better medium than a personal representative. Certainly it has all advantage on cost. A sales letter entails no heavy traveling expenses, hotel bills and entertainment charges; a red stamp carries it length of land. Neither does it cool its heels in outer office and conjure methods to reach chief within; courtesy of mail lays it upon his desk. It follows up persistently when repeated personal calls would be impossible. It is a salesman that says no more and no less than merchant or manufacturer desires. It makes no false representations, no verbal promises that cannot be lived up to. It is perfect servant of user.
But, you may say to all this, that you do not do business by mail. True, you may not conduct a mail order business. But you do have use for correspondence. You may sell your goods entirely through salesmen, yet there never was a sales force so good that it could not get more business with help of letters from house.
Correspondence as you use it may serve simplest needs of routine-the acknowledgement of orders, notification of shipments-yet there is never a letter goes out in your mail that does not have possibilities of a business getting touch. If you stop with acknowledgement or notification, you miss an opportunity. Go beyond and talk to man. Look at your letter through his eyes, shift yourself over into his attitude, consider, what you would do if you got that letter. Do that a few times and you will soon be wondering why you didn't rub machine finish off your correspondence long ago, take man-to-man attitude and talk business through mail. There is a place for real letters in every business and your is one of them.
Or you say that you have tried sales letter and it has failed. Do not indict letter for its failure. Its possibilities are there. Indict yourself rather along with hundreds of thousands of other businessmen who have neglected to make most of a medium that waits to do service at a minimum of cost.
The business letter is biggest opportunity for expansion that you have today. Employed intelligently, it will find you customers, it will sell your goods, or help your salesman to sell them, it will make your name known wherever mail service penetrates.
But business-winning letter must be product of most analytical thought. If it is to serve as a salesman it must be created with all care that you would train a salesman before you would permit him to sell your gods. If your argument is to convince it must be planned logically, if your description is to paint a mental picture it must be clear, if your appeal for action is to get results it must be a real appeal with real inducement. You must know your readers point of contact and aim your letters there.
Study your sales letters. Study every letter that goes out over your name. Does it play part it should in your business? Give it a chance. The subsequent chapters of this book tell you how.
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