The 10-Day Letter

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You have a prospect you want to see. They represent a good opportunity because they are doing business with your competitors but not with you. Surely you could persuade them to do some business with you if only you could get an appointment to see them. Your product is clearly superior in performance and value but you can’t get in to see them. You’ve them sent letters. You’ve left voice mails. You’ve sent emails. You’ve even dropped by on occasion trying to catch them. But nothing has worked so far. Here is an idea that just might help you get through to that prospect and get that appointment. 

But first, let’s review why you’re having such a hard time getting through to the decision maker. You must recognize that the prospect probably knows very little if anything about what you or your company does. They don’t know what you can do for them.

There is a very good chance that they perceive no value in meeting with you at all. It’s possible that their perception of you is based on the last poorly trained sales person from your company that called on them. Remember, the well trained and well prepared sales person is the exception, rather than the rule. The prospect probably perceives meeting with you is a waste of their time.

You need some way to break through the perception that you offer no value to the prospect and illustrate to that prospect that it would be in fact, worth their while to meet with you, even if for a moment or two. You need a way to articulate just how professional and well trained you are and that your company does provide exactly the kind of value the prospect is looking for.

Why not give the Ten Day Letter Campaign a try? This is an effective way to demonstrate why you and your company should be the prospects primary vendor.

The Ten Day Letter is a series of ten letters, one each from you and nine other people within your organization. The letters are sent to the prospect, one after another over ten consecutive business days. Each letter is a personal letter from you and your colleagues describing what each one of you do in your organization and the role each person plays in providing value for the prospect.

You will accomplish a number of things that will contribute to creating a new and more positive perception of the value you provide and why the prospect should meet with you.

First, you create a professional perception because you are writing a formal letter respectfully asking for a meeting to demonstrate what you can do for the prospect’s company. You acknowledge that it is up to you to demonstrate the value in order to earn the meeting. You clearly state that you respect that the prospect is in full control of the decision process.

Second, you demonstrate to the prospect that there are many people within your organization that value the prospect’s future business as much as you do. You are all working together to earn the prospect’s trust that could lead to a future business relationship. In other words, there are a lot of stakeholders vested in the ROI the prospect hopes to get, if and when they do business with your company. Each one of your coworkers who writes a letter to the prospect is adding their voice to your marketing message that your company can meet and exceed the prospects expectations if they would only give you a meeting to show them how.

The first letter is from you. You must write that you’ve been trying to arrange a meeting but to no avail. You must write that you recognize that they are busy and you understand it is up to you to demonstrate value in order to earn the prospects business. You must write that you don’t use any fancy sales gimmicks or tricks and that you know the decision whether or not to do business with your company rests solely with the prospect.

You should then state that you have enlisted your fellow coworkers to each write a personal letter to the prospect describing their role in the business fulfillment process if and when the prospect decides to do some business with your company.

You conclude by asking the prospect to consider the content of all of the letters and give you an appointment in 10 days when you call.

If you work in a Radio station, your list of coworkers could include the General Manager, the Sales Manager, the Business Manager, the Traffic Manager, the Production Director, the Chief Engineer, the Morning Show DJ, the Promotions Director and of course, a letter from another advertiser.

Each one of the letters from your coworkers should include an acknowledgement that you have asked them to help you get the appointment. It should include a brief description of the work they do from their perspective and an explanation as to what role they play and why that is a value to the prospect. Simply having everyone in your organization verbalizing their commitment to doing good business is a statement of value. The prospect knows there is a team of concerned professionals behind the scenes backing you up to deliver the goods.

The letters from your coworkers should conclude with a personal expression of hope that the prospect will indeed accept the request for an appointment and that they look forward to meeting them and taking care of the prospect’s business.

The letter from one of your other satisfied advertisers would follow a similar format acknowledging the fact that you have asked them to write a letter on your behalf. But instead of describing the role the coworkers play, the advertiser would write a couple of paragraphs about you and your professional skills from the advertiser’s point of view. They should include a paragraph about the company and the ROI the advertiser feels they get from using your product.

As a well trained and well prepared professional, you should write the letter for your advertiser, get some of their letterhead, print it up and then present it to them for their signature. Be sure you do something nice for them to show your gratitude. Be their customer or actively recommend them to others.

Don’t send your letters until you have all ten letters, printed, signed and the envelopes typed. Don’t hand-address the envelopes for goodness sake, make it look professional. Then, put one letter in the mail every day for the next ten days.

At the end of the ten days, don’t be shy; call the prospect for the appointment. If they appreciate a good sales job, they will be happy to meet with you. If the prospect recognizes you represent a professional organization, they will meet with you.

You may get some cranky grouchy person who calls you and complains but then you have them on the phone, just tell them, all you’re asking for is an appointment to come learn how you can earn some of their business.

Persistency is a fundamental key to success. Winston Churchill once said “Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential.” The prospect will no doubt be impressed when they see this very persistent, yet very polite and professional effort to get an appointment.

Spike SanteeThe 10-Day Letter

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