Questions And Exercises: Chapter XXIV. The Business Letter In Detail. Part 3
It's a far cry from sermons to my subject. But it points a lesson just the same for it is a page from good old "human nature."
I started to write you a letter on a subject in which we are both interested, but the story so aptly illustrated my point that I have unconsciously permitted it to take up this entire letter.
If you will think over this little story, I will write you in a few days the letter I intended to write you at this time. Meanwhile permit me to thank you for your attention, and believe me
(b) Dear Sir:
I shall avoid repeating the error I made a few days ago when I took up an entire letter to tell you the story of our Little Minister. As you remember, the Minister discovered that to reach his flock effectively he was obliged to give them individual attention. It's a perfectly human little story and illustrates my point.
For a year I published The Trade Journal Advertiser. Many people wrote me that it was a good work well done. I issued The Advertiser's Hand Book, a manual for Advertisers. A large file contains the letters I received in voluntary praise of it. But - I am more convinced than ever that there is a market for efficient individual service.
You've not had the service you should have because people try to serve you with what they have to sell rather than with what you need. I have gone about it differently. I first learned your needs and then equipped myself to fill the requirements.
I can serve you with clever forceful advertising designs; with the very best illustrations obtainable of the merchandise you sell, be it textiles or machinery. I can suggest and execute for you bright snappy advertising literature, intelligently adapted to your selling methods. This service is rendered by a highly specialized organization, completely equipped for producing all manner of printed advertising and advertising copy.
Let me surprise you into a charming realization of what real service can be made to mean. My recent experience which brought me in constant communication with thousands of live advertisers has left me fairly choke-full with cracking good ideas. Give me a chance to suggest some of them to you now.
Very truly yours,
P. S. To what address shall I send you "The Point of Contact?" It points the road to better advertising things with almost telegraphic brevity.
B. This letter is a follow-up for letter 3(b) under section 117. Having read again the first letter, discuss the good points of the follow-up.
A few days ago we were pleased to offer you
COUNTY OF LOGAN, COLO. MUNICIPAL WATER 6's (North Sterling Irrigation District) and
COUNTY OF WELD, COLO. MUNICIPAL WATER 6's
( Greeley-Poudre Irrigation Dist.) at special price of Par and interest We have been expecting to hear from you and would like to know if you have come to a decision in reference to purchasing a block of these issues.
Both of these securities we consider extremely high grade and feel sure they will provide you a most attractive investment. Undoubtedly when market conditions improve, both of these issues will be selling at considerably higher figures. We have handled a great many bonds of this character the last few years and the record of all has been excellent. We feel sure you will make no mistake if you decide to purchase a block of these.
If there is any further information you may desire, will be glad to furnish same. Let us hear from you.
With our best respects, we are,
§ 118. The following synopses are taken from System. Imagine that you are a dealer in quality furniture, and that the other stores in town are cutting prices recklessly. Then write a series of four sales letters which could be circularized and sent to the best people in your town. This will mean brushing up whatever you know about furniture, in order that you may be in line with the principles of section eighty-six.
In this first letter the quality furniture dealer caught the attention of the bewildered public when he opened his letter with, "This is our first letter to you about our business policy. We shall tell you things which mean money to you. Today, a few plain facts about prices." This was followed by an easily understood exposition of what determined price in the furniture business, and proof that this store was giving value received.
The competitors of this store were advertising ridiculous discounts that were demoralizing trade. In this dealer's second letter to customers he said, "Some firms advertise 'Discount 25 per cent this week,' or 'Everything 40 per cent off.' Now if that furniture were properly priced in the first place, it means that the dealer is offering to pay you 40 per cent interest for the use of your money. No store can afford to do that. No store does do it, as you very well know."
In the third letter the dealer pointed out how the selling expense must be added to the cost of goods, and how he is able to keep his selling cost down to a small percentage because of, "a specially designed retail building - convenient arrangement of stock which gives economy in handling goods - immense floor space which saves warehouse rent and expense - economy in administration and buying and selling - small losses on account of conservative credit rules - perfect organization - large volume of business over which expense is spread.
"In our first three letters," said this dealer in his fourth letter, "we told you FACTS about our prices, FACTS about discount sales and FACTS on selling expenses. In this letter we shall tell you FACTS about the quality of our furniture" The letter then went on to show that "the buyer who purchases furniture at this store gets the best furniture from the best facories, guaranteed to you by the factory, and by our own individual guarantee - furniture priced at a fair price and marked in plain figures - one price to everyone."