When Was Your Last Jose Mourinho Six-Page Letter Pitch

The English sports pages are Jose potty this week.

After getting the sack from Chelsea, it seems he covets a return with Manchester United.

The Independent newspaper sent talking heads into overdrive with an exclusiveEx-Chelsea manager pens six-page love letter to United to claim ‘I can change’.

There was no immediate example of said letter. Merely a flame-fanning denial by his agent. So if we go by the journalist, we discover the following sections or themes existed.

  • strong desire to manage the club
  • willing to adhere to United’s principles
  • current squad ‘forensic analysis’
  • plans (new signings) for the team
  • key decisions he would take

In general, the “charm offensive”/”begging letter” (take your pick) was “offering extensive thoughts” and “making suggestions”. Trying to reassure that many of the well-reported stumbling blocks would not apply, like;

  • Mourinho’s regular controversies
  • his style of football, and
  • his failure to nurture young talent.

Only time will tell if the letter existed, and if it did the trick for the applicant.

What is fascinating is that the label “old-school” was widely slapped on this approach.

In a world of 140-character messages, hashtag summary words, even single images shared in an instant, the days of lengthy business communications feel long gone.

A formal Proposal or Response To Tender apart – for they cling on as backside-cover the world over – when did you last write even a 200-word email?

A decade ago I meet a chap that had created a nifty piece of code that allowed for anyone to search on certain terms from within a corporate email account. One of his pitches was because “no buyer ever reads a pdf you send them”. Truer today?

Even when my Sales lessons began a quarter-century ago, it was impressed on me that no letter – a physical piece of printed parchment only in those days – could be more than one side of a single sheet.

Exceptions prove the rule. Appendices could be attached. Typically for the visually impacting, like graphs and timelines.

And The Big One.

The early stall-setter. The qualifier. The “I’m serious”.

I’ve blogged on this most powerful of sales docs before.

It is what you send in a long cycle sell with many players after the very first meeting.

Mine feature five pages minimum.

You can take Jose’s structure as a guide.

You initially reference what is desired. Then unpack what style and flavours of the desired are preferred.

You tap into the success of the past. The cultural and aspirational cues.

You go into fine detail on the current position. Then write in depth about solutions, direction and future outcomes.

You re-iterate how excited you are about the project, whilst holding back slightly because no-one likes counted chickens.

You finish with a list of all that happens next. Both pre- and crucially post-sale.

Then post.

When not read, you can qualify out. When read, you’ll likely have a buyside champ. And happily modify your events together to create the ideal buying process and crack on to dry ink and beyond.

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