Two valuable learning experiences I gained in the mid-90s alerted me to the over-formality of sales letter writing. The first involved a sales manager of mine commenting that I was too structured at the beginning of a letter. Saying things that didn’t need saying. As a result, I altered my approach.
Then a year or so later, doing some freelance work for the owner of a software house, I applied these principles, only for him to moan that what I’d written by way of intro, was too formal and wasn’t something he himself would say.
I happily embraced the power of ‘say-it-type-it’.
It’s not easy to both get straight to the point and not fall into the trap of flippancy. The English education I received means I am aware of grammar and writing proper, like 😉 yet there are words and phrases that simply must be jettisoned from your lexicon.
I was reminded of this looking for some killer phrases to bang into an email trying to re-ignite two particular prospects of mine, and through googling came across such “enticing” headlines as ten phrases to cut from sales letters.
In general, I’ve found nothing new in my search, but a new resolve to only say what’s needed. Typically on such correspondence as my current task, the typical salesperson might send:
we can really help, here’s how to investigate further, I’m excited about helping, and here’s another reminder of where we can help you personally, etc
Yet perhaps the words that need to be banished most of all are tiny. The first-person pronouns. I, we.