Your Direct Mail Sales Letters Must Differentiate You

For two winters I heated my house with an old fashioned woodstove. I learned the art of reviving a bed of dying coals each chilly winter morning, adjusting the kindling, firewood and dampers just right so that the stove would heat my turn-of-the- century farmhouse for the longest period possible.

I had the choice of four vendors to buy my hardwood from. All were local, all sold at the same price, and all had the same quality of hardwood.

But only one supplier, a character called Joe Meiser, advertised same-day delivery at no extra charge. Joe got my business.

Joe got my business because he differentiated himself from his competitors in a way that appealed to me. You need to do the same to remain competitive.

You need to decide what makes you different from your competitors, and you need to promote that uniqueness in your sales letters. Just make sure your differentiator is compelling and actually differentiates you.

"Quality Service" is not a differentiator. It's a given. So is on-time delivery and the ability to meet budgets.

Instead, differentiate your firm based on your competence in your industry or market category. Or be first at something. Or invent something. Just make sure that your differentiator is relevant and attractive to your prospects.

Joe Meiser also had a great guarantee. If you know anything about heating your home with a woodstove, you know that Joe sold and delivered his wood by the bush cord. One bush cord measures 4ft wide x 4ft high x 8ft long. He dumped it in a big pile on my front lawn, and I then had to stack it in neat rows around my property, by hand. Here was Joe's guarantee, always delivered with a straight face but a twinkle in his blue eyes:

"I dump your eight bush cords in your yard with my truck," he'd say. "You try da wood. If you don't like it, you bring it back and I give you new stuff."

----
About the author
Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter and lead generation specialist who helps business owners and marketing managers generate leads, close sales and retain customers using business-to-business direct mail marketing. Learn more about his creative direct mail writing services and sign up for free weekly tips like this at http://www.sharpecopy.com.

© 2005 Sharpe Copy Inc. You may reprint this article online and in print provided the links remain live and the content remains unaltered (including the "About the author" message).

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Forbes

Black Friday, Cyber Monday And Travel Tuesday: The Best Travel Sales And Deals
Forbes
A word of advice: Most sales are only available for a short timeframe and for travel during a specific window. Be sure to check the fine print for other restrictions like minimum stays, black-out dates, upfront payments and nonrefundable rates. (And ...

and more »

NBCNews.com

Florida sues Walgreens, CVS over opioid sales
NBCNews.com
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida is suing the nation's two largest drugstore chains, Walgreens and CVS, alleging they added to the state and national opioid crisis by overselling painkillers and not taking precautions to stop illegal sales. Attorney ...
Next attorney general could come from Trump's inner circle: Sources - ABC News - ABC News - Go.comABC News - Go.com
Prescription Opioid Data | Drug Overdose | CDC Injury CenterCDC
Filing # 80950050 E-Filed 11/16/2018 05:53:57 PM - Florida Attorney GeneralFlorida Attorney General
National Institute on Drug Abuse
all 23 news articles »

USA TODAY

Black Friday 2018: Lowe's sales are on appliances, smart home, and more
USA TODAY
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA Today's newsroom ...

and more »

Forbes

Best Buy 'Cyber Monday' 2018 Sales: What We Know So Far
Forbes
As Black Friday 2018 approaches, doubts emerge: Will there be a better deal on Cyber Monday? Since this sales holiday is growing even faster than Black Friday, that's a valid question. So do you wait? When it comes to Best Buy BBY -1.99% ...
Black Friday 2018 deals: Early sales on Amazon Echo, Apple iPad, laptops, and smart TVsYahoo News

all 38 news articles »

The Boston Globe

Florida sues CVS, Walgreens over opioid sales
The Boston Globe
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The state of Florida is suing the nation's two largest drugstore chains, Walgreens and CVS, alleging they added to the state and national opioid crisis by overselling painkillers and not taking precautions to stop illegal sales.
Next attorney general could come from Trump's inner circle: Sources - ABC News - ABC News - Go.comABC News - Go.com
Prescription Opioid Data | Drug Overdose | CDC Injury CenterCDC
Filing # 80950050 E-Filed 11/16/2018 05:53:57 PM - Florida Attorney GeneralFlorida Attorney General
National Institute on Drug Abuse
all 164 news articles »

Wall Street Journal

GE Seeks Power Sales in Iraq, But Report Spotlights Corruption Concerns
Wall Street Journal
General Electric Co. learned from a consultant's report this past summer of corruption allegations against key business partners in Iraq, where the company is trying to shore up its position in one of the most important foreign markets for its ...

and more »

CleanTechnica

Tesla Model 3 vs. Ford Mustang US Sales
CleanTechnica
The region of Southwest Florida where I live is probably a pretty good one for the Mustang. I see quite a few of them around town. However, it does seem as though I'm already seeing more Model 3s than Mustangs, which is a little shocking when you ...

and more »

Worcester Telegram

Local retailers bracing for Black Friday sales
Worcester Telegram
For Maggie M. Hubbard, general manager of the JCPenney store at the Mall at Whitney Field in Leominster, it's all hands on deck for Black Friday holiday shopping. And this year, with Christmas Eve falling on a Monday, it could also get a little crazy ...

and more »

Entrepreneur

Ditch the Sales Script and Do This Instead
Entrepreneur
Using a sales script is a conventional way for a business to scale a branded sales approach. It may allow a business to execute a sale with those who don't notice or don't care that it's using a script. Ultimately, however, sales scripts will time and ...

and more »

HuffPost

Democrats Are Planning To Target The Arms Sales Trump Loves
HuffPost
WASHINGTON ― Top Democrats are discussing how to use their upcoming control of the House of Representatives to more tightly regulate U.S. weapons sales abroad ― a move that would shore up the party's antiwar credentials and make it harder for ...

and more »
Google News

Psychological Tricks in Selling

----------------------------------------------------------Permission is granted for the below article to forward,reprint, distribute,... Read More

How to ASK for Business -- WITHOUT appearing Pushy --

GIVING Vs "SELLING"Never lose sight of the importance of providing... Read More

Building an Action Plan

Going into your workday and waiting for things to happen,... Read More

How to Eliminate Objections to Price

Have you ever stepped your way through the sales process... Read More

3 Ways To Sell and Have Fun Doing It

There are many ways to sell and have fun doing... Read More

Impotent Questions - How Much Are They Costing You?

Last issue we talked about what motivates people to buy... Read More

Selling Skills - How to Handle the Dreaded Question Whats The Price?

I've written previously about how to attract customers and how... Read More

Program Your Biocomputer For Sales Success

Selling isn't something you do to people, it's something you... Read More

6 Ways To Get More From Your Promotions

1. Settle On The Right Way ForwardThe purpose of your... Read More

Qualifying Your Prospect

How do you respond when an absolute stranger calls, at... Read More

Long Sales Letters vs. Short Sales Letters

Everywhere I turn, I'm being asked to weigh in on... Read More

Web Promotion: 10 Amazing Web Promotion Ways To Jump Start Your Sales

Hello, do you have a website and sell something on... Read More

Cold Calling Pressure Reduction

Who likes cold calling? Most salespeople don't like cold calling,... Read More

Voice Mail That Sells

As a business owner, I receive my share of sales... Read More

Top 10 Ways to Sell your Product or Service While you Sleep - Part 1

Have you wasted valuable time and money on promotion that... Read More

The Biggest Mistake In Selling!

Some trainers and sales managers teach that there are prospects... Read More

Buying Wholesale Mannequins

Many mannequin manufacturers sell their mannequins in wholesale. This means... Read More

8 Part Strategy For Constructing Your Advertising Message

Strategies to help produce your brochure, advertisment or direct mail.... Read More

Know What You Are Selling As If You Were Buying It

Recently I wanted a new lawn mower as we have... Read More

The Struggle to Decide: The Paths Customers Take to Solve Problems

Usually my essays discuss the issues that the 'sales' method... Read More

An Introduction to Mannequins

Just about every clothing store uses mannequins. There are many... Read More

Telephone Techniques

TELEPHONE TECHNIQUESSelling face to face is different from selling on... Read More

Why You Buy, Part Three

Still more discoveries from the recent studies in behavioral economics:Over-Valuing... Read More

Exporting to Europe: Not the Challenges You Think

If you plan to do sell your product or service... Read More

Dont Be Macho Selling Ice to Eskimos

This issue's topic was suggested by a sales rep for... Read More