How to Makes Sales Without Even Trying

A great piece of sales copy can show up where you’d least expect it. With an impact you might not expect either. At levels you never imagined. Take this letter, below, sent to a friend from a company called “Dove Construction.” This appeared in Penny Thomas’s mailbox, on the company’s official stationery…

Ms Penelope Thomas
[address deleted]

Dear Penelope:

As you may be aware, DOVE CONSTRUCTION has started work at your neighbor’s home located at [address deleted].

We at DOVE CONSTRUCTION want you to know that there may be some early morning noise and some dirt tracked into the street during rear addition construction. At times, due to circumstances beyond our control, such as sleet and rain, it is very difficult to contain the resulting mud.

Be aware that it is only for a short time during the construction process. We assure you that we will always do our best to maintain a clean and quiet job site for our customer and you, their neighbor.

Thank you for your understanding and patience. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at the number listed above.

Tom Cerami, President

Did the construction company have to send out this letter? No. In fact, as Penny told me, plenty of construction companies have come through the same area, happy to crank up their jackhammers… without the slightest nod to the neighbors.

Yet, here’s a company that took what would otherwise be a net negative – all the noise and attention they were about to draw – and turned it around. With a simple letter.

Penny was so impressed, she wrote a letter right back. And sent it directly to the company’s president…

Mr. Tom Cerami
Dove Construction, LLC
[address deleted]

Dear Mr. Cerami,

I greatly appreciated your notice that you were starting work at [address deleted]. Homeowners really like to know what is happening in their neighborhood. I also want to congratulate you on a good piece of marketing.

Your letter accomplished a number of things:

  • I found out my neighbors were getting an addition.
  • It made me curious – I’m now watching construction.
  • It might have satisfied local building regulations.

But most important:

  • It told me you are a responsible contractor.
  • And, if I want a contractor, I have your information at hand.

Your letter was the first I have ever seen from a contractor subtly and elegantly advertising his business – and there have been many contractors working in the neighborhood over the years. Great job. More effective, I am sure, than just a sign on the site.

I am a freelance copywriter, specializing in marketing – so I appreciated your letter. My website has some writing samples and information about me.

Take a moment to look at it and see if I can be of service to you. If you need, or know someone who needs, a copywriter to put together marketing material – brochures, lead-generating letters, business letters, space ads, website copy, or such – please think of me.

Penny Thomas

Hey… whoa… wait a minute. Did you see what just happened there?

Go read it again.

In their short letter, the construction company has, indeed, done plenty – the goodwill generated, the promises made, the contact information for questions, and more. Penny is right to be impressed.

But then comes an even smarter move on Penny’s part.

She’s genuinely impressed enough to write back and praise the construction company. But Penny, quick on her feet, hasn’t forgotten that construction businesses need marketing copy… and that Penny just happens to be a trained copywriter. A point she mentions with equal subtlety in her letter.

Great idea! And this, of course, is the way it’s supposed to work. Should Penny get a copywriting gig with this local construction firm, it should be a breeze… because it’s a company she’s actually happy to sell.

What does this mean for the rest of us? Simple.

If you run a business, consider how many opportunities you have to interact with customers, or even prospective customers, where a little extra copy effort might “up” the value of the contact. Thank you notes for e-mail signups or orders… renewal notices… post-sale follow-up messages… customer service surveys or technical support. The list could go on.

Every one of those opportunities can do a lot more than just communicate functional data. They could sell your new customers… and re-sell your existing ones. Subtly. Aggressively. Whatever’s right for the moment. Yet, so many marketers miss that opportunity.

Likewise, if you write copy… how many chances to sell your talents to the businesses you know and trust have you overlooked? Company websites… local sales brochures… online ads and sales letters… print ads in local papers… even P.R. pieces or e-zine editorial.

It might be the small gigs that get you started. It might be the big opportunities that let you smack the cover off the ball with your first at bat. Either way, I’ve met plenty of people who had no grasp of the role copywriters play in business. But when I point out just how much of the written marketing word they see in a day, their eyes start to open. It’s everywhere.

When you realize that, it can be like flicking on a light switch. Tough to find clients? Not at all. Try looking closer to home – or at least closer to your own interests – and you might surprise yourself.

[Ed. Note: Knowing how to sell – and doing it whenever and wherever you can – can take you and your business to new levels of profitability. Top copywriter John Forde can show you just how powerful copywriting is. Learn how to get access to the very same copywriting secrets responsible for selling millions of dollars’ worth of products and services on the Internet right here.

And for more money-making sales and marketing techniques, make sure to sign up for John’s free e-zine, Copywriter’s Roundtable.]

John Forde's 15-year career as a top copywriter started as an understudy of Bill Bonner and Michael Masterson. Since then, John has written countless winning controls, has generated well over $30 million in sales, and has successfully launched dozens of products. He's also worked three years as a financial journalist and has written books on wealth building and health, as well as more than 250 articles on copywriting for his popular ezine, The Copywriter's Roundtable. John has taught copywriting in private seminars and conferences in Paris, London, Bonn, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Baltimore, and Warsaw. He currently lives and works from Paris, France.