The reading level for this article is Novice

The scene&ldots;
Date: Any day
Where: Anytown, USA
Time: All the time
Cast: The Sales Person (SP), The Prospect (P)

A conversation ensues&ldots;

SP: I recently sent you a letter outlining all of the benefits of working with ABC Company. Did you receive it?

P: What did it look like?

SP: It was in a white envelope.

P: What was in it?

SP: A letter outlining all of the benefits of working with ABC Company.

P: It’s probably here somewhere&ldots;

SP: Ah&ldots;

P: Could you send it again?

Do you find yourself having conversations much like the above? Do you find yourself hanging up the telephone muttering, “Why don’t they just clean their desk! Why don’t they just get organized!” Are you frustrated and angry when the above situation occurs?

There is a simple solution: DON’T SEND A SALES LETTERS FIRST!

There is one exception to the above rule: if your sales letter generates a return telephone call—not occasionally, but all the time or in very, very high numbers. Then you have an effective sales letter. It does what it is supposed do: It generates a response. Keep using it and doing exactly what you are doing.

If your sales letter does not generate phone calls, stop sending it. It is not helping you. Sending a letter first does not “warm up” your call—it can actually be counterproductive. Usually your letter ends up in a pile on your prospect’s desk; they haven’t read it or they have lost it. You end up having a conversation like the above—or in an alternate scenario, a conversation like this one:

P: I got your letter. I filed it. I’ll call if I need you.

Or worse&ldots;

P: I don’t remember it, but if you sent it, I probably got it and filed it. I’ll call if I need you.

You will never get to the next step in your sales process this way.

Make your call first and ask for what you want. If you are calling to set an introductory new business meeting—use your script and then ask for the meeting. If at that point your prospect asks to receive written material, by all means send it and send it right way! If your prospect has said “no”—then they do not really need any material. This approach will save time, effort and postage.

If you call first and your prospect absolutely, positively insists on receiving written material first, this also gives you a second chance to call her back and try for that meeting. Sometimes, you can promise to send literature immediately and at the same time suggest that you both “pencil in a meeting” for a few weeks later, after they have had a chance to review the materials. This way, everyone gets what they want!

Spend your time effectively, making telephone calls—not sending out letters that no one reads.

© 2002 Wendy Weiss

This Business article was written by Wendy Weiss on 2/11/2005

Wendy Weiss, “”The Queen of Cold Calling,”” is a sales trainer, author and sales coach. Her book, Cold Calling for Women: Opening Doors and Closing Sales, can be ordered by calling: (866) 405-8212. Contact her at Get her free e-zine at