The YOU Element in Business Letters

The YOU Element in Business Letters :

NOW that kind of a letter hasn’t told me what I wanted to know. The fact that they are showing the woolens doesn’t particularly interest me. They may have the most attractive line in the city. What I care about is, what is in this for me? How will it affect my bankroll?

But if they had written: “Mr. Smith, you spend $15 more for a suit of clothes than you should. How can we prove it? By making you just as stylish and as wearable a suit for $35 as you have been paying $50 for. You will look better and feel better in the clothes, and at the same time you will besaving money.”

If they had said this—ah! That would have been a different matter. For here is a letter that gets as close to me as my own desk, that touches my pocketbook, my business heart. Again, a manufacturer writes me today:

“We have perfected and are now prepared to supply our new, patent-lined, double-rimmed, rust-proof, excelsior gas burner—the peer of them all.”

When I receive that letter how does it affect my cost of production? I hold no stock in the gas burner industry. He might as well announce the discovery of a new mud puddle on South Main Street so far as my interests are concerned.

But suppose he had said: “See here, Mr. Gas Burner, you spend $2.50 a month more for gaslight than you should, and yet in spite of this waste you are not getting the brilliant illumination you are paying for. I can cut your gas bills in two, give you better, clearer, brighter light, and save you $2.50 a month. And the whole outlay to you will be simply the price of our new gas burners.”

Suppose the writer had said that? It would have been somewhat different and I would have probably hurried to the mailbox with a money order. Forget yourself and talk about the other man’s profits, needs, desires. Look at your proposition from his point of view and he will readily see it from yours.

The YOU Element in Business Letters