The YOU Element in Business Letters



The YOU Element in Business Letters :




DON’T begin your letter and every other sentence with “We.” You may be the ruling power in your own world, but your reader doesn’t know it. To himself he is the king of his own little kingdom. He has so many things to think about, he isn’t interested in what you are doing. And yet he is the man you must get close to if you expect to get any of his money. He is interested only when he is sure of getting some money himself. I at once became alive to the proposition when I received this letter:


“Mr. Retailer,


“Why is it that you - the retailer - are compelled to lose more good hard cash through bad debts than any other man in business?


“Every month you have to charge up to bad debts, scores of good fat accounts that deadbeats refuse to pay. Mrs. Jones puts you off; Mrs. Smith tells you to wait; and so it goes - season after season. You could almost start a new store with the money lost by local retailers through bad debts.


“Now suppose we could tell you how to stop this; suppose we could tell you of a simple collection scheme used by one retailer down in Illinois that enabled him to make thirty of his hardest and slowest customers pay up - penny for penny - the hundreds of dollars they owed him.


Wouldn’t you jump at the chance to get it?


“Now, then, in the book described by the circular enclosed, you can get this very collection system; the simplest, most successful collection system ever devised—a system that does not require the assistance of an expensive collector; a system that you alone can operate, and the only expense is the cost of two or three tow-cent stamps.”


That is the kind of a letter that jars money from my cash drawer. The guns of attractive argument and effective salesmanship are leveled directly at me. I must either get out of the way or stand and take the shot. I buy because “you and your collections” has been the attitude of the letter. If this concern has pointed their letter shot somewhere up in the air of foreign interests, there would have been no reason why I should budge and inch, and I wouldn’t.




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