Great letters. The write way to make a sale.

Great letters. The write way to make a sale.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at



Great letters. The write way to make a sale.


My dad (Max) taught me to write. Every time I read a letter he wrote, I marveled at how fast he got to the point, and how succinct everything was stated. I always tried to imitate his style.

My brother (Josh) taught me to edit. He cut words and phrases from everything I wrote. It always looked and read better when he finished ripping it to shreds. Josh also taught me to appreciate graphic design. It’s not what you say, it’s how easy it is to read.

How does your sales letter read? How does it look? Does it prompt the reader to take action? Would you read it and act?


I have received hundreds of sales letters. Introduction, literature enclosed, just met you, after the presentation, followup, here’s the information, thanks for the order you get the idea. Most miss the point. Most are pathetic and uninspiring.

The skill of drafting sales words that make a meaningful, persuasive communication, is integral to making the sale. Many people have a hard time coming up with the appropriate words not because they “can’t write,” but because they don’t know the rules and techniques of “how to write.”


Here are 24.5 rules and guidelines to help turn your sales letters into sales…

1. Use a headline or graphic above the body of text.

2. State your objective or the purpose (get to the point) of your letter in the first sentence.

3. Make the letter as creative as you dare.

4. Use short paragraphs for emphasis.


Edit, edit
. Edit. Take out every word not integral to the purpose or objective of the communication. If you had to pay $10.00 for the word, would you still use it? One easy rule of edit is: Look behind commas to see if the entire phrase is worthy of keeping. Usually it’s not.

6. Edit out (almost) all words that end in “ly”. Adverbs are the scourge of good writing. Edit out half the adjectives and half the prepositional phrases.

7. Avoid superlatives (words thast end with “est”).

8. Avoid the word “unique”.

9. Avoid heavy syrup. Don’t make the prospect vomit when he reads your letter. Make the letter easy to digest.

10. Don’t make the letter sound like a rubber stamp.

11. Keep the letter short. (One page; three paragraphs.) The shorter it is, the better chance you have of the letter being read and understood.

Use bullets to break up the monotony.

Make the letter graphically pleasing.

Use bullets to make the letter seem (or be) short and sweet.

Use bullets to emphasize the most important points.

Indent the bullets.

12. Don’t say “Thank you for the opportunity.” Instead try, “We are proud to offer…” Show confidence in what you do and who you are.

13. Don’t bold your name. Bold what’s important to the prospect. Your name is the least important part (or information) in the letter.

14. Bold stuff to get people’s attention. Leadin words that benefit the buyer are the best choice.

15. Don’t oversell your product, just sell the next action step in the sales cycle, and build some confidence and rapport. Don’t use the letter as a sales pitch. Just use it as a sales tool.

16. Use an example (or similar situation) the customer or prospect can relate to.

17. Personalize the letter to bring in something about your last meeting, something he or she said, a ballgame, a child, or an event you both attended. Be brief. One paragraph maximum.

18. Solidify the next contact or event date it, time it.

19. Ask for response (by a certain date).

20. Never say “again, thanks.” It’s not necessary to thank anyone again. Once is enough, twice is groveling. Use “I appreciate” as an alternative.

21. Don’t misspell a word. One man misspelled “potato” and he paid for it dearly, perhaps with his career. Luckily he didn’t have a very important job.

22. Use a nice, nonbegging, professional closing like: “Thank you for your time and consideration. I’ll call you Tuesday.”

23. Sign your first name only. There are some rare occasions when this is inappropriate. A letter of agreement where both people must sign, or a formal quote that might end up in a corporate office for approval.

P.S. If you want to make your plea or point twice, use a P.S.

24. Include the extra the unexpected enclose an article or something pertaining to his business, or just a good cartoon. Something that lets your prospect know you went beyond the norm to serve and communicate.

24.5 Here is the toughest rule: Ask someone intelligent and impartial to critique your letter. Learn to accept criticism and use it as a learning tool.

Practicing the rules (by writing) will lead to effective letters. Effective letters lead to prospect rapport and confidence. Prospect rapport and confidence lead to sales.


FREE GitBit… Want to see an example of a sales cover letter that won a proposal? Just go to click Access GitBit, register and enter the words COVER LETTER.