Writing letters

Hey guys and welcome to ManageSite for more tips and tricks on web development management!

Our today's hint is all about writing letters to your clients, letters that sell. No, I'm not talking about e-mail scam here, what I'm talking about is the letters you write to present your ideas, work and other client communication.

Here are some things you have to keep in mind writing these:

  • The client has a limited time and attention span
  • He or she wants to see facts, not your "I think that..."s
  • They need multiple choices to maintain control over you work.
What does that mean to us? Let's break it down in order of appearance!

1. Limited time and attention span.

Well, the recommendation here is simple: Keep it simple and short. Use KISS method (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) if you like it. Don't add all these endless thoughts of yours etc. Business communication is all about information, not discussion in itself.

2. Facts, not "I think that..."s

Here's a psychlogical trick for you. Sometimes when you present changes (for example during design co-ordination) it's better to make a numbered list like this one:
  1. Repainted and moved the logo as we agreed;
  2. Added two more 150x150px advertising blocks to the right sidebar to increase advertising space;
  3. Shortened the welcome tab text to make it more simple;
  4. Replaced "medicine" with "healthcare" everywhere as you asked us to;
  5. Repainted the right sidebar;
  6. Added a horizontal ruler to divide the contents and the footer;
  7. Added the copyright in the bottom.
Trick: If you have less then 6-7 lines here make it a bulleted list.

Trick: Notice how I used embedded justifying comments to the text so that it's still short but no line seems as if you have changed it without reason.

I haven't shared these with anyone before, but these have saved me so much time! Keep these lists simple and cool, break your ideas of what should be added to the sites in list form, too - such "feature lists" really a) sell and b) make up an image in the client's head so that he or she sees them instantly.

People tend to believe ordered information more then they would the same information if it was plain text. Why? Because they instantly notice how you have thought about it and consider you have a well-developed process which in turn works on your image and makes their decision-making much easier. Not to mention they choose whatever you want them to :)

3. Need for multiple choices to maintain control over you work

A client is always buying from you. All the time through the whole process of interaction. Always choosing whether to work with you from now on or not. So make it a constant sale. Sell yourself, your new products and extra ideas.

All salesmen (and women) in the world know the simple truth that once given a choice with multiple option, the client concentrates on choosing what's the best one for him, not arguing the existence of such a choice.

Remember the hint on experience management? So you should offer some decent variants with your comments on their pros and cons (adjusted to what you are going to sell to them, of course). Need practical example? Check this out:

Let's say you want your client to order a product catalog for his site ( a very common task in fact so that's real value). You can either say "we can make a product catalog on your site" which will not sell or come up with something like that:

"Okay, now that you have so many cool products on your site I strongly feel that we should incorporate a product catalogue or maybe even an on-line shopping solution so that the clients can shop for items right from your site. It's up to you to choose, but the difference in development and time between these is small and the latter could help you sell stuff and save (because all you'll spend on to sell via internet is shipping and handling). It can also give you some more audience to reach, too. "

Notice the suggesting and respectful tone of the whole communication and all possibilities layed out in front of the customer. It's like these shops when you come out and say hi to the visitor and show him all the cool goods you have for sale.

So how can these know-how's benefit you? First of all you save time on additional communication and arguments with the client. He or she sees the work, sees it in facts and sees your solutions to other problems that you can offer. You sell more and you interact with the client more, too. Simple, but pure gold!

Check out the full contents of the future book for more info! Have fun during the week-end!

I'd like to know how helpful this advice was, add your comments here please! And as always - I will be more than pleased to answer any questions you might have so feel free to ask them ))


Diack said...

I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your thoughts about web development and project management and found it very useful in sorting out my own ideas. Thanks for your good work!

George said...

Thanks for your feedback! It's really pleasant to read comments like this one :))