Simple: it’s a thank-you letter. The first reason a thank-you letter is so valuable is obvious - it makes the recipient feel good. This elevates you from the silent majority who never expressed their appreciation in a letter.
A phone call just doesn’t have the impact of a letter. In a day, whatever you said on the phone fades into the horizon like the sun. But not a letter. A letter has time to sink in. It can also sit on the recipient’s desk as a lasting memento of your appreciation. A phone call just doesn’t compare to the lasting goodwill generated by an appreciative letter.
The Most Valuable Letter
So, the most valuable letter is to thank someone; and the time you ALWAYS write it is when you receive a business referral. “Thank you for the opportunity and the privilege to be of service to your colleagues.” A business referral is not to be taken lightly or casually, it’s the utmost show of trust a client or friend can display in you. It’s the leap of faith that you’ll perform exceptionally well. “Thank you so much for your referral and your trust.” The person who recommends you puts their own name and reputation on the line for you. Does it deserve a letter? You bet. This letter is the least costly AND most effective piece of advertising you can write, bar none. Least costly? AND most effective? Hummm…
Did you notice how casually the “Thanks for your kind referral” letter has now become the most effective piece of advertising you can write? It’s no longer in the “I’ll just dash off this thank-you letter” category.
Why is it so effective? And what can you do with a “Thanks for your referral!” letter that makes it so effective? For one thing, you can make the person feel comfortable with their recommendation of you, because you’re going to do the very best job you possibly can for their friend. You’re going to lean over backward to look good, and to make them look good for giving a referral of someone so conscientious. You can’t make them feel like this with an ad, but it’s easy to do with a letter.
Your letter can convince them that you appreciate the trust they’ve placed in your products or services. You can make them feel, well, like they should refer more people to you all the time. And therein lies the beauty, the value, and the monetary worth in the most valuable letter you can write: the receiver will remember it, and when the opportunity comes up again, they will continue to refer people to you.
You’ve heard of word-of-mouth advertising as the best (and the cheapest) form of advertising? Well, this is how you make it happen, again and again. Sending a Hard-Working Gift
What does my office do for people who refer direct marketing consulting or copywriting clients to us? We send them a Cross Pen, and we have THEIR name engraved on it (the only person who wants a pen with my name on it is me!) Don’t worry, they’ll remember where they got it! By the time we ship it to them with the nice box it comes in, and of course our own personal letter of thanks, it costs us about $25. Is it worth it? You tell me: the prospect already trusts us from receiving the recommendation from a friend. If we do any work for the new client, our copywriting and consulting fees range from… well, we get our $25 back pretty soon. Many clients stay with us for years.
We don’t convert all the prospects referred to us into actual rent-paying customers. Some don't need our high-powered direct marketing or response-driven sales material. Some aren’t ready to launch products just yet; and some are just fishing. But we always seem to get more referrals from the referral source. Which we really do appreciate.
If you’d like to get more business, write an exceptional “Thank you for your referral!” letter, and keep it at-the-ready in your computer. If you have $25, send them an engraved Cross Pen with your letter of thanks. If not, a letter by itself will do nicely. You can’t buy that kind of advertising - that goodwill or trust, or those kind referrals - at any price. Or can you?