Introducing yourself to local businesses

I've just been looking through some of the resources offered by one of the professional bodies. I came across a letter of introduction to local businesses and found it wanting. More than that actually, in my opinion to send it is a wasted stamp.

I've taken the letter and redesigned it into something more likely to get a response. Here are some of the things I think were wrong with the original.

The Title Original : LOCAL BOOKKEEPING SERVICE What does this title say to you? Does it really want to make you keep reading the letter? A good title should be used to tell readers something they want to know in a bold way that grabs their attention, or to ask a question.

It also starts dear sir, there is nothing that says "I can't be bothered" more than not putting someones name in a letter.  I generally bin anything without reading if the person sending the letter can't even take the time to find out my name.

The Body The body of the letter then goes on about me, me, me and never giving the reader or their problems a second glance. It sets about telling the reader that you are a bookkeeper, that you can save them money (but never detailing how), that you have a professional qualification. My question as the reader is "why do I care? What about me?"

The End It then ends with a fizz rather than a bang, with no clear call to action and no p.s. It always makes sense to have a p.s. Other than the header this is the most likely part of the letter to be read, so should reinforce the call to action.

Here is my rewritten letter to introduce your bookkeeping service to local businesses. Enjoy and as always feel free to comment.

 

Dear [name],

 Want Time To Start Building Your Business? Here's How To Save Over 2 Hours Every Week!

 A report by mavenlink found that 38 per cent of leaders rank time as the most valuable asset.

Another study by PriceWaterhouseCooper discovered that an average business spends 131 hours per year on bookkeeping tasks.

At xxxxxxxxxxxxx we've got the answer!

Unfortunately our solution is not for everyone, and not everyone who applies to become a client and use our services is approved.  We only deal with people who have as strong a commitment to their business as we do.

For those who do have the drive and ambition, here are just some of the things xxxxxxxxxx can do to help you and your business.

Give you the best information – It’s sometimes really difficult to know if a decision you make is going to be right for your business.  That decision is made 10 times more difficult if the financial information you are using is a year or two out of date.  It’s nearly impossible if you have no financial information at all.  We’ll make sure that you have all of the up to date figures you need at your finger tips.

Collect money quicker – The average small business is owed £11,358 with one in 5 being owed more than £30,000 according to a study by Sage Pay.  We can help stop this by helping you to keep on top of your customers and offer advice on how to get money in faster.

Keep you on the right side of the taxman – HMRC would have you believe that tax is not taxing, but it’s far from the truth most of the time.  Britain has one of the most complex tax systems in the world, the chances are they you don’t have time to learn all of the peculiar rules, but we do.  Because we deal with these systems all of the time, we have become experts in the workings of HMRC and accounting.  We’ll take that pressure from your shoulders.

Giving you sweet dreams – OK, you've got us, we can’t promise you sweet dreams but we can make sure that it’s not the fear of a late VAT return, or an incorrect claim from HMRC that’s keeping you up at night.

FREE getting acquainted visit – As we've said, we’re not the right fit for every business, just as many businesses are not the right fit for us.  Let’s get together for a coffee though, and find out if we can help you sort out your business and who knows, you may be able to take that holiday you want next year after all.

We’ll give you a call in the next few days to arrange the best time to get together, but if you’re already excited by our offer please call me today on xxxxx xxxxxx and lets gat moving right away.

Yours faithfully,

[Sign here]

[insert name]

P.S.      As we have limited spaces for new clients the quicker you get in touch with us the better, you've got nothing to lose as we’ll even buy the coffee! Call me on xxxxx xxxxxx now.

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7 comments

Hi Kris, This is a good letter. I will try that on my local businesses and see what happens
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As you will know Kris, the resources on some professional bodies web sites are those provided by the members to share with others. All members are able to share their useful resources with other members if they are better than those already provided.
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Fantastic letter Kris, it really sells the benefit of what we can offer.
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Mike, Your post raises a few comments. The first is given the money most professional bodies take in, surely some could be spent assisting members in marketing, which after all is the one thing most bookkeepers find difficult. This needs to be quality materials, by providing members poor resources members are being setup to fail. Secondly, I know from regular chats with bookkeepers that many resources have been shared with one professional body in particular after a specific request and have never been made available to members. That said, this is intended to be a critique of a letter available as well as an example of how to better word introductory letters.
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ElainesAdmin

I like that Kris, its really good.
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great letter Kris.
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Thank you for sharing this letter, it gives excellent content for us to base our letters on.
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