Knowing how to write an effective sales letter or document enhances an executive’s or employee’s value to the organization. But it requires careful research, thought and discipline.
Why not learn from a master, Warren Buffett, when you need to write an effective sales letter. Buffet is chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. It's a holding company that has averaged annual growth in book value of 20.3% to its shareholders for over 40 years.
Warren Buffett knows a lot about business and how to write an effective sales letter.
How Warren Buffet writes an effective sales letter
Here is a letter Buffett wrote to his shareholders, which I slightly modified. Read it carefully. Can you list 5 or 6 reasons why it’s so effective?
You probably know that I don't make stock recommendations. However, I have two thoughts regarding your personal expenditures that can save you real money. I'm suggesting that you call on the services of two subsidiaries of Berkshire: GEICO and Borsheim’s.
I estimate that about 40% of all auto drivers in the country can save money by insuring with GEICO. The figure is not 100% because insurers differ in their underwriting judgments with some favoring drivers who live in certain geographical areas and work in certain occupations more than Geico does.
I believe, however, that GEICO more frequently offers the low price than does other national carriers selling insurance to all comers. You can quickly find out whether you can save money by going to www.geico.com or by calling 800 – 123 – 4567.
Fine jewelry, watches and giftware will almost certainly caution at Borsheim’s. I've looked at the figures for all publicly-owned jewelry companies. The contrast with Borsheim’s is startling. Our one store operation, with its huge volume, enables us to operate with costs that are fully 15 – 20% percentage points below those incurred by our competitors. We pass the benefits of this low-cost structure along to our customers.
Every year Borsheim’s sends out thousands of selections to customers who want a long-distance opportunity to inspect what it offers and decide which, if any, item they’d like to purchase.
We do a huge amount of business in this low-key way, which allows the shopper to conveniently see the exceptional values that we offer. Call Steve or Joan at Borsheim’s (800 – 765 – 4321) and save substantial money on your next purchase of jewelry.
Warren E. Buffett
So what did Buffet do well in writing an effective sales letter?
His letter follows many of the suggestions for writing with a distinctive style which I make in Write Now.
- It states his purpose in the first paragraph.
- It keeps the reader’s interests and needs in mind.
- It uses clear, simple language which doesn’t confuse readers or waste their time.
- It uses action words, such as “I’m suggesting that you call . . .” and “you can save money by going to . . .”
- It shows the strength of his two companies.
- It concludes with a call to action -”Call Steve . . .”
Follow these suggestions the next time you want to write an effective sales letter. Check my book, Write Now, for more ways to improve your business writing.
Also find out about a traditional letter layout when you need to write an effective sales letter.