by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
You’re not good at it… you know you’re not good. You hate sitting down to write… even though you have things that need to be written… and need to be written NOW!
It’s not a pretty picture.
Cheer up. I’m about to solve your writing problems forever with a handy check-list you can print and keep readily at hand to be consulted each time the situation calls for something written by you.
1 ) Be clear on what you want to say… what you need the recipient to read.
A major reason writing is so difficult for so many people is because they have not considered the objective BEFORE writing a word. WRONG. Good business writing is based on stating a clear objective, like this:
I want my customer Linda to order her Venetian blinds today for installation 30 days from now.
Knowing where you’re going… and what you want to achieve… makes getting there a whole lot easier.
2 ) Be clear on what the customer gets.
The person you are writing to — your customer — is the most important person on this planet at this moment.
Your job in writing to her is to ensure that she understands EXACTLY what she is getting from you… and exactly what you want her to do and HOW you want her to do it.
ALL business communications that work are based on just 4 vital words:
YOU GET BENEFIT NOW.
Before you write a single word write down each and every benefit the customer is getting from you. Start each of these benefits with the words
YOU GET… and make what they get clear, compelling, and motivating.
3 ) Make an offer and make sure that offer is meaningful.
As I write the economy is punk, anaemic and anything other than robust. So what? That just means that in order to motivate your customer, you must improve your offer, adding another scoop to the ice cream cone you are offering.
Craft this offer before using it. Make sure that what you’re offering is valuable… and that you present it in such a way that it jumps off the page and seizes the recipient’s brain, thereby inducing that “I’ve got to get this” feeling that ensures success and money in YOUR pocket.
Offers are everything… when you’re making a grand one, say so in no uncertain terms.
4 ) Keep what you write short and sweet.
People hate reading only slightly less than they hate writing!
Dwight Eisenhower, who after all was a military man, required his cabinet secretaries to present their policy recommendations in memoranda not more than 1 page. The president’s point was simple: if you’re clear on your objective, one page is sufficient to get your point across.
5 ) NEVER use text language in a business communication.
Text language is sloppy language; it’s also language that can easily be misunderstood. The essence of business writing is enabling your customer to get the gist, the essential point promptly and easily.
Text messages are often confusing and unclear, the exact opposite of what you want: just because people get it fast, doesn’t mean they get it accurately!
6 ) Make sure you give your customers crystal-clear instructions on what to do and how to do it.
Before asking a customer to follow your instructions… follow them yourself. You might find the results instructive.
The sad truth is, far too many instructions for customers have never been tried by the people providing these instructions. As a result, they are muddled, confusing, incomplete, and unclear. Ouch! That’s why you must try them before you send them. Do that now!
7 ) Make it clear how to get in touch with you.
As humans we have created a network of communications which enables us to connect instantly with people worldwide.
Problem is, we’re less dazzling about providing the necessary instructions enabling us to profitably use this network.
Give your customers the complete and essential communications information required to connect with you… and make these details clear and easy to follow. This information should include, but is not limited to: * telephone * fax * cell phone * e-mail, etc.
8 ) Review your communication before sending it.
Receiving as I do dozens of business communications daily, I can assure you that if proof reading is not dead, it most assuredly is on the critical list. People nowadays claim to be so “busy” that they beg your indulgence for sending communications that would embarrass a schoolboy, sloppy, sloppy, sloppy in the extreme.
That’s why you must never forget this: people, fairly or not, evaluate your ability to handle a project by not only how quickly you deliver your words… but by the accuracy with which you present them. In short, presenting properly is an important ingredient in whether the customer decides to do business with you at all.
That’s why the most important writing you will EVER do is …re-writing!
9 ) “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”
Now for the acid test. Does it move?
The less experience you have had in writing prose that both informs and moves people to action, the more important is this step: reading what you’ve written before sending.
A word of caution: this stage can be painful, very painful indeed if what you’ve written is full of grammatical and other errors; if it’s turgid, sluggish, like walking through a bog. Yes, it can be painful indeed.
Remember, you can only advance if YOU deal with such problems before you inflict them on your customers! So read what you’ve written and be glad to correct before your unfortunate customers wince at the same words (and errors).
What you’re looking for is not only accuracy but a lilting cadence, clear, agile, pleasant to hear, irresistible to read. It takes time to create… but it pays off for a lifetime.
10 ) Say it with conviction and sincerity
One more thing, an absolutely essential thing: make sure that what you write is sincere, honest, and based on strong convictions. If not, what you write can never be truly convincing because it has not convinced you.
To write without belief is to create something which, at heart, is hollow and lifeless. It cannot work with others, because it has not worked with you.
Thus, before you even think of writing, make certain you believe in what you’re writing. Feeling and injecting this confidence into what you write is the best way to get and hold the attention of all customers.
After all, they value and require want sincerity, truth, candor, too. They want to know that you stand behind the words you’re sending.
If you present your message in such a way, you are well on your way not merely to writing a persuasive communication but to establishing and cementing that all-important lifelong relationship with your customer .
Your writing has come a long, long way!
About The Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online through automation.
Attend Dr. Lant’s live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Dr. Lant is the author of 18 best-selling business books as well as a consultant and recognized marketing expert.
Republished with author’s permission by Graham Lee – The Income Zone
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