I’ve attached a letter I want to send to a few custom home builders in the area to try to get some CCU gigs. I’m looking for some constructive criticism. Let it fly, if you will.
Being that I specialize in direct response ads (and you are desiring just that with this letter) I would take the logo off or put it at the bottom. I would remove their address from the top of the letter (they know who they are and it is distracting.) It is a process just to get to the first sentence.
First I look at your logo, then I looked to the right at your contact info, then the legal thing at the bottom, then I read the address, then I fell to sleep…
You want to jump right in with a headline at the top:
[B]“Home Builder Finds a Safe and Reliable Post Construction Expert to Eliminate Headaches” [/B]
or something that you know they care about (remember to know who you are selling to)
GET A NAME! This is not a mass mailing. Do your homework and find out who is in charge of hiring outside contractors and call him by name.
Your letter gives no reason at all you are a good choice-
[I]I would like the opportunity to discuss a possible business relationship between Thomas Gipson Homes, Inc. and Major Panes.[/I]
[B]I bet you would like to discuss that[/B]
[I]We may be able to provide post-construction window cleaning to
you that is safer and of a higher quality than you currently receive.[/I]
[B]You are now treading very deep assumption waters here. Unless you are privy to information that they are unhappy with whom they use, never bring that up. You have now just compared apples to apples instead of putting your company on a different level.[/B]
[I]We use standard window cleaning tools and techniques but we do so without scratching quality glass.[/I]
[B]That is the most downplayed and uninteresting reason you stand out. Again, apples to apples. Use dramatic license- “We use the latest tools and advanced cleaning processes so you have less to worry about”[/B]
[I]We understand that even the right tools in the hands of an uneducated window cleaner can result in thousands of dollars in scratched glass and potential lawsuits[/I]
[B]What if the company they are using now is not having these issues? This whole letter is betting that’s the main issue with the builder. What if the current cleaner is just not reliable? Shows up a few days late. When I built my house a big problem with my builder was contractors screwing around. It is vital to not back yourself into a corner focusing on one issue unless you know for sure that is the main issue[/B]
[I]Furthermore, being a professional window cleaning company with many high-end clients of our own, I feel certain that we provide a higher quality final cleaning than most CCU companies provide.[/I]
[B]You feel certain? That does not jazz me up, more so because every window cleaner is telling them the same story- “I’m better”. Give examples why you are better. Allow your examples to let them draw a conclusion on their own.[/B]
[I]Please feel free to call me or email me to discuss further.[/I]
Why? Not only have you not given them anything special about your service, you also do not offer them anything to try you out. I have a question that only you can answer. Would you pay let’s say $300 to be this builders “go to” CCU company? You give $300 and now you have the opportunity to work with them for x amount of time. Would you do it?
Offer a FREE CCU test drive to one of their homes to sample your great service. If you want to get your foot in the door you need to take chances. If you have faith in your service you need to show some balls.
This letter will tank as it is. Sit down and spend an hour on it and then put it down until the next day. Pick it up and look through it again and adjust. It looks like you wrote this in 10 minutes.
Tell them to call you now to discuss this further, you are being too passive.
I would dump that mumbo jumbo at the bottom and worry about that when they sign up.
Legalese is not necessary right now and very distracting.
My critique isn’t as all-encompassing as CFP’s, but has to do with the footnote (if, after the previous post you decide to use it).
It is redundant to use always and every in that sentence. And more importantly, how is it that you can usually detect Fabricat[B][I]ing[/I][/B][B][I][/I][/B] before you begin?
I wouldn’t even mention fabricating debris. You may as well be speaking latin to the typical builder as they usually have no idea what that is. Talk to the builder about it after you’ve sealed the deal.
As far as layout, appearance & grammar, it’s well written and conveys professionalism.
But, I would not want to try to live up to the content. I know the footnote states a scratch waiver is needed, but I still wouldn’t want to have to live up to the content in the body of the letter. Also, the footnote directly contradicts the expectations one would get from the body of the letter.
I’m a contractor, I’m reading this and I’m thinking “Finally a company that can clean my windows and not scratch them.”, then I ready the footnote and it seemingly contradicts the claims in the body of the letter. At least, I believe it would to a person outside of our industry. I know what you’re trying to say, but I’m a professional window cleaner.
Dear Paul, I purchased your book less than a mth ago. Im making the changes to my website that you reccomended thanks I saw your post What does this look like to you ? I want to fax to about 25 prop mgrs in town. I did it 8 mths ago and got a good response and several jobs that lead to many more jobs and qoutes. I did’nt know what I was doing then and now I am using some of your strategies. This niche is widely unknown to prop mgrs and I wonder if I should emphasize the fact that I’m the city’s 1st scratchremover. note im in the process of purchsing url that links to s/r on my w/c er site what changes do you suggest. on this fax I put attention to so the right person gets it thanks a ton anybody else have an opinion ??
I will email you my thoughts along with a different layout.
You definitely have the right idea. It just needs a little tweaking (in my opinion)
did I miss your e mail or are you busy busy. I need to pull the trigger on the prop mgr fax on Monday. Should I just run with what I got ?
Also I’m thinkg about utilizing a printer who delivers 1350 flyers to the R.E agents in town he does the printing and delivery for 50. Should I work the same style to the R.E agents for window cleaning.?? Have you heard of any decent response rates from such a distribution ? thx GP
How’s this? Better?
Thanks for the suggestions.BuilderLetter2.pdf (101 KB)
WOW!! Night and day from the first letter.
That sounds great. On a side note, I thought Paul had some really excellent suggestions on your first one. I liked the way he broke it down and really went for the meat of the subject.
count how many times you say “we”, “I” and “our”
You don’t have a a lot of words on the page and a lot of it is focused on you. It is not what you can do, it is what they can get from you.
It is too short. You are treating this as a business card. Pretend you are face to face telling them why they need your service.
You need to spend time on a letter like this if you want results. Once you get a solid letter you can use it on a hundred builders.
It is better than before, but only one paragraph before the bullets… I don’t think it is enough. Get rid of that line of “We” going down the bullets.
Do they know who the IWCA is?
I am burnt, sorry for the lame reply…