Dear Mr. Jackson: Your success in business is due to the same fundamental cause that has made success for us.
You and we both know that our success is due to the fact that our customer's viewpoint molds our policies. Your policies and ours are sound or unsound according to whether or not they are shaped by someone who thoroly understands the customer's point of view.
Now we know you haven't much time for reading. But anything that will help either of us better to understand our business from the customer's point of view is worth taking time for. You helped us write the inclosed Style Book. It is better than previous style books because it is written more from the consumer's point of view. We get much of our in formation about the consumer thru you. Would this book let interest your trade? Will you do something for me? Won't you sit down at home tonight and imagine you are Mr. John Colby, the groceryman, and not Mr. H. V. Jackson, the clothing man, and read this booklet from the groceryman's point of view. Pay particular attention to the parts we have marked with a blue pencil. Do this tonight or today. Will you? An other letter from us will reach you tomorrow. But you won't appreciate it unless you have first read this booklet from your customer's point of view.
Will write you again tomorrow.
Sincerely yours, Sales Manager.
The next morning the merchant received this let ter: Dear Mr. Jackson: Good morning. How did the style book impress Mr. Colby, the groceryman? It will be likely to make the same hit with all prospective customers to whom you send it.
How many do you want for your town and vicinity? If you will send me the names and addresses on the inclosed sheets, or if you will lend me a copy of your local telephone book, having first crossed off the names of those to whom you do not want these style books to go, we'll address and stamp the envelops and send the Style Books to you by express, all ready to mail in your town when you want them to go out— and it will cost you only the penny for postage on each style book.
If you have last year's list on hand, check it up and send it with any additions you care to make; or send a copy of the telephone book, or any other list of names, with the names crossed off to whom you do not care to send the Style Book.
We'll send the addressed and stamped booklets to you within two weeks after your list reaches us.
Why did I wait until today to ask for your list of names ? Because I wanted to give you a fair chance to size up the value%of this book from the consumer's point of view, so that you would send more names and send them soon, or tell us how many books you can use. Better send the list. It's less bother for you.
Cordially yours, Sales Manager.
8. Why these letters were successful.—The letters quoted above were successful in accomplishing their two purposes : to cause the merchant to read a con sumer's booklet with interest, and to get him to send this booklet to a revised list of names. Mr. Colby, the groceryman, is a real personage, a man in this town, selected by the advertising department as a typical consumer of the brand of clothes put out by this manufacturer. The names of typical consumers were gathered in each town for another purpose, but they served well to inject into these letters a per sonal element that was more convincing than merely the imitation of it, which comes from the use of per sonal phraseology of the sort that is often employed in an attempt to make form letters appear to be per sonal letters to individuals.
These letters also illustrate the kind of foresight which is based on experience, and which marks nearly all successful letters. In previous years the mer chants had delayed to send in either new lists of names or revisions of old lists, for several reasons. In the first place, the request for them was made in a commonplace manner; then, too, no definite instruc tions were given as to how to prepare the lists, and no choice of methods of sending in the names was offered.
In this case the merchant was "sold" on the con sumer's booklet. The manufacturer induced the mer chant to read this booklet from the consumer's view point by taking advantage of a successful method of selling to merchants which is used principally by per sonal salesmen. This method consists in calling up in the merchant's mind a picture of himself selling to his own customers the goods that the manufacturer wants him to buy.