Thus the personal element is introduced at the be ginning of the letter, all the rest of which is devoted to giving the addressee information about dise. The writer takes full advantage of the interest that women have in current styles, as follows : 10. After the letter that is designed to cause the utmost satisfaction in a purchase that has been made, and thus to be an indirect influence in bringing about repeat orders, is used by a furniture manufacturer with good results. Part of this letter follows : Dear Sir: The #1104 desk on your order #9,647 was shipped yes terday, and will reach you soon.
And upon receipt of it I want you to do me a favor. I want you to examine it—see if you have been getting any such values for the money from any one else.
That panel bottom in the pedestal below the center drawer is set in a groove, is a three-ply panel, and makes the pedestal absolutely dust-proof.
All drawer bottoms are three-ply, built-up stock, set in a groove framed in all around. And look at the fit of the drawers—the dovetailing at the back and at the front. Notice the width of the drawer rails and the way they are built into the legs.
Those sockets at the bottom of the legs are not spun brass. They are cast brass, made to last a lifetime.
Thus the letter points out the qualities of good con struction in a desk, and at the same time shows that this desk possesses them. It ends with guarantee of all these good qualities and asks that the customer look for them when he opens up a desk. The method and plan of this letter reflect the modern spirit of sales manship as embodied in all progressive houses, which is to take as much interest in satisfying the customer after the sale as in making promises and forecasts of satisfaction before the sale is consummated. This is somewhat the same spirit as that of the retail clothing merchant who started a successful letter with this paragraph: The head of this concern, in case of emergency, is per fectly willing to deliver your suit in person. That's our
idea of "service"—to give every man what he wants exactly when he wants it.
11. Rules of the art.—The writing of let ters is an art, but not a science in the sense that it is founded upon certain definitely fixed principles. As mentioned several times in other chapters few, if any, "rules" of this art apply in all cases. There is a tendency to misapply and to overdo the application of selling principles. The mistake of blindly following rules—for instance, even such a sound admonition as that which bids us talk effects rather than ends—is more prevalent in written than in oral salesmanship. In written salesmanship there is less immediate knowl edge of the conditions that nullify the good effect of the rule than there is in personal salesmanship. Con sequently, there is less opportunity for adaptation to the individual buyer.
Even the "rule" that the correspondent should possess a knowledge of the individual addressee's point of view on the proposition, and of the economic con ditions which cause that point of view to be what it is, and that the writer should use this knowledge in deciding what to say and how to say it—even this does not seem to be sufficiently fundamental to warrant its application in all cases. And yet it states the most important of all requirements. Other con siderations of more or less universal importance have been emphasized in preceding chapters, but as far as practical and universal usefulness are concerned, they are inferior in import to a keen appreciation of the reader's point of view—the alpha and omega of the art of writing effective letters.