The Words That Win New Business

David Ferrers

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When I first set up in business on my own I couldn’t afford to advertise. My tactic was to write to businesses I thought would make good clients and ask them to see me.

You have to understand that I thought I knew a fair bit about marketing communications. The first eighteen years of my career had been spent working in some of the world’s greatest advertising agencies.

I’d studied the methods of the greats like Leo Burnett, Claude Hopkins, John Caples and David Ogilvy. The agencies I worked in had been suppliers to the likes of Pepsi, Kelloggs and Green Giant for half a century. Accounts like that are so valuable that other agencies are constantly trying to prize them away. You have to be good to hold on to good accounts for even a few years.

With a pedigree like that you’d think I’d know how to write a decent letter, to craft a few words that would win me some new business. But you’d have lost your money if you’d bet on me at that time.

One day, in a fury of frustration, I bundled all my prospecting letters together and sent them to the best copywriter I’d ever met to ask for her advice.

Her name was Morag Maclean and this is how we met. I’d been working on a major insurance account for two years when she was assigned to the team. The first ad she wrote was so persuasive that I went out and bought a policy.

Morag must have been directly descended from Robbie Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson – she used words in a natural, yet meaningful way. There was a ring of truth about everything she wrote.

She sent my letters back with a short handwritten note which said: “You haven’t found your “voice" yet. You’re shouting, your letters don’t sound like you. Just tell them what you’ll do for them using the voice in which you normally speak. And don’t forget to keep writing to the same people. Like all good things, once is never enough. "

With Morag’s advice I sat down and crafted letters. I wrote one a day for ten straight days. All the time looking for that “ring of truth" that would make people believe that they would really benefit from my services.

When I finished each letter I put it away in my bottom drawer. And when there were ten letters there I took them out and read them out loud. The two I though best I sent to Morag to ask if they sounded like me.

One letter came back. It had a large blue “tick" which ran from the bottom left of the page up to the top right. In the bottom right corner she had drawn a small heart and written “Morag" underneath.

That letter opened the door of the mighty P&O shipping company.

Once I’d found my “voice" winning new business became a whole lot easier. Words seemed to come more naturally and I built an enviable clients list. Now I feel entitled to call myself a Marketing Expert.

Helping others to find their “voice" is one of the most important parts of my work today. It is also one of the toughest. But the rewards for mastering the art of using the right “voice" come when you win new business. Then it seems so easy.

Marketing Expert David Ferrers works with professional business people like Accountants, Consultants, Trainers, Coaches and Service Providers. His aim is to make your business highly profitable by teaching you the best ways to win new business . He runs online business building seminars for groups of 4 people, gives a limited amount of private coaching which is guaranteed to grow your business and provides weekly training videos through his reasonably priced Marketing Club . The moment you join you’ll receive a FREE Bonus that can win you a new client in just 7 days . His personal client portfolio includes: GM, J&J, Dell, Xerox, Prudential and P&O, plus many smaller companies.


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