The 12 Step Sales Letter that will Banish Your Writing Blues

The most important part of your business profile is without a doubt your business description.

It gives you the opportunity to reach customers via keywords, impress search engines with the quality of your content.

Most importantly it can make people eager to buy from you with your persuasive sales copy.

Writing the perfect business description, however, isn’t easy.

In most directories or business profiles, a company will use a set paragraph or two. These usually give a few basics about their business or products.

In fact, this is exactly what we did when I worked for a greetings card publisher.

Because, let’s face it, there are often bigger fires to fight.

Unfortunately this means your buisness profile is not very inspiring. And it could be costing you sales. 

For your directory listing however I want you to create a brilliant business description. A description of your products, service and brand that has people queueing up.

Now I know that isn’t as easy as it sounds. 

I write most days and I often find myself stuck for words. Having been through this problem myself though I can point the way to a system that may help.

And that system is the 12 Step Foolproof Sales Letter Template by David Frey.

You may be thinking “Sales letter? We’re supposed to be doing a business description!” but bear with me.

A sales letter is a piece of text that aims to persuade a reader to buy a product or service in the absence of a salesperson; sounds a bit like what we’re trying to achieve here doesn’t it?

So it might be just what will help persuade those customers to buy.


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The 12 Step Template that Could Banish Your Writing Blues

Ok, so let’s take a look at David Frey’s 12 steps:

  1. Get attention
  2. Identify the problem
  3. Provide the solution
  4. Present your credentials
  5. Show the benefits
  6. Give social proof
  7. Make your offer
  8. Inject scarcity (if relevant)
  9. Give a guarantee
  10. Call to action
  11. Give a warning
  12. Close with a reminder

Even with a little bit of text for each of these 12 points, you will already be moving away from the simple paragraph that tells people nothing.

Let’s break this down a little further. 

Step One: Get Attention

As we discussed in “10 Tips to the Perfect Business Profile” it’s a good idea to start your business description with a headline. Something that shows off your unique selling proposition (USP); draws people in and gets people excited to know more. 

Step Two: Identify the Problem

People buy things to solve a problem or need they have. In order to speak to your perfect customer, you need to understand their problems and needs.

For example, a retailer may want to specialise in Eco-Friendly cards and gifts, but find themselves stuck sourcing products that are high quality, cost-effective and yet still kind to the environment. This is their problem or need.

If you find yourself stuck here try working backwards. Look at your own product or service – what solution does it provide? This will give you a key to the problem you can address.

Step Three: Provide the Solution

You will now set about showing how your products and service solve your ideal customer’s problem(s).

Carrying on our example, you could show how you sell a range of Eco-Friendly Greetings & Giftware. Products that are affordable, design-led and high quality, yet don’t compromise on Eco-Friendly credentials.

And to prove it, you map out what makes your products Eco-friendly.

Step Four: Present Your Credentials

This step is often a little easier for most businesses to clarify.

Here’s where you show your credentials or qualifications.

In our example, this would be highlighting details such as recycled materials, printing with vegetable inks, Wind-powered printing, zero carbon print footprint etc.

Step Five: Show the Benefits

Benefits of a product or service give a little more context. They show the advantages of what you’re offering and not just the simple features.

So in our example, a feature of a greetings card may be that it is printed with vegetable inks. One of the benefits of this feature is that vegetable oil-based inks are made from renewable resources; making them kinder to the environment than those made from non-renewable resources.

If you’re ever stuck on what a benefit of a feature may be think of what would follow “which means…” at the end of your feature.

For example, the Art Print is A3 in size (feature), which means… you can see the fine, intricate patterns of the artwork in greater detail (benefit).

Step Six: Give Social Proof

Social proof is testimonials or recommendations you have from existing customers. These help show your business can be trusted.

You can use the “bold” or “italic” options in the formatting bar to make quotes from your customers stand out in your business description.

Tip! Remember you can also collect further positive comments & reviews once your business listing is live, through the listings ‘comments’ feature.

Step Seven: Make Your Offer

Often the easiest part of the equation, here’s where you showcase your offering and talk about your products and service.

As most customers like to know what’s new and fresh, this section is a good one to keep updated.

Add in seasonal updates or information on new releases to ensure your listing is always topical when it’s viewed.

If you’re trying to attract new customers you could also offer special “Starter Packages” that would allow people to try you out.

Tip! If you’ve chosen a ‘Premium Listing Package’ you can also add these offers as individual listings to gain even more exposure.

Step Eight: Inject Scarcity

If you’re keeping your profile updated, as recommended in ‘10 Tips to the Perfect Business Profile‘ this is where you can highlight any scarcity that may apply.

For example, you may have a deadline, which is the scarcity of time, or you may only have so many products available, which is a scarcity of stock.

Whatever factors buyers need to be aware of should be pointed out here. But please note scarcity should always be real if you go back on something at a later date you may end up eroding any trust you’ve built up.

If there’s no real scarcity, don’t make it up; just move on to the next step.

Step Nine: Give a Guarantee

People often don’t buy something because they fear they won’t be satisfied or there will be some sort of problem; especially if they’re buying from a new company for the first time.

If you can offer a guarantee of some sort, such as “30 Day No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee” or even “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed” you will make your offer more irresistible and less of a risk to potential buyers.

Step Ten: Call to Action

A call-to-action (CTA) is where you openly tell someone exactly what to do next. You want it to be as clear and simple as possible. Such as “Visit our Website” or “Request Your Sample Pack Now”.

CTA’s may seem a little strange if you’re not used to creating sales text or writing for a website, but they’re incredibly effective online.

Step Eleven: Give a Warning

As you reach the end of your ‘sales letter style’ business description, step 11 is to give a warning. This is to show the consequence of not acting, showing any loss the customer would experience.

This might be losing customers who are seeking Eco-Friendly Cards or losing time searching for other solutions or risking one of their competitors securing the exclusivity of a product first.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes to think about what would be difficult for them to miss out on.

Step Twelve: Close with a Reminder

Last, you can close with a reminder of your fantastic offer; if there is any scarcity you will need to remind them of that too and then add a final call-to-action.

This is a really important section as some people will always skip to the end, and you don’t want them missing out on your brilliant product or service.

Make sure you avoid any confusion with your final CTA, it should be exactly the same steps as you requested in Step 10.

In Conclusion

Writing isn’t easy, even if it’s about something you love like your own business. 

So if you’re struggling to write a complete description for your business, don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal!

The key with any big or difficult task is to break it down into smaller, easier steps. 

And that’s what the 12 step sales letter can do for your business description. 

It takes a big job (persuading a stranger to buy from you) and breaks it down into 12 small pieces. 

If you tackle each one (or as many as you can/are relevant) you will soon have a high quality, persuasive bit of text that sells your business.

Do you have questions about writing your business description? 

Get them answered in the comments below!


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