Letters to Prospective Partners in the Extrusion World
Writing effectively to communicate your key points of involvement with any potential business partner is not an easy task. I myself have had many written proposals simply vanish into cyber space in my past, and I’m sure that my written prose was always the culprit every time, in this perceived opportunity lost. With that said, meeting someone in person, face to face, has so many advantages for communicating. That’s one very good reason not to give up on the Airline or Automotive industries for that matter. However, in today’s world where the Cost of Sales is skyrocketing annually, for many, extensive travel simply is not an option. Spending one to two thousand dollars a week on domestic flights, rental cars, food, entertainment and lodging can devastate a small business bottom line very quickly. Thus, the re-emergence of the written word as the most cost effective tool and direct form of communication for the Specialty Films and Extrusion warrior gurus of our day.
Writing Tips from an Independent Guru:
- Think through the main points, features, and benefits of the points you are trying to convey to the other party, or person beforehand. Know in your heart the message that you want convey.
- Be direct, but in a diplomatic, and professional manner. Keep it simple but pertinent to your overall point.
- Always present a ‘value’ proposition to the party being addressed. Try to get them to visualize what you are trying to show or introduce to them as a good prospective opportunity that will benefit both parties.
- Do your homework by knowing the person and company that you are reaching out to – to the best of your abilities. Spend time on their website, and take note of their strengths, as well as weaknesses.
- Be thoughtful but deliberate in your approach. Personally, good business people have no time for flattery, especially written in emails. Good managers focus on Revenues, and how to generate more Revenues every day, while cutting costs, and eliminating inefficiencies, or other wasteful aspects of their operations to finally come to the pinnacle of an improved Operating Income figure at the end of each subsequent quarter. Numbers are the foundation for their very existence – respect this fact and they will respect you back for it.
- Don’t take rejection to any type of proposal personally, because it’s not. Follow up with a gentle email reminder once in a week, then another in two weeks. If you receive no reply the second time around – simply set up a file folder on your PC and maybe reach out again in another six months. Remember that your priorities are simply not theirs at that time, and that if you handle your approach properly and professionally, they may actually reach out and come looking for you when things slow down a bit on their end.
- No Reply = No thank you. Just move on to the next agenda item on your daily To Do list.
- You can never say ‘Thank You’ enough. Always follow up with every initial business call, or meeting, with a brief and sincere emailed thank you note.