Friday, July 17, 2009

What financial advisors can learn from the "60-Minute Naked Truth Salesletter Formula"

Having a hard time writing your first sales letter? The "60-Minute Naked Truth Salesletter Formula" can get you started. But you should tweak his formula to reach your audience and to keep your compliance officer happy.

The formula 
Here's my interpretation of the formula. You can read more details in Michel Fortin's explanation of Dean Jackson's formula in "60-Minute Naked Truth Salesletter Formula."
1. Start by completing the following sentence: "I'm writing to you because I want you to..."
2. Complete the following sentence with a bulleted list: "The reason I'm writing to you specifically is because I think you want..."
3. List your services' features and benefits.
4. List your prospects' top 10 questions or objections--and your answers to them
5. Explain how you guarantee results or remove risks. Obviously this step poses challenges for financial advisors.
6. Write a "call to action," giving steps the reader can take to connect with you or your company and describing exactly what the reader will get.
7. Give your reader a sense of urgency, so they'll act soon.
8. Supply testimonials. This is another step that financial advisors--especially investment managers--should skip because of the SEC prohibition against testimonials. 

Pros and cons of applying this formula 
The pluses of this formula include
* Making it easy for your readers to understand what you want and how it'll benefit them--Too many financial advisors get hung up on features instead of benefits. Or they fail to anticipate objections.
* Organizing your information logically  
* Developing a good understanding of topics that you need to discuss with prospects
* Ensuring that you include an action step, the "call to action," in your letter 

The drawbacks of this formula include
* Landing you in trouble with your compliance officer through discussion of guarantees or testimonials (although it's easy enough to skip Steps 5 and 8)
* Sounding too formulaic and too much like a late night TV ad for something that grinds, chops, and does everything else
* Creating a letter that's so long no one will read it

I learned about Michel Fortin's blog post in an email from marketer Sonia Simone of Remarkable Communication. Thanks, Sonia!

Related posts:
Focus on benefits, not features, in your marketing
Your mail has three seconds to grab your reader's attention
"Institutional investing" isn't as great as you think
_________________
Susan B. Weiner, CFA
Check out my website at www.InvestmentWriting.com or sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter.
Copyright 2009 by Susan B. Weiner All rights reserved

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