The development letter is critical and should be suitable for the customer to read. But many long letters are likely to be thrown into the trash.
Salesmen have the same purposes when writing development letters. They hope to arouse the interests of customers, and it would be better to receive a reply or even an order. But the reality is that so many foreign trade peers are sending development letters every day, so customers receive countless similar emails in one day which makes them annoyed. Therefore, in order to catch the eyes of customers, we need to work hard on writing good development letters.
People who often watch Hong Kong and American movies will find that many films do not have many connotations nor things that can lead them to think deeply, but the common point of these movies is the eye-catching scenes that can focus viewers’ attention, which is also the trait of commercial movies.
Doing business is the same. Although your products are good, it is futile if they fail to attract people’s attention.
If you want to buy MP3, you must first think about those big brands, like Iriver, iPod, SAMSUNG, SONY, etc., because you have little idea of other brands and you cannot make sure if their things are good or bad. At this time, the brand is the deciding factor.
The same is true for writing development letters to customers. If you are a supplier of SONY, this will be a big superiority when you are developing new customers. As long as the customer is sourcing the same kind of products when you find him, he will quickly become interested in your company. Of course, I am not saying that only cooperating with big buyers can be called an advantage. In the final analysis, the development letter should be simple and powerful to highlight its own advantages.
Also, the development letter should try to be kept within 60 words. Certainly, this standard is not absolute. You should adjust it in the light of different industries and products. All in all, it would be better and better if you study the customer’s emails more.
The following cases are the emails that I have modified and provide with a comment for your reference.
From the internet, we get your company name. What I want is just to see that if we have the chance to cooperation In the near future or not.
We are a factory of fiberglass in China and our main product is chopped strand mat( CSM) and stitch chopped strand mat and etc.
We have been in the field for many years. I can give you the CSM in very competitive price and higher quality. If you need more information, please go to our website: www.***.com
I wonder if you need this product: if you are interested in our products, please kindly return this mail.
Maybe now you have regular business partner. If so, please leave my message in your email box, maybe someday it will be useful.
If you need the price to compare with your partner gives, welcome!
- The letter is too long to see at a glance and takes at least 10 seconds. But customers usually decide the fate of an email in 3 seconds. It should be shorted to highlight the key points.
- The sentence “From the internet, we get your company name.” gives customers the feeling that you are peddling. If you don’t receive inquiries from customers, you’d better not say how you get their information, which is exactly different from the foreign trade textbook! Many customers are very disgusting with the sales letter because they receive various harassment information every day. You’d better give customers an ambiguous feeling at first so that they can’t remember whether they had quoted you or met you at the show. Therefore, don’t say something similar like “from the internet, we get your company name”, or else you may get the opposite effect. You can write it like this: We’re glad to hear that you’re in the market for...
As long as you hit the nail on the head and they answer you, you’ll reach your goal! After you contact them back and forth many times, even if customers know that you get their contact information online, they will not be so defensive and mindful.
- There are so many introductions of the company that customers have little interest to read. Only when they are interested in all aspects of your product, quality, price, etc. will they try to know about your company.
- Redundant words should be cut off, such as “I know that you already have a supplier, but please keep my mail, maybe you will use it one day...”，because even if customers want to delete it, you can’t help it. The best way is not to write a word like this, but make them hesitate because of your contents for a moment: Is it necessary to save this letter first?
- If you need the price to compare with your partner gives, welcome! This is the worst sentence in the full text. I know you want to tell customers that your price has an advantage and is not afraid of comparison.
However, due to cultural differences between China and the West, customers may suspect that this sentence is maliciously belittling others in Westerners’ opinions. And they know that they get what they pay for. Moreover, if your customers happen to aim at the middle and high-end market, this sentence would make them think you’re selling a cheap item, which is not their style. Then, that would be embarrassing.
Professional buyers don’t talk about prices at the beginning of the development letter, nor do smart salespeople. Only when they understand all the issues and then talk about the price will the turnover rate be greatly improved. If you’ve read Roger Dawson’s “Secrets of Power Negotiating,” you would know how to talk to customers about prices.
The following is the modified development letter:
Glad to hear that you’re in the market for fiberglass. We specialize in this field for several years, with the strength of chopped strand mat and stitch chopped strand mat. with good quality and pretty competitive price.
Should you have any questions, pls do not hesitate to contact me. FREE SAMPLES will be sent for your evaluation!
From the very beginning, it points out: we are glad to learn that you are interested in certain products; we have been specializing in producing such products for many years and our products are of good quality, and the prices are quite competitive.
The second paragraph only has two sentences: If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Free samples will be sent for you to test at any time! These sentences in the letter express our desire to cooperate and our sincerity: as long as you need it, we are always at your disposal. Then, customers will get a feeling of modesty that we are equal, and we cooperate to striving for a win-win situation. This, on the contrary, will make Westerners more appreciative.
The attribution of the order does not depend on the price. The customer places orders for comprehensive consideration, and the price is an important aspect, but not all, except for a few customers who only look at the price.
How are you? I sincerely everything goes well with you.
My name is Sandy who has your name card at the 2010 Hong Kong Electronic Fair. We have availed ourselves of this opportunity to write you in the hope of establishing business relations with you.
Our company is a factory which specialized in Parking Sensor System from China. We operate in accordance with ISO9001: 2000 standards, which No. is 01 100056417 issued by TUV Germany, and our products (LED, VFD, LCD, TFT series and License frame series) are CE, FCC, FCCI approved.
I remember that you were interested in our Fun Mini DVR at the 2010 HK Electronic Fair. Please feel free to contact me if you want to know more about it, and I will be so pleasured to send the details to you.
Attach some pictures of DVR as follows.
Also, you can get more information from our website: www.***. cn
Your early reply will be our highly appreciated.
Sandy’s situation is different from others. She got the customer’s business card at the show, and the customer was interested in a certain product. This is a good opportunity! As long as she grasps it, the possibility of a deal is very large! In this case, it is necessary to mark the things selected by the customer at the exhibition and provide detailed information and quotations.
The customer is very busy because he may have visited many of your peers at the exhibition to consult the same product. He will receive a lot of emails and have no time to reply or contact you. So you must take the initiative to provide complete information and reasonable prices, and then follow up to win his trust!
To do business, you must learn to take the initiative. If the customer asks for the price, and you provide it together with the detailed parameters, dimensions and packaging materials. If the customer wants to read the manual, you give him along with the design draft and the text. Or the customer needs a color box, you give him its pictures, as well as the knife model and design draft in the exact size, even the pictures of other customers’ color box. If you can do this, you will leave a good impression on the customer.
Here is the letter that I have modified:
How are you doing? Glad to get your name card from HK fair.
This is Sandy from ***. We specialized in parking sensor system, and all our products with CE/FCC/FCCID approved!
Regarding the FUN MINI DVR your selected on the fair, pls find the details with best offer in attachment.
Hope to get good news from you! Thanks.
RE: Wheel balancer and Tyre Changer
Dear Purchasing Manager:
Good morning my friend.
Thanks for your time to read my Email.
Glad to know you are in market of Wheel balancer and Tyre Changer.
We are a manufacturer of Wheel balancer and Tyre Changer. Would you mind visiting our website: www.***.com
Wish our products will be helpful for your business.
Any questions, welcome here.
This e-mail is too repetitive. Customers cannot seem clearly whether RE: Wheel balancer and Tyre changer is the theme, or is written in the text. And similar expressions appear in the mail three times in total, which make people who read them annoying! However, according to the principle of English writing, the noun, adjective, adverb, phrase, and sentence pattern usually appear only once in the one article, except as a last resort. Just like in CET-4 and CET-6 examination, if you want to get a good score in your composition, you must try to use various words and sentences as you can.
The situation is the same when it comes to the development letter. Repeating the same words will make foreigners feel uncomfortable. If you look closely at the emails of various foreign customers, especially those of native English-speaking customers, you will find that there are very few cases in which they use only two sentence patterns throughout the text. Moreover, adjectives frequently are changed as well as the same word will not be used twice, except in the case of particular emphasis.
Only we Chinese will use the sentence patterns as “We’ll-…”,”We’re… ” when writing, foreign businessmen will not write in this way. Therefore, we must use the customer’s thinking to write letters. For the same sentence, the Chinese will write as We’ll send you the samples asap., but Westerners will write as Samples will be sent to you asap.
For example, on the condition that you have mentioned the word “product” in the letter, but you need to express the word “product” later, you can use item, model, or the ones, etc. Briefly, you should not repeat the same words.
Also, the Chinese also have a habit of using the word “very” in emails to express the degree, such as very good, very cheap, and very glad to receive your letter. Similarly, a degree adverb like very is best to appear only once in an email, and you can use pretty, extremely, highly, by far and so on if you need to say “very” again.
Here is the letter that I have modified:
Dear Purchasing Manager,
Glad to hear that you are in the market for Wheel balancer and Tyre Changer.
We are the manufacturer of the items above. Pls visit our website to know more about us: www.***.com
Kindly contact me if any questions. It is our pleasure to be on service of you!
Thanks and best regards,
*** Co. , Ltd.
Add: ***,***,*** P. R. China
Good morning is omitted because you are not familiar with customers. Thanks for your time to read my mail is deleted, because you don’t know whether they would check your emails. If they read the letter and reply, it is not too late for you to say “thank you”. Besides, the format needs to be planned, and the paragraphs must be well-organized. For example, the second paragraph is generally longer than the first paragraph and the third paragraph. Otherwise, the text will appear to be top-heavy or seem to be uncoordinated as a whole.
After carefully analyzing this revised email, you will find that there is no repetition pattern or long sentences. The first and third paragraphs are shorter than the second paragraphs that they are coordinated as a whole. Moreover, there is an added signature that makes the content more complete.
I’m glad to know you.
This is Tracy Lee from *** furniture hardware factory in China.
We are the producer of high quality office furniture, modern classical furniture, metal furniture, eames series furniture, furniture hardware and so on.
I attached our e-catalog for your reference; any demands please kindly contact us. Thanks.
- At first, the beginning of the letter Dear sir/ Madam better not to write like this. If you know the customer’s name, you’d better write it down to show your respect. If you don’t know the name, but you know the gender of the other side, it’s best to specify Dear sir or Dear madam. When the gender of the opposite side is not certain, then write Dear Sir or Madam without using a slash, which makes it easy for the customer to think this is a mass mail template.
- Then, I’m glad to know you. This sentence is a typical Chinglish (Chinese-English). You won’t find it in the emails of European and American customers. If you have met this customer, you can say Glad to see you in Shenzhen, GIad to meet you in Canton Fair, Thank you for visiting our company, or simply use Glad to write to you. Try to use the European and American greetings, do not turn Chinese-style greetings into English, which will be very awkward and blunt.
- Thirdly, in the sentence This is Tracy Lee from ***factory in China, there is nothing wrong. But to highlight the factory, it would be better to write it as *** Furniture Hardware Factory.
- We are the producer of high quality office furniture, modern classical furniture, metal furniture, eames series furniture, furniture hardware and so on. This sentence is pretty long. But, if you want to write long sentences, it is best to use clauses that the structure will be more distinct. In addition, it would be better if the word producer can be replaced by the manufacturer.
- I attached our e-catalogue for your reference. Firstly, this is an entire sentence that should be ended by a full stop, not a comma. Secondly, the first person like I or We appears many times that sentence pattern is too monotonous. Would it be a little better if you switched it to Attached our e-catalogue for your reference! or Enclosed our e-catalogue for your review!
- Any demands please kindly contact with us. Isn’t it too straightforward to talk about “needs” in the first place? Would it be more euphemistic to switch to Any questions, pls do not hesitate to contact us?
Based on the above analysis, the original letter is improved in this way:
Dear Sir or Madam,
Glad to write to you! This is Tracy Lee from*** Furniture Hardware Factory in China.
We’re the MANUFACTURER of high quality furniture with competitive price!
Such as office furniture. modern classic furniture, metal furniture, hardware, etc.
Attached our e-catalogue for your reference! Quotation sheet will be provided at once if needed.
Any questions, pls do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you!
Therefore, in any case, you must think twice before you write an email. After writing, you should reread it to make over wordy statements, improper words, and stiff expressions.
If you can’t find a problem after checking, try to think about it in the customer’s shoes. Imagine if you receive such an email whether you’re interested in opening and reading it. Furthermore, try to catch the customer’s eye and let him know what you are talking about at first glance, then you succeed.
Always remember that you write the letters for customers, not yourself, you need to stand on his position to think about the problem. The quality of the development letter is more important than quantity. You need to let customers open it, to let his eyes stay two seconds more, to let him hesitate when he presses delete, to let him consider saving the email first, and to let him consider whether he should reply.
Since you have a goal, don’t feel bothered. Imitating the way of foreigners’ writing and language habits is very beneficial to the improvement of your own level!
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