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Business Letter Writing - Introduction And Answering Inquiries

( Originally Published 1918 )



Scope. Through a Letter of Introduction a person not present makes two other persons acquainted. The letter should say what the writer would say if personally present. That is the rule in all correspondence, and the more closely it is followed the more successful it will be. No greater compliment can be paid a correspondent than to say, "He writes just as he talks." That means that his letters are humanly interesting.

The use of Letters of Introduction are varied. They include introductions for both social or business purposes, and sometimes a combination of the two. They tacitly vouch for the social standing of the person to whom they are given for social purposes. They do vouch for business integrity and business standing when they are given for use in a business way. The writer in both cases is the sponsor of the bearer. This is stated for its bearing on the caution that should be exercised in giving them. If too freely or injudiciously given, they may reflect on the writer and bring back the charge of playing too heavily on friendship.

Social Introductions. Where the person introduced is a woman, business stationery should not be used. Where it is a man, and the letter is to another man, it is proper to use business stationery. Social introductions presume a more or less intimate acquaintance with the person to whom they are addressed, and accordingly the salutation is in the more intimate form. The following will illustrate:

June 6,192_.

Dear Harry :

You remember my telling you about a fishing trip I took last spring with my friend and boon companion, Thomas Hall?

Well, that same Thomas Hall stands before you now, and I want you to think as much-of him as I do, and know him as well.

Tom you'll get to call him that soon has business interests that will keep him in and about your city for several weeks. Don't let him feel lonesome, and all you can do for him I shall deeply appreciate.

Yours as ever,

-W. H. Strong.

Mr. Harry Ewing,
423 Broadway,
New York City.

Notes—(1) The letter begins with the highly personal, intimate salutation, "Dear Harry," the full name and address being at the bottom of the letter at the left hand margin. This is the proper arrangement where the intimate form of salutation is used.

(2) The reference to the fishing trip strengthens the sense of intimacy between the writer and the person introduced and makes him less of a stranger.

(3) The letter is strictly conversational in style and there-fore more human.

(4) Observe the use of the dash in the last paragraph. This letter absolutely vouches for the social standing of the person introduced and warrants his being introduced freely among the friends of the person addressed. The complimentary closing is in keeping with the intimacy between the parties.

A less intimate form would be:

[Business Letter Head]

May 14, 1922 Mr. John M. Holt,
687 First Avenue,
Detroit, Mich.

Dear Mr. Holt :

I want you to know my old friend, Mr. Andrew Hilton, who is to engage in business in your city.

To know him is to appreciate him as I have, and if the opportunity presents itself to introduce him to both your social and business friends, you may have the assurance that he is all one could wish as a friend and business associate.

Cordially yours,

Willard M. Russell.

A letter introducing a young man might read:

May 10, 1922 Rev.

Judson Smith, D.D.,
1987 South Street,
St. Louis, Mo.

Dear Dr. Smith:

Knowing your special interest in young men who are away from home, I commend to you Mr. Clarence M. Winslow, who has come to St. Louis to enter the employ of the Mississippi Electric Company.

I have known him and his family for a number of years, and he is a young man of considerable promise. I am anxious that he have the right environments, and so I send him to you. He is a member of the church I attend and liked as widely as he is known.

Whatever you can do for him I will consider as a personal favor.

Sincerely yours,

John W. Hall.

Business Introductions.—These vary according to the necessities of the case. They usually involve some business favor, although they are frequently used in establishing credits, with or without a guarantee of the account by the introducer. They carry by implication, if not expressed, assurance of the business integrity of the person presenting them.

Asking a Favor. Where a business favor is asked the following will serve as a guide:

[Business Letter Head]

April 7, 192_.

W. P. Jones, Vice-Pres.,
Jones Manufacturing Co.,
Peoria, Ill.

Dear Mr. Jones

I take pleasure in introducing to you Mr. Andrew Davey, Secretary of our Commercial Club, who is making a study of the various filing and card indexing systems in use in the larger offices.

He advised me that he had occasion to visit your city, and, knowing of your very efficient system, I have given him this letter to you with the hope that it might be possible for him to familiarize himself with it.

Needless to add Mr. Davey would not violate any business confidence.

Yours very truly,

J. H. Meyers.

Notes—(I) This being more of a personal letter than a business one, it is addressed to the individual, with his business title.

(2) The position of the person introduced and his mission are stated concisely, followed in the next paragraph by the request for the desired favor.

(3) To negative any suggestion of unwisdom in allowing a stranger to inspect one's office systems, with the opportunity to possibly gain some knowledge of their business transactions and customers, the reference to respecting business confidences is very appropriate.

Establishing Credit.—Letters of introduction for the purpose of establishing credit in connection with purchases are of two kinds: one, where the letter guarantees the credit to a fixed amount; and the other, where no guarantee is given. Where the credit is to be guaranteed the following would be the form :

Illinois Dry Goods Co.,
Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:

This will introduce Mr. Charles Tillman, of our city, who is going to Chicago to purchase goods for the notion and dry goods store he is about to open here.

To show our confidence in him you may extend him credit on usual terms to the extent of $2,000, and charge the same to our account if you prefer. In either event we guarantee his account to that amount.

During his stay, whatever courtesy you can show him will be appreciated.

Very truly yours,

The Brown Company,
J. B. Brown, Pres.

[Business Letter Head]

May 12, 192_.

Notes—While the letter is brief and to the point, nothing more is required to be said. The positive guarantee of the account to the extent stated makes any lengthy recital of his business experience and resources unnecessary.

(2) The important phase of the letter is the signature. Signed "The Brown Company, J. B. Brown, Pres.," makes it the guarantee of that company. If the letter were signed "J. B. Brown, Pres. The Brown Company," it would in law be only the personal guarantee of J. B. Brown, an individual. This is one of the very important facts to be kept constantly in mind in signing business letters and documents. Failure to observe this distinction may involve individuals in financial liability never intended to be assumed.

Where credit is not guaranteed the form would be:

[Business Letter Head]

Illinois Dry Goods Co.,
Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:

This will introduce Mr. Charles Tillman, of our city, who is going to your city to purchase goods for the notion and dry goods store he is about to open here.

We have known Mr. Tillman for the past 10 years, most of which time he has been employed by the People's Dry Goods Store of this city, first as salesman, and for the past 4 years as manager.

He enjoys the confidence of our community to a remarkable degree, and it is the general impression, as well as our own, that he should have a large measure of success in his own store.

He has been conservative, thrifty and seems to possess or control sufficient capital to warrant his undertaking and to meet such obligations as he may incur.

We are sending him to you because we believe he will prove a satisfactory customer and we know he will receive all the consideration at your hands that his circumstances merit.

Very truly yours,

The Brown Company,
J. B. Brown, Pres.

Notes—(1) There is no difference between the opening paragraphs of the two letters.

(2) The letter goes into some detail in stating the length of acquaintance and the business experience of the person introduced, touching his standing in the community, his fitness for the proposed business, his characteristics and financial ability. As to the last, the letter is guarded, so as to avoid any direct statement as to financial strength, but at the same time implying it.

Answering Inquiries

Inquiry Far from a Sale.—While an inquiry regarding goods gives evidence of an interest in them, it must not be assumed for a moment that a sale is as good as made. Every business man has learned this lesson. He has learned that there will always be a certain proportion of inquiries from those who write out of mere idle curiosity, with no intention of buying; those who are seeking samples, "sample grabbers" as they are called ; and mingled with them will be real earnest inquiries from those who are in the market for that class of merchandise. Yet there can be no let-down in the effort to convert every inquiry into a sale.

Importance of Sustaining Interest.—Through whatever channel the inquiry has come, whether as a result of advertising, dealers' store or window displays, recommendation by some user of the goods, it is the result of no inconsiderable expenditure of both time and money on the part of the seller, be he manufacturer, jobber or dealer. The inquiry is the first step towards a sale, and the responsibility lies heavy on the letter or series of letters sent in response to that inquiry. Business houses are beginning to realize this and are paying the utmost attention to their letters that go out in reply to inquiries as to their goods.

Letters, Not Advertising to Blame.—It is told that a certain manufacturer advertising in a prominent publication complained of the lack of results from his advertising and cancelled the bal-ance of his contract. When pressed for the rea-son he said that while he had received a fair number of inquiries, yet they seemed to be mostly from curiosity seekers and that the number of actual orders resulting from his advertising expenditure made it impossible for him to continue to use the space. The publication immediately sent its Service Manager to the advertiser and insisted to be shown how the inquiries had been handled. A brief examination of the letters was sufficient to fix the responsibility for the failure of results. The Service Manager went back to his office and prepared a series of letters of the kind that should have been used and prevailed upon the manufacturer to continue the insertions for a while longer. This was done, and the series of letters prepared for him were used. The results were so surprising that the advertising contract was reinstated and the proportion of sales from inquiries was raised to an unexpected level. This is undoubtedly but one of innumerable similar experiences the country over, and is cited to show how important it is that the utmost tact and per-suasion be used in this class of business correspondence. The very life of a business, so far as it is conducted by mail, depends upon how inquiries are answered.

Two Classes of Inquirers.—Letters inquiring about merchandise come from one or two classes of buyers; either jobbers, wholesalers or dealers on the one hand, or consumers on the other. Each class requires different treatment, as their ultimate buying will be for very different purposes.

Jobbers, wholesalers and dealers are in reality not buyers, but sellers. Their buying is but to enable them to sell again, and at a profit. On the other hand, the consumer's interest is in the use of the thing. He wants to know it works ; what it will do; how it will wear; what advantages it has over other goods for like use.

The Influence of Price. The interest of the jobber, wholesaler and dealer in merchandise, outside of its quality and the satisfaction it will give to the ultimate consumer, lies in its price, the profit to be made on its resale and the rapidity of the turn-over, by which is meant how soon the stock can be sold and more goods reordered. It is unfortunately true that many business firms care less for quality and more for price, buying largely on the price basis, passing the responsibility for satisfaction in the use of the goods on to the consumer, whom they say cannot expect much for a low price. With the better grade firms quality is as important as price.

So with the consumer. While the careful buyer for personal use seeks the utmost in quality at the price, yet there are many who possibly from necessity buy on the price basis.

It is most important, therefore, to know or to be able to sense, from the letter of inquiry—and the letter head, if from a business firm, will often give the clue—whether the inquirer is more Interested in price than in quality. The reply must conform to that interest, whichever it may be.

Answers To Resale Inquiries. These inquiries divide themselves into two classes: (1) inquiries from jobbers and wholesalers, and (2) from deal-ers. They may be addressed to the manufacturer by both classes, or to the jobber or whole-saler by the dealer. The answers given will include the different classes. As such answers in-volve no special salutations nor complimentary closings, they will be omitted, and the body of the reply only will be given.

(a) Answer by manufacturer to jobber inquiry :

Today's mail is bringing to you our catalog, showing our entire line of fountain pens.

If you will turn to page 7, you will find as good an illustration of our Security or Check-Protector Pen as the engraver can make, but you should see the pen itself and try it, both for its writing qualities as well as its check-protector feature.

With this letter you will find a specimen check, written and protected by the pen. Note how the little cutting wheels have gone through the paper, carrying the indelible ink with them, making alteration impossible.

The pen closed is no different in appearance from any fountain pen. But give a half-turn to the end of cap, and there you have the check protector feature, ready for instant and effective use, no matter where you may be.

Although the pen has been on the market but a short time, it has proven a sensation in rapidity of its sales, aided by the vigorous publicity campaign we are conducting.

The dealer discount is 40% off list and yours is 50 & 10%. This gives you a net profit of 75c a pen, or $9 a dozen, which is 33*% on your cost or 25% on your resale price.

On pages 14 and 15 of the catalog you will find illustrations of the handsome glass display cases furnished the dealer without charge, and shipped direct to him.

Pages 16 and 17 show reproductions of the counter and window display matter furnished with every order, all contained in the shipping case, relieving your own shipping department of the trouble of handling any advertising matter.

The entire merchandising plan has been worked out with the sole aim of convenience in handling on your part and the promotion of rapid sales by the dealer.

The unusual advantages of the Security pen and the public interest in it, afford an opportunity that should not be passed up to introduce the other numbers in the line. Jobbers' salesmen are finding it easy to do. It would be the same in your case.

Ole Bull used to say, just before he began to play, "Now's the time to do it, now!" So we enclose, for your convenience, an order form, and all you have to do is to check whichever initial assortment you wish.

Notes—(1) The jobber has inquired about a new check-protector pen. The manufacturer has sent a catalog showing the entire line, rather than separate descriptive matter regarding that particular pen.

(2) The letter avoids the stereotyped opening, such as "Replying to your valued favor," etc., using the direct state-ment that the catalog is already on its way.

(3) The reference is given to the page where the particular pen is shown and described and a desire is created to both see and use it.

(4) The interest is heightened in the pen by the enclosure of a check written and protected by it and the directing of the attention to the way it actually does protect checks.

(5) That the pen is not freakish but in appearance like any other, yet instantly converted into a check protector, serves to remove any doubt in that direction.

(6) The jobber wants to know that the pen is "taking" and therefore a live number and that the manufacturers are behind their product with a real advertising campaign.

(7) The dealers' profit is shown to be liberal and also that of the jobber. That is essential.

(8) Emphasis is laid on free display cases, unit packages, liberal display matter and convenient handling—all to aid in making quick sales.

(9) While the inquiry was directed to one type of pen, the letter urges the opportunity to sell other numbers along with it, and so get the line in.

(10) The pat reference to Ole Bull's famous remark and the enclosure of an order form for an "initial assortment" serve to turn the buying impulse into action.

(11) The entire letter emphasizes the advantage to the jobber in handling not only the special pen but the entire line. His own interests are brought out—those of the manufacturer suppressed.

(b) Answer by Manufacturer to Dealer Inquiry :

You will probably be more interested in what is on its way to you under separate cover than in anything we can say by letter, because it shows how you can meet all of the needs of your community in the line of paints with less than one-fourth of the usual investment.

You appreciate as well as we do the amount of money that is tied up in even a fairly complete line—the colors that are in more frequent demand and the many others it seems necessary to carry for the occasional needs.

To eliminate the slow-moving colors from the investment and yet make them always available, so that no trade is lost, is what we have accomplished for our dealers.

In brief, we have reduced the lines to 14 of the most popular colors, and by the use of our Expanding Color Chart, the customer is able by the blending instructions to secure any desired shade. It's so simple a child can do it successfully. The wonder of it is that it hadn't been done years ago.

For your sake and that of your customers nothing but pure lead and oil form the base of Cover-All Paints, the ingredients being enumerated on every can. There is satisfaction both in their sale and in their use. They are always uniform, smooth, spreading easily and averaging 360 square feet, two coats, to the gallon.

By standardizing, the lessened manufacturing costs have resulted in lower prices to you, yielding a wider margin of profit on your resale, as the enclosed price list with suggested resale prices shows.

Behind Cover-All Paints is our national advertising campaign. You are supplied with paid newspaper advertising for your local papers. Your prospective customers are circularized by us with forceful direct mail advertising. You are furnished attractive window displays. You stock the goods and we join you in making the sales.

To insure the fullest co-operation, use the order sheet attached to the price list, giving the data as to local advertising, direct mail circularizing and window sizes for proper trim.

Notes—(1) Interest is held from the opening paragraph by the suggestion of being able to carry a complete line of paints at one-fourth the usual investment. It arouses inter-est because it doesn't seem possible, yet so advantageous if it be true. Public speakers frequently make use of statements that challenge credulity when they find the interest of their audience begins to lag. It always works. It will in business letters.

(2) Where the proposition is necessarily lengthy, don't attempt to tell it in a letter, for business men will not read long letters. If the letter interests them they will read catalogs or other enclosures or separate cover matter. There-fore make the letter as short as possible, though not at the expense of essential facts, and rely on the accompanying matter to tell the rest. This may be safely done where it affects the reader's bank account.

(3) The reference to quality is dignified, not boastful, Its presence in the products is stated to be in the interest of both dealer and consumer.

(4) The reference to lower price is always interesting and the explanation for it in lessening the number of colors is both reasonable and true. It negatives any suggestion that it has been done at the expense of quality. This idea is always important.

(5) The extent to which the manufacturer backs up the dealer is always to be stated. Never convey the impression that your part has been done when a sale has been made to the dealer. That is only your first step. It is equally your part to help him pass the goods on to the consumer. While you are helping him, you are helping yourself. He will never reorder until the bulk of your goods have been moved. So help him speed reorder day.

(6) The closing paragraph furnishes the final inducement to send the order now. The impression created is that the manufacturer is not simply seeking an order for his goods, but is equally anxious to have the necessary data to enable him to extend to the dealer the co-operation mentioned in the letter. The dealer's interests are placed first. If they are served, the manufacturer's interest will be taken care of.

(c) Where Manufacturer Does Not Sell Dealer Direct:

It is gratifying to receive your inquiry regarding our playing cards.

Because the line is new to you, you will find samples of the various brands enclosed, each properly marked with the brand name.

Did you ever look inside of a playing card? "Beauty," they say, "is only skin deep." You will find one card of each brand torn so you can see beneath the skin the high quality of stock used in their manufacture. That is what gives them their "snap" and without it, the finest printing, die cutting and finishing could not make the kind of a card most players like to use.

With the samples you will see illustrations of the different Counter Advertising Display Cartons in which each dozen are packed. It costs more to pack that way, but on your counter or in your windows, the cartons catch the eye of the customer or passerby, he stops to look—then buys—and we have both accomplished our pur-pose. We have made a sale, the beginning of many.

There is no doubt about this, because on the flap of every pack is a notice that if the buyer will send us 12 of them, with 6c in stamps to cover packing and postage, we will send him another pack FREE. The object is to bring every customer back for eleven more packs. And the best part of it is, that it works!

As much as we would like to accept your order for our playing cards, we must refer you to one of our jobbers, as we sell only to the jobbing trade. We believe we can serve you better and more promptly this way. The Judson Wholesale Drug Co. and the Smith Book & Stationery Co., both of Cleveland, Ohio, carry our line, and being in your territory, would be only too glad to supply you.

If you have any trouble in getting the cards from them write us again, and we will see that you are supplied.

Notes—(1) It is frequently the case that inquiries come from those whom it would be contrary to the policy of the house to sell. Generally speaking, if a manufacturer sells his products to the jobbing trade, he should not sell the re-tail trade direct, for in so doing he is cutting into the outlet of the jobber and antagonizing him. In such a case, where inquiries come from the retail trade direct, a reply of the type above should be given. The thoughtless correspondent would have replied, "We acknowledge your valued favor of the 1st, and regret to inform you that we are con-fining our sales strictly to the jobbing trade, and therefore cannot accept any orders from you direct."

(2) The correspondent realizes that his house has just as much of an opportunity to make a sale as though a direct order could be received. To turn an inquirer, a prospect, into a customer, even for the jobber, means that the factory gets the saine benefit. Hence the letter is just as strong a sales letter as possible. There is no intimation that a direct order would not be accepted until the close of the letter. To state it at or near the beginning, would be to lessen to a very great degree the dealer's interest in whatever else was said.

(3) The reference to quality coupled with the personal question as to whether the dealer ever looked inside of a playing card—and not one in a hundred ever have—makes sure that the torn cards will be examined. The explanation of the importance of the quality of the stock is made most convincing, and the question is instantly in the dealer's mind as to why no other playing card manufacturers have offered to show him what kind of stock was beneath the polished surface of their cards.

(4) The manufacturer makes it plain that he feels in duty bound to pack his goods so the dealer will be aided in making quick sales. That strikes a friendly chord.

(5) Every dealer is vitally interested in repeat sales. The reference to the offer of a free pack to the customer who buys a dozen is another evidence of a valuable cooperation.

(6) The reference to the sales policy of confining sales to jobbers only is tactful, and giving the names of local jobbers is a material aid to promptly securing the goods. The offer to see that the dealer is supplied is consistent with the manufacturer's effort to arouse his interest to the buying point.

(7) If the inquiry came from a jobber and the manufacturer sold only to the retail trade, there would be no occasion for such a letter. It would be sufficient simply to state that all sales are being made direct to the retail trade, and that no jobbing accounts are carried.

(8) There is no reference to price. On many classes of goods different jobbers have different prices, varying in different parts of the country. To name a price would be an attempt to interfere with the jobber's business, and he would be very apt to resent it. In all cases where a sale cannot be made direct to the inquirer, the safe rule is to omit any price.

(d) Answer by Jobber to Dealer Inquiry:

Yes, Mr. Jones, we carry the Midland line of playing cards and have found them most satisfactory. The quality both of stock and manu-facture insure their wearing well. The printing is clear and sharp. The finish, whether smooth or linen, gives them a perfect slip. The die cutting is clean and the package attractive.

We were attracted to the line because the manufacturers put up all of their brands in what they call "Self-Selling Display Cartons" holding one dozen packs. It certainly helps sales if the cartons are placed where they can be seen and the tops opened up to get the advertising display.

You state you are interested in cheap and moderate priced brands. We suggest for the cheap brand their Olympia. We are selling them at $3 a dozen. You can get 35c a pack for them readily. For the medium priced brand use Match-less. This is the best value we know of. At a cost to you of $3.75 a dozen they make a good 45c number, though many dealers are getting 50c.

Samples are enclosed. We carry ample stock at all time and can ship your order "on the drop of the hat."

Our sales policy is "What You Want When You Want It." So we are sending you a copy of our new catalog, and just inside the front cover is a handy envelope order blank. Use it for playing cards and other things as well.

Notes—(1) This is entirely a different type of letter from that of the manufacturer. The jobber has hundreds of items in his line, while the manufacturer specializes. The styles, while personal, goes directly to the point. It tells the things a dealer wants to know about a line; quality; quick seller; packing; cost and suggested resale prices.

(2) Service is emphasized by use of the expression that they can ship the order "on the drop of the hat."

(3) The jobber utilizes the inquiry to send his catalog note the shortened spelling and refers to his hand order blank which he suggests be used for other things besides playing cards. What he wants is a new customer for his general lines. The inference is there though veiled. Yet it is enough, for the dealer is interested at the present in playing cards, and the jobber does not want to divert that interest until the impulse to buy has been obeyed.

(e) Answers to Price Buyers:

The reference to quality, in replying to this class of buyers, is not made as important as the price. That is what counts, and stress is laid on it as the controlling feature. Of course there must be quality to the extent of supporting the price, but it is price first, and quality last—in other words it must be cheap to satisfy this class of trade.

It must be remembered that price buyers are usually controlled by the demands of the class of ultimate consumers they reach. Most people like nice things, but very many are compelled to forego them because of very limited pocketbooks. Therefore this trade is one to be reckoned with. The following paragraph, from a manufacturer to a jobber, will illustrate the method of handling the price question:

You will recognize the advantage in being able to handle a line that is priced on an average of $5 a gross under that usually charged for goods of this kind. If you took $2 a gross as added profit to you, and the dealers took another $2 the retail price would still be lower than what the consumer has been paying. Both you and the dealer would sell more and make more. We have put into these goods all the quality the price will allow, and they will give better satisfaction by far, than the price would indicate.

The jobber, writing to a dealer, might say:

These goods you can sell at 15c each under the usual price and make 10c additional profit for yourself. Or, if you want to make them a "leader," you could offer them at 25c less, and still make just as much money as on anything else of its kind. For your class of trade we do not know a better article. The factory specializes on goods of this class, and their immense production makes it possible for them to put better quality into the goods than the price would indicate. Neither you nor your customers can go wrong on this item.

(f) Answers by Manufacturers to Consumers :

There is already in the mail and on its way to you a copy of our Rug Catalog, with many plates in the actual colors of the rugs themselves, so you can see how beautiful they are.

On pages 11 to 16 you will find the 9x12 size Axminster rugs you inquired about.

Even the color plates fail to do them justice. If you could only step into our display rooms and see them then you would be able to appreciate the lifelong satisfaction that comes from possessing one or more of them, for nothing so furnishes a home as handsome rugs.

But because you cannot do this, we are sending you with the catalog a piece of one of these rugs. When it comes examine it and note the long, silky pile, the all-wool yarns that are used, the close weave, the sturdy back and the coloring of the sun-resisting dyes. Then put it down on the floor and let your foot sink into its soft embrace, and you will even then get only a suggestion of the delight and service these rugs will give you.

You can buy these rugs with just the same assurance of satisfaction as though you selected them at some local store. They come rolled on poles and carefully covered to prevent any damage in transit—just as they are shipped to the dealers—and when they are placed on your floors, if they are not all and more than you expected, ship them back at our expense, and your money will be refunded without question or delay.

The catalog gives you the widest range of selection as to kind, grade, size and pattern that the market affords, the stores in the largest cities not showing as many. You know they are new, fresh stock of the latest patterns and backed by a guarantee that has never failed through all the 35 years we have been in business.

When you have selected your Axminster rug, turn to the pages in the catalog that show the Wiltons, the Velvets, the Brussels and the fibre rugs. Every kind of rug for every purpose is shown, with the same broad range of selection as in the Axminsters.

Prices, as the catalog shows, are down where present buying is economy. So use the order blank to meet all your requirements in quality rugs as ideal floor covering.

Notes—(1) Instead of the cold, threadbare "In answer to your favor of the 3rd" the opening paragraph suggests a prompt compliance with the request, and arouses a desire to see the color plates. The reference to the pages indicated assures interest.

(2) The mention of seeing the rugs in the manufacturer's display rooms makes all the more effective the sending of a sample piece, and tends to remove any hesitancy in buying something unseen. It goes further to establish confidence than any mere words could do.

(3) Any idea that the rugs might become damaged by being shipped is dispelled by saying they are packed just the same as when they are shipped to dealers, and the money-back guarantee removes the last possible objection.

(4) The big store attracts because of the wide range of selection that it offers. In this letter the catalog stands as the equal of the largest store in that respect.

(5) While the inquiry was for Axminster rugs, the correspondent invites examination of the other kinds of rugs as shown in the catalog, and the price reference—not in figures, but to the catalog—as indicating no advantage in postponing buying, makes a strong, subtile appeal to use the order blank for the family's requirements in rugs of all kinds.

(6) The keynote is confidence created by moderate ex-pressions which must always precede buying.

(g) Answers to Price Buying Consumers:

When writing to a consumer who seems principally concerned about price, in place of the delicate reference to price in the foregoing letter, the subject would be handled substantially as follows:

As remarkable as the quality of the rugs and their beauty of design and coloring, is their wonderfully low price, which is from $15 to $25 under the best retail quotations.



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