Value Centered Living is not just a matter of having values and sticking to them.  It's a choice about doing things for others and helping them add value to their lives and not worrying how much it benefits your own.

Without question putting others first is just the right thing to do.  Even the Bible tells us 'tis better to give than receive.  Mountains of self-help books are out there on the shelves to delve into this way of thinking and provide examples of how it's done.  There will be more of that here, too, in the weeks to come so please, so make sure you sign up to the RSS feed for But two very helpful resources to check out are Tim Ferris' The Four-Hour Workweek and Go-Givers Sell More by Bob Burg and John David Mann.

The practice of Value Centered Living also can be applied to business and business presentation.  Nothing turns a prospective client or customer off sooner than making something all about yourself.  When you're doing business, it's never all about you.  It's very simply, all about your customer and if you don't get that, well, you won't get many customers either.

That brings me to an annoying letter that I received unsolicited from an attorney this past week.  Kindly, after reading his pitch letter, I wrote him and said very precisely that if he's getting customers with his letter, it's by accident.  My letter even offered to help revise it. 


For certain, this letter can be used by you as a reference on what not to say to prospective clients.  It's one of the best examples ever of what not to do.  Here's why:

When I wrote the attorney about his letter, here is what I said:

Let me help you reassess this correspondence so that you might increase your chances of turning people on instead of turning them off completely in your first sentence.  For starters, it doesn't add any value to my day that you allege you "took a great deal of time and effort obtaining my name" from The Daily Commercial Record.  If indeed you are taking such great amounts of time to pour over this publication, perhaps you could shorten your time investment by automating this process and also buying an online subscription to the paper.  It also says to your readers that if you're spending so much time reading the want ads, why aren't you spending time with your clients.  If you're asking yourself that question, please read your letter.

Perhaps instead of helping further overwhelm your potential clients, you might instead try to encourage them, perhaps with this Jean Kerr quote instead:   "Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn't permanent."  Your second/third sentences are run ons.  Not to mention, they're all about you.  You might as well have written the cliche, "I'm from the federal government and I'm here to help."  It'd have been just as effective.

Paragraph two isn't much better.  Here, if you need to go get a barf bucket before reading, I'll wait:

My notes to the attorney: Your second paragraph is again overwhelming and does nothing to offer comfort to your reader.  It screams "HOLY CRAP! There are so many things you can do wrong in the process and if you do them, the judge (not supposed to be capitalized) will throw you in jail and throw away the key while your spouse will get everything and you will be in jail."   Again, I would recommend here a paragraph that offers a much toned down accounting of how beneficial your services have been to others who have been in this situation.  All you're doing is scaring people.  Stop it. 

Again, my note: Your third paragraph, like the first one and the second one, again is ALL ABOUT YOU! 
And then I guess you must have been really busy reading the The Daily Commercial Record because instead of being so concerned about me, you used a computer-generated signature to end the letter. 


After that point, I made an offer to help improve the letter.  I've yet to hear from the attorney so I'm guessing he/she is still too busy reading The Daily Commercial Record and hasn't gotten to my email.  That, or worse, they moved it into the delete file and went on and sent out a new batch of letters yesterday.

The point of a good Value Centered Sales pitch is to not make it all about you.  Make it about helping add value to the person you're trying to help.  They don't care about what's in it for you.  Make it about what's in it for them.  Show them where the value lies in doing business with you, in interacting with you. 

Maybe this attorney generates a lot of business. Some how, with a letter like this, I sincerely doubt it. 

Do you have a similar example of a sales pitch that's so much about it's author and so little about you? 

Would you call this attorney and ask them to represent you?  How would you recommend changing this letter for the benefit of potential clients so that this attorney can join in Value Centered Living?


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