No letter is more important than your first one after you’ve met with a prospective new client for the first time. See Example 1 for an approach that might be a little different than the ordinary "thanks for your time" letter.
In this rather short letter, you will have transmitted several messages:
There are several other principles to keep in mind when reviewing your agency’s communications strategies with clients:
- Timeliness. If your letter or memo isn’t timely—if it’s late going out but the information needs to be in the client’s hands—acknowledge that fact in the body of the letter. A phrase such as, "I wanted to get this information to you earlier but was prevented from doing so" gets the point across.
- Completeness. Verbosity is often the enemy of clarity. Edit your communications so they conform to the "one-page rule"—if you can’t say it in one page, then you probably need a different form of communication.
- Consistency. Use your agency management system to standardize your communications to clients. Most systems allow for customization, so write your template to keep the message short and to the point, while not sounding canned. It also is an ideal E&O claim prevention tool.
- Training. Not everyone in your agency is an author. Language skills vary, especially among younger employees, and you need to have periodic training sessions to help level the field of capability. Templates are important, but lots of communication is verbal, not written, and not everything that a client needs to know can be reduced to a standardized letter. Those training sessions should highlight awareness of the impact that communications can have on clients’ perceptions and the importance of personalization.