February 2009
Writing eTips UpWrite Press
Training 2009 Expo

Visit the Training 2009 Expo on Us!

UpWrite Press is exhibiting at the Training 2009 Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 9–10, and we’re handing out free expo passes—a $40 value—to anyone who wants to visit us there. The expo is in the Georgia World Congress Center, Building B, Hall B1. You’ll find us at booth 331.

To redeem your free pass, register with VIPCode EXEP9 on-site or online at www.trainingconference.com. For more information, download the Free Expo Pass pdf document or visit www.trainingconference.com.

We look forward to seeing you at booth 331!

   

January Winner in Our Monthly Facebook Drawing

Congratulations to “Business Writing with UpWrite Press” Facebook fan Ruth Goetz! She’s the January winner of a free copy of Write for Business, A Compact Guide to Writing & Communicating in the Workplace and the emPOWERED Business Writing Job Aide.

You could be our next winner. We’re giving away a book and a Job Aide each month. To qualify, just become a Facebook fan of “Business Writing with UpWrite Press” and RSVP to our event invitation each month.

Writing the Sales Pitch

A written sales pitch is basically a persuasive message—you are trying to convince someone to use your product or service. To that end, here are a few tips to help maximize your impact.

First, consider who will be reading your pitch. Take the time to learn a little about your audience so you can shape your message to fit. What does your reader need, and what can he or she gain from your service or product?

Be realistic about your expected outcome. Understand the true benefits of your service and how it will serve the reader.

Provide a means of feedback. Give any Web sites, land or email addresses, and phone numbers the reader can use to respond. Provide response postcards when possible.

Write your first draft. A sales pitch requires that you follow a few simple rules.

  • Be direct. Design your message to gain the reader’s attention and clearly explain your service or product.
  • Be honest. Use solid, factual support to show the benefits of your product, addressing any possible questions or concerns your reader might have.
  • Be concise. Your reader knows it’s a pitch—respect his or her time and get right to the matter. Give your pitch and explain the action you expect.
  • Be professional. Use semiformal language to avoid sounding cold. Be friendly without being overly familiar.

Your goal is to present your service or product in its best light. So before you send out the final copy of your sales pitch, thoroughly proofread it, check it for errors, and have another person do the same, if possible.

You can find more about creating persuasive sales pitches on pages 59–70 of Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing & Communicating in the Workplace, and on pages 45–50 of Business and Sales Correspondence, part of the EZ Series of business writing materials from UpWrite Press.

   

Our Staff Writers’ Blog

Get the latest insights into writing from our staff writers. In January, Dave Kemper discussed “Patterns of Persuasion,” Tim Kemper wrote “Instant Messenger Job Interviews? Sounds Like an Instant Mess,” Joyce Lee explained “Organizing a Presentation: The Conclusion,” and Lester Smith wrote about peer review in “I Thought You Said…” Be sure to visit our blog for these and other great articles!

That Little Extra:

Is your writing trite? With today’s all-encompassing media coverage, popular phrases can quickly become trite and overdone. Researchers at Oxford University recently compiled a list of the top ten most irritating expressions:

  • at the end of the day
  • fairly unique
  • I personally
  • at this moment in time
  • with all due respect
  • absolutely
  • it’s a nightmare
  • shouldn’t of (which is also grammatically incorrect)
  • 24/7
  • it’s not rocket science.

Also cited as irritating were the words “literally” and “ironically,” which are often used incorrectly.

Any phrase that’s overused becomes effectively invisible, and, as a result, loses its impact. When you write, avoid empty phrases and say exactly what you mean.

Join Our Writers’ Forum

We invite you to be part of our monthly eTips. Each month we pose a question or problem regarding the use of writing in business. Send us your reply along with your name, your company’s name, and a brief description of what you do. We will print the best responses, and you will get your name out to our more than 6,000 subscribers! (We reserve the right to edit your remarks for fit and suitability.)

   

February Writers’ Forum Topic

Sitting at a desk all day can be murder on your body as well as your soul. How do you keep from becoming one big ball of cramps? And how do you keep from going cubicle crazy during a long day of screen-staring? Share your best tips for physical and mental health within the office confines.

Email your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write “February Writers’ Forum” in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

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Coming in March

Writing the Proposal

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eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc., P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2009,
UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit www.upwritepress.com.