Poor quality writing can result in a poor level of sales or contracts going to competitors, while it is true that good business writing generates more leads, wins contracts or results in career advancement. If you need to improve your communication skills, just follow these simple business writing tips for professionals.
Before you start
It’s important to consider your target audience before you start to write. Put some thought into their needs. Imagine their daily challenges and the problems they face. Your business writing will become much more effective when you look at things from their point of view and have it clear in your mind how you can meet their needs.
The use of jargon, technical terminology, buzz words and acronyms make any business proposal or document difficult to read. Avoid fancy language like ‘utilization’ or ‘ergo’ and simplify your message by writing in plain English.
Keep the tone confident and decisive. Describe what you are doing rather than “It is my intention”. A passive voice is a negative statement that “further attention is needed”, but an active voice says “we are giving this our full attention”.
When writing for a mass mailing or a large readership you should make each recipient feel that you are addressing him or her personally. Engage fully with readers by writing as if you were having a direct one-to-one conversation. Keep that one person in mind and try not to be too formal.
Avoid any hyperbole and use genuine testimonials instead. Don’t claim to provide the best service or to be a leader in your industry when you can use examples of how well your company has been rated by customers or is ranked in industry listings.
Show your customers how much a product or service will be of benefit. Highlight each important feature and explain exactly how it saves time, provides security or puts the user ahead of competitors.
The main point
A sales letter is more effective when the most important point appears into the opening sentence. A powerful P.S. can add further impact bu urging the reader to act immediately or not to miss the opportunity.
The other person
Business proposals and sales letters generate more sales when they are more about “you” and “your company” and less about how great “our company” is or “my” achievements.
A promotional article or report should draw a picture in words which will drives sales. Get your readers to imagine the results of taking action and allow them to become excited and thrilled about what it is they can achieve.
A call to action
Provide clear guidance about what you want the reader to do next. Don’t assume that anyone will know to click on a link or pick up the phone. Give a firm call to action to “call me now” or “click to get your free quote”.
Read it aloud
After following these business writing tips for professionals, always check that your writing flows and is correctly written. Grammar and spellchecking software will not pick up an error where the wrong word is used, if the spelling is correct. If you print out the draft document and read it aloud you will notice when something does not sound right and will be able to correct any mistakes.