Beginners Take Notice

Would you send Sears $20 and expect them to know you were ordering without you specifying it in your order form? Would you send your electric company a check for $15 and expect them to know what account you were making a payment on? Of course you wouldn't, so how are mail order businesses suppose to know what you're ordering or requesting?

And a note like "Send me info" is NOT sufficient enough. Remember the rule of "who," "what," "when," and "where" we learned in grade school English? "Send me info" still doesn't tell a business what you are ordering. Most mail order businesses carry a large number of different products. If they send you information on everything they sell, not only would it cost a lot more in postage and require a 9x12 envelope, but you'll get a lot of different information on products you may not be interested in. In fact, the business may not include the information you originally requested because they had no idea what you were ordering and couldn't afford to send you everything they have.

Then, to top it off, some of these people that wrote to the mail order business requesting information will get upset and file a complaint against them because they never sent the proper information. This is a big problem we see getting bigger and bigger and I hope this report will do a small part in clearing it up.

Okay, let's be realistic. If you are guilty of inflicting pain on dealers by not letting us know what you are ordering or requesting information on don't worry. We don't hate you and want you to hang your head down and slink away in shame. On the contrary, we want your business and we want to keep you happy as a steady customer. The next time you order something, read your note or letter ONE time before putting it in the envelope and sealing it shut. Ask yourself if you have provided the business with enough information to process your order. That's all there is to it!

A correct form of writing a business letter should go something like this: "Dear (Name): We noticed your ad in (name of publication) and would like more information on (product or service). Your attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated." If you don't want to take the time to write this much, you could just cut out the ad you saw and tape onto your letterhead or a note paper. Enclose the proper stamps, money or SASE for a reply and you're ready to fold in an envelope and mail.

And by all means, place your RETURN ADDRESS on the outside of the envelope. Believe it or not, I personally receive 100's of orders per year without a return address with a few dollars stuck inside an envelope. I have no clue "what" is being ordered and even less of a clue as to "where" to send it.

As mail order dealers, we sometimes believe that we are totally alone in this business. Since most of us work by ourselves, isolated from most of the working 9-to-5 world, the dreaded "lonelinosis" sets in. But remember, just because we don't see our mail order dealers and distributors face to face, they are there. This statement may sound a little too elementary, but sometimes we overlook the obvious. Mail order is full of fine, upstanding and caring mail order dealers. Every one of us are breathing, thinking human beings. We fall in love, have personal problems, have bad days, have slow months, have busy weeks and have lives to lead. A majority of us have children and all of us have family and friends that occupy our time.

We should all support each other and make as many friends as we can. Although the world seems like it is self-oriented half the time, the only person that can begin a change is the one in the mirror. Think of others and try and be more understanding. I think I speak for all dealers in saying that we all WANT to fill your orders and process them as quickly as possible. All we ask if that you let us know WHAT you are ordering or WHERE you saw our ad so we can send you the correct information you need the first time around.

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