Best Bridal Show or business lead follow-up cover letter ever?

UPDATE July 2014 – The info below is still good, but I recently found another lead follow-up email that is even better be sure to check it out too –
A unique and refreshing follow-up email that would adapt well for leads from bridal shows and other sources.

One of the most difficult things about following up on leads and contacts is being comfortable with your cover letter.  It is the first impression and many marketing professionals believe that the cover letter makes the sale.   The pressure to make it the best possible can feel intense.

So I started looking for cover letters, all types of cover letters.  The best models and advice I found was related to cover letters for resumes.  Which makes sense for small business too.  After all when a small business responds with a letter and other collateral to someone who is asking for more info about services or products isn’t that analogous to seeking a job?

Here is the “The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received” according to Harvard Business Review (HBR).

Dear Xxxxxx:

I am writing in response to the opening for xxxx, which I believe may report to you.

I can offer you seven years of experience managing communications for top-tier xxxx firms, excellent project-management skills, and a great eye for detail, all of which should make me an ideal candidate for this opening.

I have attached my résumé for your review and would welcome the chance to speak with you sometime.

Best regards,

Xxxx Xxxx

Why  is that cover letter so good? Here is what David Silverman the author of the HBR article has to say, “Here’s what I like about this cover letter. It’s short. It sums up the résumé as it relates to the job. It asks for the job.”  Read more from David Silverman about this cover letter and other readers’ comments.

And look how easily, quickly it can adapt to a powerful cover letter to a bridal lead.

Dear Xxxxxx:

It was a pleasure to meet you at the Xxxxxx bridal fair.  I am writing in response to photographing your upcoming wedding and reception at .

I offer you seven years of experience photographing weddings and receptions in Xxxxx (your market area) and more than a few at Xxxxx (chosen venue).  My work is well reviewed and I have received awards for my artistic skills coupled with a great eye for detail and commitment to excellent client satisfaction and value.  All of which make me an ideal choice for photographing your wedding for a lifetime of great memories

I have attached my brochure including samples of my work, client reviews and rates for your review and would welcome the chance to speak with you sometime soon.

Best regards,

Xxxx Xxxx

As you create your letter focus on the benefits you have to offer the reader.  What is in it for her? That is what she cares about.

Finally, no matter how good your communication is … remember it also needs to be timely.  Get your letter and email lead responses sent out within 5 days.

Hope it helps.  Send me an email or leave a comment if you have questions.

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