• This presentation brings out the qualities,
types, drawbacks and most importantly
differences between salesman and sales letter.
• We have discussed on two US Insurance
company. One working on the concept of
marketing by strengthening salesperson while
the other on direct marketing which uses sales
letter as its major form of marketing, they are
State Farm and GEICO respectively.
Major steps in effective selling
Prospecting Approach Presentation Closing Follow up
Who is a salesperson?
•The term salesperson covers a wide range of
•At one extreme, a salesperson might be largely an
order taker, such as the department store
salesperson standing behind the counter.
• At the other extreme are order getters, whose
positions demand creative selling and relationship
building for products and services ranging from
appliances, industrial equipment, and airplanes to
insurance and information technology services.
Qualities that define an effective sales person
What is a Sales letter?
• The sales letter is the most important element of
the standard direct mail package.
• It takes the place of a salesperson and provides
sellers with the opportunity for personal, one-on-
one communication with their prospects.
• In addition to their use in direct mail, sales
letters are also used by salespeople in a variety of
situations—from customer communications to
internal letters written for others on the sales
The sales letter is basically sent in the following forms:
• Direct Mail
• Leaflet and Pamphlet Distribution
POINTS IN SUPPORT OF SALESMAN
AND SALES LETTER
•In many developing countries, especially India, major
portion of the population does not have access to
internet. Neither does the company have the mailing
address to send personalised mails.
•If a salesperson gets a “NO”, he can still explore the root
reason and can continue on.
•Software have come up to write fast, effective and
personalised sales letter, whereas for a salesperson
everyday has to be planned differently for maximum
productivity and success.
•Money and time : key feature gearing up sales letter.
• Easy and clear feedback.
•Sales letter shares no irrelevant information. Salesman
may share meaningless irrelevant information for sales.
•For expensive products company prefers salesman to
•Little disruption in time management could result in
losing a prospect
•Emotions and feelings: extra tools for sales for a
•Personal attention leading to better customer
•A sales letter can be reviewed before dispatching.
•Low reliance on sales letter via email.
•May contain virus and malicious software.
• They are termed as SPAM.
•80-85% of all the emails in the world are spam.
•Huge impact on environment due to sales letter.
•According to EPA 44% of junk mail is discarded
without being opened or read.
•This equals 4 tons of waste paper every year.
•OCAPP estimated that 250,000 homes could be
heated for a single day’s junk mail.
•Some resent sales letter as being ‘forced’ upon them
and boycott companies that do so.
•People can obtain Prohibitory Orders against
company’s mail they find offensive.
•The Green River Ordinance: Prohibition of door to door
•Named after the city of Green River, Wyoming, the
first city to enact it.
•Some versions prohibit all organisation including
non-profit, charitable, political and religious groups.
• Founded in 1936, initially targeted a select
customer group of government employees and
non commissioned military officers with
exceptional driving records.
• Unlike its much larger competitors, GEICO has no
agents. Instead the auto insurer markets directly
• In 1995, the company spent $10 million to
launch its first TV, radio and print ads (majorly
consisting of sales letter) to support its direct
• In 1996, billionaire investor Warren Buffet bought
the company bought the company and told the
marketing group to “speed things up”.
• Over the next 10 years, GEICO’s ad spending
jumped 30 folds to more than $300 million.
• At the time competitors were using serious and
sentimental pitches – “You are in good hands
with Allstate” or “Like a good neighbour, State
Farm is there.” To help make its advertising stand
out, GEICO decided to deliver its punch line with
humour. The creative approach worked and sales
began to climb.
• As the brand grew, customers had difficulty
pronouncing the GEICO name. Too often , GEICO
• Enter the charismatic green lizard. This was again
made possible by distributing and sending sales
letter and advertisement.
• In 1999, GEICO ran a 15 sec spot in which the
now famous British accented gecko calls a press
conference and pleads “I am a gecko, not to be
confused with a GEICO, which could save you
hundreds on car insurance. So stop calling me.”
• Consumers quickly flooded the company with
calls and letters begging to see more of the
• To keep its advertising fresh and entertaining
GEICO organises several new mini campaigns
where it distributes its leaflets and sales letter.
• In each of the past 5 years, GEICO has
experienced double digit market share gains.
• Rising from relative obscurity only a dozen
years ago, the upstart direct marketer now
serves more than 7 million customers, making
it 4th largest insurance company , behind State
Farm, Allstate, and Progressive, all of which do
most of their business through agents.
First Gecko commercial - 1999
State Farm Insurance
• State Farm Insurance is a group of insurance and financial services
companies. It is the largest automobile insurer in the United States
continuously since 1942 and insures more cars and homes in the
United States than any other insurer. The company also has
operations in Canada.
• The group's main business is State Farm Mutual Automobile
Insurance Company, a mutual insurance firm that also owns the
other State Farm companies. The corporate headquarters are in
• State Farm is ranked 31st in the 2009 Fortune 500, which lists
American companies by revenue.
• Founder George J. Mecherle believed that since farmers drove less
and had fewer losses than city drivers, they should pay less for
insurance. His idea was popular with farmers and made his new
• What actually kept this company going and become
the largest automobile insurer in US?
The answer lies in its huge workforce of 68,000 and
most importantly 17,000 efficient agents.
• State Farm has more store fronts than McDonalds.
• State Farm serves 77million policies in US and Canada
and serving more than 1.9 million bank accounts.
• As of 2005, it is insuring about 40 million vehicles.
• Six major qualities in the salesperson of State Farm are:
– Goal oriented
– Patient and courteous
– Team Player
– Complete Product Knowledge
– Pleasing Personality