'I say, what's a gorgeous creature like you doing in a place like this?'

Charm.  It’s the missing ingredient in so many sales communications.  Sales letters, e-mails, websites, flyers; you name it they are all waiting to be liberally dosed with charm.

We are all so busy nowadays aren’t we? Sending e-mails that are abbreviated to the point that they render the message insipid and characterless.  And what about Twitter? We let our impetuous nature get the better of us, cramming text talk into 140 characters because we can’t be bothered to spend …

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'Change the record, mate.'

You know those tedious few minutes just before your plane takes off and you’re (hopefully) heading towards a week or two of sunburn and siestas?  Yes, I’m talking about those ubiquitous safety instructions from the cabin crew. We’re told to stop what we are doing and to give them our full attention as they painstakingly explain what we must do (apart from descend into hysteria) in the event of the plane dropping from the skies.  Well, I do confess that most of the time I switch off whilst …

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'Dear Sir, Just a quick letter to let you know that nobody writes letters any more!'

I received an invitation to a networking event a couple of weeks ago.  The highlight of the event was an author promoting his latest book with the compelling message that traditional marketing is dead.  The invitation went on to extol the virtues of the online universe in an evangelical and uncompromising manner.  Apparently, if we are not all downing our traditional marketing tools – you know, those that may have generated us …

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'Hey boss, somebody calling themselves a customer says they're looking for something called service'

“We’re no worse than any of the major retailers on the high street.”

This was the jaw dropping response from the Managing Director of the fashion chain Pilot to Channel 4′s fashion guru Mary Portas after being shown secretly filmed footage of his staff in one of his stores doing anything but delivering great customer service.  Had it been revealed by an ordinary consultant, I’m sure he would have defended the indefensible and …

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'And our toast is made in the shape of a spaceship!'

A recent stay at a bed and breakfast inspired this particular blog.

My husband books a bed-and-breakfast online.  It’s at the higher end of the pricing bracket for bed-and-breakfast establishments in this particular neck of the woods, so he is reasonably confident with his choice.

We pull up outside a very modest looking semi detached house and the owner, brimming with enthusiasm, shows us to our room.  As she is lavishing praise on the filtered water in the fridge, …

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'Right, that's the warm-up done....'

I suspect that like many of us, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to become physically fitter.  And so a few days ago I contacted a local gym that was advertising a women’s fitness programme.  Their advert looked promising.  There was a special offer to encourage newbies, a description of the type of short, sharp and successful workouts they provide plus a very promising before and after picture. And the icing on the cake was that they are part of a national …

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'Freeze! Now tell me where the Santas are!'

In the commercial world, we often send Christmas cards as a timely reminder to clients and prospects, to let them know that we’re grateful for their business, or that we’re champing at the bit to do business with them.  But they can be a little unimaginative at times.

And so, I advised one of my clients this year to create a printed Christmas card with a twist.

I wanted the card to incorporate a response device – a simple but charming …

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'No, for the umpteenth time, I don't fancy a burger and chips !!!'

A few days ago I attended the 10th anniversary party of the Financial Mail Women’s Forum in London.  It was a lovely evening attended by the journalists and feature writers from the Financial Mail, part of the Daily Mail.  The journalist that I liaise with at the Financial Mail for my column introduced me to the Enterprise Editor as follows:

“Dee writes a column for us… she’s always on time… I never have to change her …

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'Now if I wasn't an expert, this could be awkward.'

Within you is an expert.  It may be struggling to get out suppressed by the voice that tells you that you’re not really an expert when you compare yourself to others.  It may be in its early stages of infancy.  You acknowledge that there is some way to go before you’re comfortable with the title of expert.  It may be that others have awarded you the expert title, based upon the help and advice that you bestow – …

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'Mmmm, would adding S.W.A.L.K. seem a bit forward?

The sales letter has got plenty of mileage in it yet.  If you sell products or services to businesses or consumers, it can be impossible to connect with sufficient numbers online. Even if you have their online details, it’s an absolute fact that they will rarely make the decision to do business with you at the very first asking.  A blended campaign that integrates your online and off-line communications is vital if you are to build sufficient trust and confidence …

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