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20 Winning Letters

De Long eye & Hook Company
Mr. A. B. Jones
The Jones Company
Jonesville, New York

Dear Mr. Jones:

Nothing would afford us more pleasure than to welcome you to active membership in the De Long family, but we're denied that pleasure just now because our files are bulging with unfilled orders, many of them placed weeks ago by customers who have made us their sole source of supply for years.

If, in the face of this condition which is beyond our power to remedy, we were to accept more orders, sooner or later the customers who placed them would be prompted, and justifiably so, to express dissatisfaction with our service.

Our inability to fill orders with our accustomed promptness is due to two things: first, like all manufacturers using metals who are not engaged solely in making defense articles, we are finding it extremely difficult to get brass and steel.  In fact, the shortage of these metals, essential to the success of the nation's defense program, is so acute that we're compelled to accept orders from customers of longstanding with the proviso that they will be filled if and when we can get the necessary raw materials.

When that will be we do not know, the brass and steel mills having notified us that for the time being they can make no more shipments to us on contracts we placed months ago as their entire output is required for defense industries.

The second reason is that the demand for all of the De Long products is much greater than ever before in our fifty years' history, thanks to vastly improved general business conditions.

Needless to say, we are sorry to have to write you in this way.  We'd much rather accept all orders you might care to send our way and fill them promptly, as we would if these were normal times.  But under present conditions there is, obviously, a limit to what we can do.

Perhaps a few months hence conditions will be different. If they are, we hope you will then be persuaded to join hands with us.

In the meantime, we wish you well and ask your patience.

                  Sincerely yours,

                  Sales Promotion Manager