Friday, June 25, 2010

Card stories

Last week I promised card stories. This one is from a client friend of mine. It shows how making someone feel appreciated can result in a win-win situation, and it's a shameless plug for SendOutCards (SOC).

My husband and I were working with a very large bank trying to get an important document by a specific date. We weren't having much luck with them returning our calls, or treating our concerns seriously. In frustration I decided to "kill 'em with kindness" and sent the employee we were dealing with a card expressing my appreciation for his help and my understanding that we were one of many customers he had that needed something in a hurry. I attached a bag of pecans as a treat with the hopes that a kind gesture would focus his attention.

A couple of days after sending the card and gift, the bank employee left a message saying they had taken care of everything and the document was being sent to us via overnight mail. We had been struggling with trying to get movement on the issue for about six weeks, but SOC helped us get it done in less than 48 hours! At the end of the guy's message he said "...and thanks for sending the pecans, everyone in the office enjoyed them."
Sheri Wood, Art Director, Arion Group, Versailles, KY

I love this story. My friend got what she needed, and the person at the bank got some kindness in an unexpected surprise - a card and gift. I doubt either one will ever forget it.

If you've been struggling with a business or personal relationship, you might try "killing them with kindness". Think a moment about what you appreciate about that person, and tell them in a card. Try it this week and see what happens. A card is pretty simple.


Friday, June 18, 2010

What do you say?

So you’ve got the card. Now what? Sending a card with a generic thank you will go farther than an email, but to get the biggest return, you want your card to be sincere and memorable. If you’re saying thank you for your business, include something about that particular client. For example, if you took care of a specific problem for them, mention you were happy to fix that situation. The more personal you can be in your card, the farther the card will go in making a client loyal to you. That might be more important than you think. Did you know that 68% of customers leave a business because of perceived indifference? A personal card can make them feel appreciated.

If you’ve just met someone at a networking event and you’re sending a nice to meet you card, include a line about the conversation you had. If they commented on how their summer beach plans are threatened by the oil spill, you could say, “I hope the beach will stay oil free for you”. Adding the personal touch tells the person you were listening and were interested enough in them to remember.

Be sure you don’t mix messages. Don’t say thank you, and then tell them about a “special deal”. You will come across as insincere, and as one more salesman just trying to make a buck. Save the “special deal” for the direct sales piece. The cards you send for the above types of business situations are meant to build relationships. However, keep in mind that by building strong relationships, your sales will improve… and it’s as simple as a card.

Next week, I’ll share some card stories.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Never underestimate the power of mailing a printed greeting card.

In my business, I hear from my clients and distributors how opening and reading a personalized card has made a difference in people’s business and personal lives. You might be thinking, yes, I sent a card to my aunt, or grandfather, or best friend and they loved it, but in business I send emails. Does a printed card really make a difference?

You bet it does. Much of business building is relationship building, and sending a card strengthens that relationship. Whether it’s a thinking of you, thank you for the referral, or thank you for your business card, the mailed note makes you stand out from the competition. But don’t take my word for it. Keith Ferrazzi, relationship development specialist, comments on it in his best selling book, Never Eat Alone. “A handwritten thank-you note these days can particularly capture a person’s attention… The thank-you note is an opportunity to reinforce a perception of continuity in a relationship and create an aura of goodwill.” Marketing and sales experts tout the underused mailed card. On Connie Francis says, “An email message is simply not enough. A card is personal and it sits in someone’s hand, making it memorable in a way that email simply can never be."

So, who needs a card from you today? A client, colleague, or prospect? When you write it, be sincere. Mail one today.

Build your business. It’s as simple as a card!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Simple as a card… Did you know that sending a card, a simple card, in the mail can make a difference to someone? That difference may only be for a moment, a little laugh that brightens the heart. Or it could be lasting, a changed relationship that tremendously impacts a personal or professional life. 

Think about it. When was the last time you got a card, and I'm not talking about an ecard or evite? When did you last go to your mailbox and see a card-sized envelope with a first class stamp addressed to you from a friend or family member? Maybe it was on a holiday. Maybe it was on your birthday. Maybe it was a long time ago. Whenever it was, didn't it make you smile? If you're anything like me, it did, and you opened it while you were still outside! 

My posts will talk about why cards should be sent in the mail, how they can impact your personal and professional relationships, how they can create and keep clients, how that personal touch is so important today. Email, Twitter, Facebook, text messages are all wonderful, but there’s a needed place for the mailed card in our lives that we’ll explore together.

Until my next post… touch someone you care about with a simple card.