Raise your hand if you’ve ever checked how many people liked your posts on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, etc.… Don’t worry; this is a judgment free zone. We’ve all done it at point or another. Just no duck face selfies please.
In these days of instant gratification, 24/7 connectivity, and online social networks, it’s all about speed and ease of use
Why call when you can text?
Why talk when you can tweet?
Why mail when you can email?
You get the point. We are all guilty of it. However, when it comes to getting someone’s attention or building meaningful relationships, it’s not always about your latest post, or vlog. Sometimes, the “old fashion” ways of doing things are the ones worth investing in.
And trust me, it doesn’t cost a lot of money.
The idea I am talking about today helped me spike my sales every January since my first full year in sales. It also helps me through out the year separate myself from my competition.
What is this idea?
Let’s just say Hallmark will be very happy about my blog today.
I am talking about sending PERSONALIZED cards for the holidays and through out the year.
Some of you might be thinking that everyone does it, or it’s a waste of your time. This is where you would be wrong.
I’ve been a hiring manager for 20 years. I have interviewed thousands of candidates throughout my career. Yet, I can tell you that less than 20 percent of the time I actually receive a thank you letter of any kind. You would think that most people would at least send an email, but that’s not the case.
In terms of business relationships, less than a third of my close business network will send a card, and virtually none will send a personalized card.
Think about your personal experience with your own business relationships, how many cards do you receive? What percentage of those cards is personalized?
I keep bringing up the point of personalized cards because there is a difference. Again, think about your own personal experience. We already know how few cards we receive. Now think about the cards you do receive, what is usually written in the card? Do these seem familiar?
If you are lucky, you will get your name, the printed greeting, and a signature. I am not putting these senders now. They are at least doing more than the majority of people out there. Where you will truly separate yourself is to take time and actually write a personal note in the card.
I am not asking you to write a poem or an essay. A simple, “Hi Jane, I want to wish you, Jack and the Kids an amazing holiday season and the best wishes for the new year” will do.
Although this may seem similar to what a printed card may say, the difference is the recipient will know you took the time to write it out. You cared enough to actually write a personal note. Of course, the more you personalize it, the better.
In my first year of sales, I spend an entire evening personalizing the holiday cards. In January, I received phone calls and cards from a dozen people I sent it to that told me how much they appreciated my cards. Some told me that they thought I’d already forgotten about them. Best of all, I received a spike in referrals due to the cards and renewed interest from people I sent cards to. I didn’t just send it to clients and my network; I also sent it to prospects that didn’t do business with me.
Several years into sales, I would end up spending a week in the evenings sending out the cards during the holidays. Trust me, it’s worth it every year. It costs you a few dollars for a box of cards and whatever the price of stamps these days to send it out. The investment is your time and commitment in doing it. And do think of it as an investment because you were receiving a great return.
The key is to do it not just during the holidays. Send it through out the year during meaningful events, such as birthdays and anniversaries. Also, send thank you cards to clients, networks and prospects you meet with.
A simple, "Pete, it was a pleasure meeting you the other day and getting to know your business. I look forward to the opportunity to assist you with your insurance needs. Don't hesitate to reach out to me at any time.:
This personal touch will separate you from your competition. Just remember to include a couple of business cards. One for them to keep and a couple to pass out.
So in these days of instant gratification, the best move may be to slow down, pick up a pen and send a card through snail mail. Try it this holiday season. You will receive the return on your investment next year.