The Power Of A Greeting Card

power of a greeting cardMost of us recognize the importance of sending a thank you card to a new customer, but few realize how powerful a tool the simple greeting card is for increasing customer loyalty. When working with my clients, I recommend they send at least 3 unexpected cards a day. The results are amazing. Here are 7 suggestions for using cards to increase referrals, attract new business, and secure and improve customer loyalty no matter what you sell:

  1. After a Sale: It goes without saying that we should send a thank you card to a new customer, but for real impact send a card after every meeting with a customer or prospect.
  2. To people you don't sell: Thank you for letting me show you my product/service, I enjoyed meeting you, and I appreciate your consideration. We couldn't get together on your needs this time, but I hope that we think we can help you'll remember me. Please let me know if there is any way I can be of service.
  3. Client after sending you a referral: When someone send you a referral send them a card with a gift card included. I use a $5 or $10 Starbucks card.
  4. When you first meet someone: Any time you meet someone new, send a card letting them know it was nice meeting them. Depending on the circumstance, you may want to follow up a few days later with a post card telling them what you do in case they know of anyone who you could help.
  5. Send an unexpected card: look for reasons to congratulate, uplift or motivate others. For example when someone has a birthday, a new child, moves into a new home or office, is written up in your local newspaper, etc.
  6. “A few words about”: This is a card that starts with a few words about … example, a few words about … your presentation at today's meeting, it was great! When you meet someone, get to know their interests and when you see an article or learn something that may be of value, send it to him or her.
  7. When you receive good service: send a thank you card also if possible send a card to that person's supervisor commenting on the service you received. It's amazing how much better the service is the next time you do business.

Your probably thinking that's a lot of cards and it is. But consider this, sales trainer and success coach Tom Hopkins recommends that salespeople send out 10 cards a day. He predicts by following this routine you can multiply your average income per sale by 36 to see the minimum extra income sending cards will generate for you in the next 12 months.

NOTE: I use an automated system that sends these cards out for me. It's a powerful system that lets me send a greeting card using the internet and my computer. I choose a card, type in a note, address it, and click Send. The company prints it, stuffs it, stamps it and mails it for only $2.99 and that includes the postage! They also provide a wholesale package that cuts the cost in half.  If you want to put the ideas presented in this article into high gear, this is the tool to use. If you'd like to give it a try visit: http://treatthemright.net

I hope you found this article to be informative and helpful. I welcome your comments and suggestions. If I can help you in any way feel free to contact me.

5 Tips for Proactive Appreciation Marketing

5 Tips For Proactive Appreciation MarketingImagine what it would be like if every one of your clients was supporting you in your quest to succeed. Would they be providing referrals?  Would they be paying the full value for your services? Would they be buying more often? What would they be doing to help you that they are not doing now? Following the guidelines in this article can go a long way to making the above dream a reality.

Vision

It’s said that appreciation beats self-promotion every time. Do you agree? If so, do you have a written client appreciation plan in place? Does it include a vision of what it should accomplish in the minds of your clients? If not, you’re missing out on a powerful resource – your clients. A well focused customer appreciation plan can turn your clients into loyal advocates who will go the extra mile to help you succeed.

Be sure to share your vision with your employees and co-workers and get their feedback. The most effective visions are those that are shared by everyone in your organization.  When involved, people will believe it and live it!  Be certain that the resulting vision is clearly communicated to everyone connected with your organization.

Appreciation Oriented Culture

All employees and co-workers must realize that they work for the client.  Does every person in your organization understand the impact they have on your clients, and that their job is to ensure the ultimate satisfaction of all clients? Every other task is of secondary importance.

Written Appreciation Policies

Customer appreciation policies that are written benefit both your customers and employees.

Make certain that your staff and co-workers understand the importance of their part in developing a culture focused on showing appreciation to your clients for the part that they play in your organizations success.

Training

Train, train and then retrain yourself, your employees and your co-workers. Give them on-the-job training, off-the-job training, tapes, books, seminars, workshops, and anything else that will help them interact in meaningful ways with your clients.  Encourage both professional and personal development.

Clear Standards of Performance

Does everyone know exactly what he or she must do to go beyond customer service into the realm of customer appreciation?  Create clear standards that are measurable so that you can reward them when they do move beyond customer service. When employees achieve these performance levels, customer retention, increased sales, customer loyalty and referrals will naturally follow.

The above five steps are simple but not easy. It takes determination, focus and hard work to move beyond customer service and into the realm of customer appreciation. The rewards, both personal and financial, are well worth it.

I hope you found this article to be informative and helpful, if so please share it on your social networks and add your comments and suggestions below.

To your Continued Success,

Bob

7 Steps to Profitable Client Relationships

7 Steps to Profitable Client RelationshipsBuilding a profitable business is almost always the result of creating strong relationships with your customers. Here are are seven relationship marketing ideas you can use to build solid and profitable client relationships. Nothing new here, just 7 common sense relationship marketing ideas that we all know, but seldom use.

1. Be sure your customers know what level of service you provide.

Does McDonald's have the best hamburgers, shakes and fries. I doubt it. Then why are they so successful? According to most marketing experts, it's when you go to McDonald's you know exactly the level of service and quality that you will get. Do your client's know the level of service that they will get every time they do business with you? We all develop certain expectations with the people that we deal with, be sure that you always meet or exceed them.

Relationship Marketing Tip: Monitor your business carefully and make constant improvement a goal. But don't implement changes that you can't maintain.

2. Don't hide Your light under a basket

I don't care how good you are at what you do, it's of no value unless your clients recognize it. If you don't confidently let the people you interact with know the value you bring to the table, why should they do business with you? If you don't feel confident, then as a number of motivational trainers say: Fake It Till You Make It.

Here's a tip for increasing your confidence: Document the “best way” to handle events that occur regularly in your business and create an action plan for each situation. Not only will this increase your confidence, it will help insure that you are consistent in your client interactions.

3. Get to know what your clients want and need

According to Havey McKay, author of “The Harvey Mackay Rolodex Network Builder” and “Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty“, the more you know about your clients and the more you use that information to your client's benefit, the better your relationship will be and the more sales you will make. I use his “Mackay 66” questionnaire as a guideline to help me get to know more about my clients. It's a great tool. If you would like a copy you can download it here MacKay 66.

Relationship Marketing Power Tip: A great way to use the MacKay 66 is to picture your perfect client and then fill in as much of it as you can using your fictitious client. This is a great way to profile your target market.

4. Don't hide from complaints view them as opportunities to serve

If you want to take your relationship marketing to the next level view complaints an opportunity to serve. When you quickly resolve customer's problems, you let them that they are important to you. This not only builds a stronger relationships, it prevents that customer from spreading bad news about your business. How you handle complaints can be the difference between success or failure. Remember, the clients may not always right, they always thinks they are. Strive to resolve customer problem to their satisfaction and you create good will that is bankable.

5. Make your clients feel important – Because They Are!

Do you let your customer's know how important they are by recognizing their birthdays or other special occasions? Do you thank them for referrals. Do you thank them for their business? Is client recognition a part of your marketing budget? When was the last time you followed up a sale with thank-you card and a phone call? How often do you check in with your clients just to see if there is anything you can do to help them?

If you don't think your clients are important, try doing business without them.

6. Keep your clients up to date about your business

One of the most powerful ways to generate a consistent flow of referrals is to educate your clients. Call, write or email them when you have a new product or service that can help them. Have a newsletter that keeps your clients up to date on what is happening in your business? Provide tips that can help them get more value from the products they already have. The more your customer know about you and your business the the more referrals you will receive. One reason customers don't refer as often as they could is simply because they forget about you. When you keep in contact via newsletters, emails and phone calls they are more likely to remember you when a friend is looking for the types of products or services you provide.

7. Help your clients

The best way to make a friend is to be a friend. The best way to create client loyalty is to be loyal to your clients. Your customers are looking for answers, information that can help. Do you help your clients whenever you can, or do you just contact them to sell them more. Become a resource to your customers and provide help that goes beyond the service that you provide. If you want loyal clients who consistently send referrals, implement the ideas in this section — you'll be glad you did.

Take Action

Make using the above relationship marketing suggestions a permanent part of your relationship marketing plan. I recommend you follow Ben Franklin's approach, Select one of the above suggestions each week and work on it. Keep doing this until these suggestions become a habit and then keep doing this. Give this a try for at least twelve weeks, if you do, you'll be amazed at how much business seems to magically appear.

How to Create Quality Prospects Online

How to Create Quality Prospects OnlineWould you like to increase your online marketing success? If so, follow the lead of today's most successful online marketers and build and nurture a list of high quality prospects.

So how do you build a list?

One of the easiest and most powerful ways to build a list of quality prospects is to network on sites such as Facebook, twitter and their different forums and groups. But first . . .

Know who you want to connect with

To get the most value from your online networking efforts, you need to know who you want to connect with.  You need a clear picture of the types of people you want to connect with, both personally and professionally. Ask yourself . . .

  • Who would be a perfect customer for my services?
  • Who would be a good referral source?
  • What types of people can make my business and personal life more fulfilling?

Create a mental picture of your perfect prospect . . .

  • What do they like?
  • Who do they associate with – what groups do they join?
  • What information are they looking for that I can provide?
  • What needs do they have?
  • What wants do they have?
  • What level of income do they need to be my customer?

Build on this list and tailor it to your products and services. Put your list in writing, burn it into your mind, and most importantly use it as filter.

One key question that you omit at your peril is – What do I have in common with my ideal customer? People need to know, like and trust you, before they buy from you. If you have nothing in common with your potential customers, your fighting an uphill battle, this is because . . .

Networking effectively is a sorting process

Your looking for people with whom you can build a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship. Building a mutually beneficial relationships goes beyond finding good prospects, your looking to create a network of friends, resources, associates and referral sources.

Tip: In the beginning more is better, turn off your critic. As you meet and network with more people, you'll be able to refine your networking efforts.

Use Directories, groups and forums

Meet people on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter by searching their directories, groups and forums for people who share similar interests and match your picture of the people you are looking to meet.

Look for people whose pictures are warm, friendly and professional. Then send them a friend request. Always include a brief note with your friend requests. This will improve your acceptance rate by 50% or more.

When someone accepts your friend request, always send a thank you message and begin the relationship building process.

Your initial conversations will be done via the social site’s internal email system. View these messages as a continuous conversation, just like you were face-to-face in your local marketplace.

Be proactive

Don't wait for others to connect with you. Send out at least twenty friend requests a day. That would be 100 a week. If you only have a 50% acceptance rate, you would be adding 50 online friends a week.

Once you’ve made the connections the rest is up to you. Spend your time making friends, not pitching your products. Make friends first and the business will naturally follow.

Profit from your network

Yes, we do want to convert our qualified prospects into customers.

  • Invite your online friends to join your email list. Don't spam your list with a continuous stream of product offers. Provide information that can help your online friends. Use the 80 /20 rule – Make 80% of your emails value based and 20% product based. Follow this rule and you'll find that your product offerings will be far more effective.
  • Keep your contacts up to date on what's happening in your business and life through status updates and article posts.  Again, follow the 80 / 20 rule.
  • If you have a blog be sure to send a status update letting your online friends know that you’ve added a new article. I've found with my blog that a 90 / 10 rule works best. Ninety percent valuable content to 10% product offers or reviews.

Your network is more than just business

Creating profitable relationships is much more than making sales . Every person of quality that you meet adds value to your life – that is true profit.

Action Steps

Much of what I've said is just common sense and basic relationship marketing. But I find that for some reason business people go online and say goodby to good manners and common sense. It's as if they've entered an alternate universe. Don't let this happen to you. Start today using the suggestions in this article. If you do, you'll soon find the marketing success that you want from your online efforts. You'll make some great friends and find your online efforts to be both fun and profitable.