Of course you do! Each week you have customer encounters that stand out from common conversations. "Greeting Card Moments" happen afterward when your relationship building instincts fire the thought, "I should really send a special note!" However, if you're like most salespeople, you brush these inclinations aside or respond by emailing a trite message like, "It was nice to meet with you today." The opportunity to make a real connection is lost.
So, why do you ignore your greeting card moments?
Ugly truth 1: Every salesperson has the same answer to this question: "I'm too busy."
Ugly truth 2: Your special moment with your contact was far more special to you.
Ugly truth 3: Your customer will ignore 75% of the 100 emails they get daily.
Ugly truth 4: When your "excited" contact promises to get in touch with you, they won't.
Ugly truth 5: Sales occur after establishing relationships (Which, as stated above, you're too busy to nurture.)
Challenge: Start responding to your "Greeting Card Moments" by actually sending greeting cards!
When you do, you'll penetrate the heart of your bustling customer. Your card will arrive in your contact's physical mailbox as a welcome surprise. Usually, yours will be the only personal card they'll receive that day!
Often, your customer will rip the envelope open and read your card as they sit quietly in their car before driving to lunch or their home. They'll read your words far slower than those of an email, which they only scan.
With a greeting card, your customer will instantly process that you're professional, caring, proactive, genuine, and invested. With an email, they will instantly process your message with the delete key.
Here are seven tips to capitalize on your "Greeting Card Moments:"
1. It's all about content.
Your recipient will put as much thought into the card as you do. If you write a canned, two sentence "thanks," they'll roll their eyes and toss it. If you tailor a heartfelt message to the recipient with enough specifics to make it count, they'll show it around and prop it on their desk right next to the pictures of their family...for the week at least.
2. Follow this pattern:
Start by reminding the recipient of the event you're writing about. "Bob, it was terrific to get to know you at ‘Cabo Fish Taco' on Friday!" Then include a casual comment. "That photo you showed me of the marlin you and your son caught was amazing! There's a big fish story you don't need to exaggerate."
Continue by expressing your sentiments. "On a more serious note, I'm very grateful for this new project you've entrusted to me. Thank you for giving me this opportunity." Finally, use a traditional close like "sincerely" or "best wishes."
3. Know your recipient.
For more analytical contacts, include your thoughts without a lot of fluff. If your recipient is more relational or creative, feel free to express your feelings, excitement, and emotions.
4. Add humor.
Inside jokes, playful jabs, and witticisms are perfect to include right before your expression of sincerity. Humor will do more than make your recipient smile. It'll prompt them to write back with their own quip. Remember, the humor must originate from the conversation with the recipient. No random joke telling!
5. Add real value.
If you're thanking a customer for a first order, substantial purchase, or referral, add a gift card. It's the guaranteed way to get a response back.
6. Send referrals.
Make memorable events out of your referrals. First, make sure your referral is on board. Then send a greeting card to your customer with the referral's contact info and a note that they are expecting a call. It'll be a big win for your customer and you!
7. Personalize it.
Take a photo when you're with your customer. Personalize the front of your greeting card with the photo. The worth of a personalized greeting card is 100 times that of a stock image.