Keeping Your Name Top of Your Customers Mind

I met a realtor a week or so ago at our local Chamber of Commerce when she approached me once the event was over to ask me more about Send Out Cards.   During the minute I had to tell the group about my business I mentioned how Joe Girard attributed his success as the World’s Greatest Salesmen by keeping his name at the top of  his customers minds by sending handwritten notes and cards several times a year so when they or someone they knew where looking for a new car.  Joe’s name would come to mind because he had made the effort to keep his name top of his customer’s mind. 

 I followed up with this realtor and she said she loves the idea of Send Out Cards and how easy it will be to send out cards.  She mentioned that she would send an anniversary card to each family on the anniversary of when they closed on their house.  Great idea!  Right?  Well sure it is, but is it enough?  Will her clients remember her name in August if their house anniversary is in February?  Think about it?  Most people, unless they buy a house every couple of years, or have a friend or family member as their realtor probably do not know that person’s name. 

 When my daughter got married 2 years ago, her photographer sent me a card, which took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes.  The card had a picture of my daughter in her wedding dress on the front looking down at her flowers, we hadn’t seen any proofs yet, so this was the first wedding picture I’d seen.  I called the photographer and thanked her for the thank you card and told her that she made me cry.  I say all this to say, I heard from her one time, about a month after the wedding and when it came time to get pictures of my grandson for his first birthday two months ago, she never even crossed my mind.

 The realtor has good intentions and the thank you card from the photographer was a great idea and an awesome gift but is it enough?   Is saying Thank you once, then not talking to someone enough for them to remember you?  Is hearing from someone once a year going to make you remember them when someone you know is looking for the product or service you provide?  What do you think, is putting your name in front of your customers / clients once a year enough?    Do you send hand written mail to your customers, clients and people you network with?  How are you keeping your name top of their minds?

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32 Responses to Keeping Your Name Top of Your Customers Mind

  1. Have you read ‘Referral of a Lifetime’ by Tim Templeton? Ann recommended this book whilst I was doing her bootcamp. This book recommends keeping in touch, consistently, personally and systematically – amongst other GREAT tips. I am currently reading this book for the second time and fully intend putting it’s recommendations into practice. So my answer to your question is no I don’t think once a year is enough, I don’t send hand written notes now but I fully intend doing so. I intend keeping in touch with both my current and my past families who either host or have hosted an AuPair. And of course I hope to keep my name at the forefront of their minds in the hope that they will refer me to new host families. Thanks for the reminder.
    louiseedington.wordpress.com

    • Jean Bentley says:

      Louise, I have not read it yet, but its on my list of “must reads”. Sounds like one I need to buy instead of borrowing from the library. Oh and you’re welcome for the reminder! : ) What a wonderful thing to stay in touch with all those families. Find a systematic way and start sending one card or note a day. Its a lot less daunting of a task that way.

  2. I’m with you, Jean.

    I’m a Realtor myself (and a Send Out Cards person) and the home anniversary is a good idea but, as you say, not enough. I do all the holidays (labor Day, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, etc.), birthdays (if I know them) and sometimes just a “Gee, wasn’t it fun and I’m so glad to have clients like you.” note.

    Statistics show that even if they love you to death during the process, they’ll forget your name unless you do something to keep in front of them. Life gets in the way.

    • Jean Bentley says:

      Ken, Thanks for the response. That’s a lot of cards and I bet when they’re ready to sell again, they know who to call. One of my sisters realtors sends her a card with the changing of the season, that has lawn care and garden tips. She hangs on to them and recently passed one on to her neighbor that was getting ready to list her house.

  3. Jen Sako says:

    I like to send out thank you’s of course, but I am not the best when it comes to the follow up! You make some great points and they all make sense!

  4. Jean, thanks for reminding me about this powerful tool. I have accumulated many tools in my toolbox. I need a reminder about really effective ones that have gotten buried in the bottom of the box [my mind]. Thanks.

  5. KathyAlice says:

    A card is a nice tangible thing to remind a contact who you are and that you are thinking of them. I like to send cards as thank yous. Much better than an automated call (I just received one from an insurance agent).

  6. Welcome to Blogger Monday, Jean!
    As someone with terrible penmanship (I should have been a doctor!), I was in heaven when communication via email became acceptable in business. But, there is nothing like that personal touch, especially in an arena like real estate.
    Thanks for the tips.

    • Jean Bentley says:

      I have horrible penmanship also, its another reason why I love SendOutCards. They’ve taken my chicken scratch printing and have made it a font for me to use. Now I can send legible handwritten cards.

  7. Donna McCord says:

    Great reminder about how important staying in someone’s memory is! We do handwritten thank you cards, and use a great email service through Demand Force to show appreciation to our customers as well as keep them up to date on our promotions and any other newsworthy events. We are also signed up with Send Out A Card but have not really employed it as we could; this blog is prodding me to look at that again more closely.

    • Jean Bentley says:

      Donna,
      Once you get in to using Send out cards, you’re going to wonder why you waited. The system is designed to make it easy to keep in touch. If I can help you in any way, please let me know.

  8. I love to send and receive cards. I am a send out card person. Not only to my clients to illustrate their before and after rooms when I do one day makeovers or decorating projects, but to friends to personalize thanks for moments shared. I do need to do it more often, I think cards are an easy and spectacular way to keep the connection. A very powerful way to keep yourself in front of clients.

    • Jean Bentley says:

      What a great use of Send Out Cards, showing before and after photos. They would be great to take to a networking event, so they folks you meet can quickly see the transformation you’ve made for others.

  9. My big pet peeve when people send cards at the holidays is that they do nothing to personalize the card…I am a big proponent of the hand written card and think in this digital age that a card grabs a great deal more attention when done well. I love getting mail but when senders don’t take the time to personalize their cards it leaves me with a negative experience instead of what they intended. I love Send Out Cards because you can personalize each and every card.

    Your post was a great reminder that I need to stay top of mind with my clients…I like the idea of sending cards throughout the year…but instead of sending them at the holidays or at predictable times…why not send them for no reason with a joke in it or something that is happening in their area? Great food for thought…thanks,

    • Jean Bentley says:

      Darcie, I counldn’t agree more. I like to add a little something on my cards, let the receipant know that they are special to me.

      Its a wonderful idea to send cards at random times, throughout the year. As I mentioned in an earlier response, my sister’s realtor sends a card to them at the beginning of every season containing lawn care tips. Something that you think the recipant will find helpful or interesting is a great reason to send a card.

  10. I get why people like Send Out Cards… It’s easy and takes little effort. But I am tired of them. I get at least six or seven a week with the same printed envelope with he same font and the same blue ink. Many of the cards aren’t even personalized and the signature is printed as well.

    I LOVE sending note cards and thank you cards and I have my own branded cards custom printed and I take the time to hand write each and every one I send out. Does it take me a long time? Yes. But I do it while waiting in doctor’s offices, watching tv, lounging by the pool, etc.

    I think the key to follow up is to do whatever works best for you and to do things that you will stick with. I think you also need to use a variety of follow tools such as warm letters, holiday campaigns, mailers, emails, and more.

    Darcie – You can download an entire year of Zany and Outrageous Holidays to use in your marketing at http://www.clientretentioninc.com!

    • Jean Bentley says:

      Jennifer,
      I agree that you should use whatever follow up system is best for you and that you should mix it up.

      I love getting cards but I wouldn’t want to get 12 cards a year from the same person, saying basically the same thing.

      The cards, notes, emails, newletters, which ever way to choose to keep your name top of your customers or clients mind, should be different, personal, educational, fun, etc. The possibilites are only as limited as the senders imagination.

    • Jennifer…thanks for the resource…I’ll definitely check it out. I couldn’t agree with you more about the manufactured cards that have no personalization. I think anytime you approach your clients as a database and not as individuals, you take the risk of them feeling unimportant rather than connected. As always it is not the tools but how you use them. I agree with you though…the best is always a hand written notes.

  11. Ron Britton says:

    Thought provoking post Jean. I personally do not think once a year is going to do you any good. But what is often enough then, every six month, every three? When do you cross the line from being a wonderful and thoughtful person to an obnoxious sales geek?

    -Ron-
    Follow the Quest – MyWisdomQuest.com

    • Jean Bentley says:

      LOL!!! Ron, I think if you the same rule thumb that we hear to use on social media, 80% fun, informative, helpful, etc and 20% sales, you won’t come across as a obnoxious sales geek, if you send them a card once a quarter, but I wouldn’t go too much longer than that. We customers tend to have short memories!

  12. Irene Turner says:

    Very good point Jean! I am in my 50’s and am really getting the point that consistency is KEY! Thanks to Ann Evanston, I am seeing some amazing results with my blogging and social media efforts…and it’s mainly about being consistent. The pay off is in SEO, new clients, and great followers! Thanks for the reminder…

  13. Excellent post. Thanks for the info. I will bring this into my marketing strategy. I like the idea of sending a card every time someone buys a book from me, and then following up with special occasions. Send Out Cards seems like the way to go!

    Carolyn
    http://www.gatelady.com

    • Jean Bentley says:

      Carolyn, Thank you! Is there a way you can get their birthday when they buy a book? How nice would it be to get a birthday card from the author of a book you’ve read. I love helping folks become senders of cards so ,iIf I can help in any way please let me know.

  14. Thanks so much for the great reminder about the importance of keeping in touch. This is one of those things I intend to do but don’t seem to actually put in practice even though I too am a Send Out Cards member. As soon as I post this comment I am going to my SOC account and getting busy. Maybe this time it will stick.

    • Jean Bentley says:

      You’re welcome Kerry! I’m so glad it has inspired you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help with your SOC account. Like setting up a campaign, adding groups, etc.

  15. Thanks Jean-

    I too am a Send Out Card member (but don’t use it as much as I should!). However, the point that I took away is that connections are built on relationships and building a relationship through connecting with something like a card is a great idea. there is a whole arsenal out there for us to keep connected and build relationships and we need to use them! Thanks and welcome to Blogging Monday!

    • Jean Bentley says:

      Thanks for the welcome and the comment Candace. You’re right, it is about building relationships, Send Out Cards is just weapon in the arsonal, we need use what ever weapon we are most comfortable with most of the time, then throw in something unusual from time to time.

  16. Good reminder. Remember the quote, “Wherever I go, there i am. When it comes to marketing it’s, Wherever they go, there I am.”

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