Thursday, August 26, 2010


Do you typically close business the first time you talk with someone?   Not usually?  Me either.  It happened to me this past week and I was thrilled, but typically it doesn’t happen on the first call.  
When do people buy? 
Answer – When they have a perceived need and when THEY are ready to buy!
People usually don’t buy the first time they hear about your product or service, unless they just happen to be looking for what you are selling. They buy when they have a need and are ready to buy.
So, if people buy when they have a need, how do we as business owners make sure we are ‘Top of Mind’ when they need our product or service?
Answer – by keeping in touch and following up.  In the marketing world we call this ‘dripping on people.’ 
What are some ways to keep in touch and/or keep your business “Top of Mind’?
Answers – Phone calls, Face to face visits, network meetings, Email Marketing, newsletters, blogs, promotional products, direct mail, greeting cards, etc.  It is a good idea to use a good mixture of these to deliver your message to your prospects.  Different people like to receive information in different ways so when delivering information it is a good idea to cover all the bases.
 Let's review how greeting cards can be used as a  tool to ‘drip’ on prospects and suspects so you will be the first person they think about when they need your product or service or they hear of someone else who needs your product or service.
Wouldn’t you just love it if people just passed you referrals?  We all would.  I’m not going to say that’s always possible, but if we keep the pipeline full of prospects by keeping in touch with them we can certainly improve the number of calls and referrals we receive.
So the Three Step process to keeping in touch to stay 'Top of Mind' is:
1.    Follow up
2.    Keep in Touch
3.    Educate
Step one – When you meet someone new that you think would be a good potential client or may know someone who would be a potential client – you want to follow up with that person.  Send a ‘Nice to meet You’ card.  Perhaps asking them to meet with you to discuss how you could help each other and be referral partners.
Step two – .Keep in Touch -  Other possible follow up cards could be an informational card listing some of the services you provide with a message of 'How can I be of further service?'   
Or perhaps sending a congratulations card if you hear they have received a new job, got married, new baby, promotion, etc.
Birthday cards are always well received.
Step three – Educate - Offer industry information in newsletters and blogs so that your clients are informed enough to refer you to others when they hear of a need. 
Think about when does someone typically need your product or service?   Greeting Card 'drip' campaigns can be tailored to just about any industry.
Example:  Financial Advisor, Insurance, Attorney - Typically people need these services when they are going through a 'Life Transition' like the ones listed below:
1.    Marriage - Who do they know who is getting married - Good card to send in May and June when most couples are getting married.
2.    New Baby - Who do you know who is having a baby?  Did you know more babies are born in August than any other month of the year?
3.    Buying a house - Who do you know who is buying/selling a home?  Good card to send out in early spring.  People usually start thinking about buying or selling a home in early spring.
4.    Job Transition, i.e. new job, change of company, or loss of job.  This typically happens the first of the year.
5.    Retirement - Everyone needs to be thinking about this one.
Educate your prospects how to listen for possible referrals instead of trying to sell directly.  Ask who do they know.  Most are more receptive to helping you find prospects
Here is a possible Drip card campaign -
-       Follow up card – Nice to meet you.  Ask for a face to face one on one meeting.  Perhaps follow up that meeting with a card with a gift card, thanking them for their time.
-       Other products and services offered
-       Who do you know? 
-       Birthday
-       Anniversary – (Could be a marriage anniversary or the business anniversary). 
-       Weird holiday (Ex. - Halloween – Insurance and Financial planning for your future can be a scary thing).
-        Tooth Fairy Card – Educate with humor - 'Some gaps aren't covered by the tooth fairy.'  (Card for the Insurance Industry) - Ask to review their insurance coverage.
-       Congratulations – Perhaps you hear someone got a promotion, got married, had a baby, bought a new home, etc.
Keep in Touch – Educate, but sandwich in Appreciation with Education, i.e. Let your prospect know you would appreciate their referral, but don’t ask for a referral every time you communicate with them. Offer something of value.  Send out to give not to get.  
Happy prospecting,
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"
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