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Have You Been Carded Lately?

After I had made my first visit to a new dentist, I was surprised to receive a follow up thank you card from him in the mail...
December 10, 2012

TedJanuszPIANetphoto.JPGBy Ted Janusz

One of the keys to success is to find out what everyone else is doing. Then do the opposite.
- Mark H. McCormack, author of What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School

After I had made my first visit to a new dentist, I was surprised to receive a follow up thank you card from him in the mail. The card was hand written, the envelope was hand addressed and hand stamped, but best of all the sentiment expressed inside the card was deeply personal.

Two decades and thousands of pieces of easily-forgotten, corporate, third-class, bulk mail later, I still remember receiving that unique thank you card and the trust in my dentist that it inspired.

Almost nobody sends cards anymore – and that’s exactly why you should do it! If you would like to leave a lasting impression after a first reception with a client, do exactly what this dentist did.

But you may protest, I just don’t have the time to mail out a personalized card to every new client I get. Okay, let’s assume that you signed a new client each working day and once a week you sat down and sent a card to each of these new clients from that week. Assuming that each card took you five minutes to write, that’s 25 minutes a week. That’s about the same number of minutes as there are commercials in your favorite hour-long sitcom (or at least it seems that way).

Do you send out holiday cards to your clients? If they are printed by machine, and then a machine generates both the mailing and postage labels, what kind of message of trust and personalized service does that send? Don’t even bother!

Instead of mailing cards during the Christmas season, why not send Thanksgiving cards? You can get a whole one-month jump on everyone else. It’s politically correct. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but everyone gives thanks (or at least they should). The purpose of a Thanksgiving card is simply to thank your client for being a client over the last year.

If you really want to have some fun and get a reaction from a client, send out a congratulations card. Of course, they are likely to call your office after they have received it asking for an explanation, so you’ll need a creative response as to why you sent them the card when they call!

Ted Janusz is the author of The Social Media Marketing Guide for the Insurance Professional. Ted comes to you courtesy of Enhance Insurance by Agoragate, your Independent Agent Web Solution. PIA has partnered with Agoragate so that PIA members can be more easily found online. Learn about this unique Internet marketing program and the special PIA member discount.

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