Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jazz Up Your Sales Using a Thanksgiving Card

One way to jazz up the sales of your business as the year winds down is to send a holiday card. To make sure your message really stands out send a Thanksgiving card instead of a Christmas card for the following reasons:

  1. Your card will stand out because it's first. People receive an average of 21-42 Christmas cards but can you remember the last Thanksgiving card you received? You will beat the holiday card inundation and your card won't get thrown in the pile with all the other Christmas cards.

  2. Consider sending a card with a Thanksgiving recipe or holiday decorating ideas. This will provide useful information that recipients will be inclined to save. Be creative about tying the message in with your business ~ it's okay to have a little fun with it. You might sign the card, "From us turkeys at XYZ Company." Here's a website with some clever Thanksgiving card ideas.

  3. Make it personal. As difficult as it is to sign your name or write a short note in every card make an effort to do so. A preprinted name inside a preprinted envelope doesn't make anyone feel special and is less memorable. As a minimum - sign your own name.

  4. E-cards are great if you have a good email list and especially if you market through an electronic newsletter.

  5. Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful and showing gratitude. It just makes sense to acknowledge clients at this time of year.

  6. Remember the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest retail shopping day of the year. Can you tie in a reminder about this shopping day and offer an "early bird" (no pun intended!) special?

  7. If you want to send a gift consider a Thanksgiving pie. My real estate agent sends out a notification every year to her clients to pick up a Thanksgiving pie at her office 2 days before Thanksgiving. All I have to do is call her office and tell her "apple" or "pecan." What a great marketing idea! I feel special... she reminds me of her business... and it forces me to physically (and willingly) go to her office where she can make face-to-face contact. I love it! And guess who I think about when people ask me about a real estate agent referral?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Cable Company Makes Everyone Look Good

I don't like rants - but after the hellacious experience we had with Direct TV last week I have to rant a little. We've all had the experience of waiting on the "cable guy" to arrive between 8: 00 AM and 5:00 PM. (I don't know of many other businesses that can get away with this arrival time window.) After having a appointment scheduled for over a month the cable guy didn't arrive last Tuesday like he was supposed to. We had everything ready, the furniture pulled away from the wall, wires hanging down everywhere and then nothing to show for it. 6 phone calls later and Direct TV tells me they can reschedule 10 days later. The short story is I blew a gasket and they made it out the next morning.

But guess what this bad experience did? It made the furniture delivery experience I had the following week a delight ~ even though 2 pieces were damaged and the furniture company had to redeliver it 2 days later. Here's where the difference was:

The furniture company called and gave me 1 hour notice and showed up in exactly 1 hour, they delivered the furniture in a professional manner and left. After noticing damaged pieces I called the store (The Dump) and within 30 minutes they had rescheduled the new pieces to be delivered 2 days later. Two days later I had the same 1-hour advance phone call and they arrived in exactly 1 hour. Yes, it stunk that I had to have the furniture redelivered - but the store did exactly what they said when they said they would do it.

This brings to light a critical point in jazzing up the sales of your business.... Just do what you say you are going to do! And if you are not able to do so, tell your customer ASAP. Sure they may get upset ~ but customers will get more upset if they feel they've been lied to. Full disclosure of a failure to execute on a promise is your best bet for long term sales growth.