In this age of faxes, voicemail, email, beepers, and Blackberrys, it can be very hard to add the PERSONAL touch that is so important to your relationships with clients and prospects. If you find yourself leaving too many messages and sending too many emails at the expense of personal contact, try sending more HANDWRITTEN notes instead.
WHY ARE NOTES SO EFFECTIVE?
First, they show your clients that you CARE. Clients are busy too and they know that it takes time to sit down and handwrite a card. Second, notes stand out amongst the clutter of technology. How many handwritten notes do you receive on a daily basis compared to emails? Your note is almost certain to make an IMPACT. Below are ten reasons to send a handwritten note to a client, prospect, or vendor. For those of you who arenít stellar writers, donít worry: notes are notes, not novels. They can be quick and easy, as long as they are thoughtful.
PLEASURE MEETING YOU
What better way to solidify a new RELATIONSHIP with a prospect than a follow up note? Be sure to include your business card, and send the note immediately after the event at which you met.
LET'S MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
If itís been a while since your last meeting with a client, send a note to let her know sheís on your mind. Suggest getting together to REVIEW her situation since she may have new needs.
Did you know that a client is more likely to stay with you if you FIX a mistake well than if you had never made the mistake to begin with? If you have made a mistake, go out of your way to make it better, starting with a sincerely written note apologizing for your error.
Always, always, always send a handwritten note THANKING a client for new business. Remember, that client could have chosen any number of other professionals, but he chose you. Sincerely thank him for that and tell him you will do your best to service him.
Many professionals do not send thank you notes after receiving referrals! Thatís a perfect way to tell your clients that you do NOT appreciate their referrals. If you want to keep your stream of new business steady, make absolutely sure to send a note to every client who refers a new client.
As you may be well aware, good vendors can be hard to come by. Show your vendors that you appreciate the good SERVICE by sending a note. Include your business card and offer to sit down with them to review their information for free. Vendors can become clients too.
Send notes to prospects who do not choose your services. Let them know you appreciate their CONSIDERATION and will be available for them in the future if they ever have any additional questions. You will be remembered as a class act.
SAW THIS AND THOUGHT OF YOU
As you are reading newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals keep your eyes peeled for articles that may INTEREST your clients. When you find one, cut it out and send it to an appropriate client with a handwritten note attached. Your client will be so pleased you thought of him.
IN THE NEWS
Anytime a client makes the news, send him an extra COPY for his scrapbook along with a quick note. This is an ego boost your client will be sure to remember.
INTERVIEW OR PRESENTATION
Send a professional note after you have presented to a group or company. Show that you appreciate the OPPORTUNITY and would be happy to follow up on any questions.
MAXIMIZING YOUR SUCCESS
To make the most of a handwritten note campaign, try to send at least one card a WEEK. Be sure that the card and the envelope are handwritten for the most effect, and do not run your card through the automatic postage machine. Keep the touch personal by affixing a regular old stamp. Finally, include your business card each time to make a RETURN note or call easy on the client.
Handwritten notes bring back the personal element in a business world full of IMPERSONAL technology. By sending notes, you will outshine your less motivated competition and your clients will most certainly take NOTICE.
Marcie Callan is a marketing specialist who brings significant experience to the position of principal of Commonwealth Marketing, a firm specializing in marketing for accounting, insurance and professional services firms. Commonwealth Marketing provides the tools and counsel needed by large and small services-related businesses that will allow them to significantly increase their bottom line by driving customers to their businesses. She can be reached at or www.cmnwealth.com.
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