‘Tis The Season To Be Sales Smart . . .
Every fall at this time of the year I get astonished looks from my audiences when I tell them to STOP sending holiday cards to their clients. That’s right! STOP sending holiday cards! Instead, supercharge your holiday sales and START sending very personalized holiday cards that utilize TOMA (Top Of Mind Awareness) principles that will get you noticed!
“Start Counting the People Who Count
Versus Counting The People You Reach!”
Think of it this way. As fall arrives, most (please note that I said MOST, not ALL) salespeople, companies, and entrepreneurs DREAD the thought of HAVING to send holiday cards to their clients or clientele. Those who dread this task are often consumed by the daily grind of business. They WILL not (or DO not) want to take the necessary time it requires to really supercharge their TOMA Holiday Touches. Yet you can implement some simple and practical ideas, starting today, so you can have the best holiday season ever.
But before we supercharge our TOMA Holiday Touches . . .
Let’s put some STOPS in place!
- STOP using holiday cards that have your name or company name pre-printed on them.
- STOP placing business cards or marketing material in your holiday cards.
- STOP using the boring white mailing labels.
- STOP using a metered mailing machine for postage.
- STOP waiting until the last minute to send your holiday cards.
- STOP using United States flag stamps for your holiday cards.
As we supercharge our Holiday Touches, I want to bring to your attention some major philosophies that I need you to understand and embrace.
First, understand the game you are in. When sending holiday cards, you are up against the busiest time in the world for mail. The more holiday cards that are sent, the less effective they become. You, just like everybody else, are competing for your clients’ attention. If you want to win their attention, start sending them 4th of July cards (in July, of course!) instead.
Second, you must stop treating all your clients the same way. Some of you watching this video or reading the article have client database numbers that vary from just a few to thousands. Your challenge is to stop treating the entire database the same way. Regardless of your database numbers, treating them all the same way is highly ineffective. Nor is it a way to utilize proper time management skills.
To work smarter, apply this rule to your database numbers:
Take the top 10% of your client base . . . you know, the 10% that REALLY means the most to your revenue. That is the group of clients you want to target with PERSONALIZED holiday cards! So if you have 100 clients, you’ll send 10 cards out. If you have 1000 clients, then you’ll send 100 PERSONALIZED holiday cards.
If the 10% figure doesn’t work for you, then figure out the percentage that does.
Personalized Holiday Cards—One Size DOES NOT Fit All!
You keep hearing me state: “PERSONALIZED HOLIDAY CARDS!” That’s correct—they must be personalized. If you don’t personalize them, then don’t send them. It is that simple. Why would you send a very impersonal card to a client when it has no TOMA (Top Of Mind Awareness) . . . huh? Hint: You GUILT yourself into sending the cards because it is the holidays. STOP the guilt—stop sending lousy, one-size-fits-all holiday cards!
Supercharge An Effective Holiday Card Campaign
- START your Holiday Card Campaign on November 1st.
- START identifying your Top 10% (or your Top Clients) who you will be sending cards to.
- START using a different type of pen or marker that will make the client notice your written message.
- START buying significant Assorted Holiday Cards. I found a great assorted holiday card collection—30 handcrafted cards—for less than $19 a box.
- START buying your Holiday Stamps from usps.com. Save time: buy online!
- START becoming aware that some cards might take two 49-cent stamps.
- A Google Images search for “Holiday Stickers” will yield a variety of ideas for cool Holiday Stickers you can use on envelopes and even in the inside of the card.
- START mailing your cards so they will hit mid-week, not on a Monday. If you mail on the first Tuesday in December, your cards should arrive by the end of the week. If that date is too early, mail on the second Tuesday. If you mail any time after that, you had better plan on a minimum of 7 days for delivery.
- START remembering that you are competing with the rest of the world’s Holiday Cards.
- START demonstrating courage to NOT USE a return address on the card. The curiosity of no return address will entice your client to open the card first before any other mail.
- START being AUTHENTIC when writing your notes. You could start your note by writing “Just a short holiday note to say it has been a pleasure having you as a . . . “
STARTING on November 1st
START your one-card-a-day campaign.
The one-card-a-day campaign looks like this:
Daily, starting on November 1st, handwrite a short and personalized note inside the Holiday Card to that client. Your note might be just a couple of sentences or as much as a paragraph or two. The main idea is that you handwrite it and personalize it. After finishing your note on the inside of the card, seal it and handwrite the client’s name and address on the outside of the envelope. Add your Holiday Stamp and your cool Holiday Sticker. Place in a secure area or box. Repeat all these steps the next day. PRESTO—after 30 days, you will have 30 Holiday Cards PERSONALIZED! If you need more time to complete your list, continue this pattern through the first half of December, and that will give you about 45 personalized cards.
Now, what to do with the other 90% in your database? That’s simple: Send them a nice Holiday Electronic Card via e-mail, one that you can send to all of them with one click of the mouse. Remember, these are the clients who are important to you, but are just not as significant as the other 10%.
You can certainly modify these ideas. One of my students who is a successful financial planner modified her program for this method: Her top clients received a huge block of Hershey’s chocolate with a personalized Holiday Message. Her secondary clients received a smaller Hershey’s Kiss with a personalized Holiday Message. The rest of her database received a special Holiday Electronic Card.
A few years ago, another client personally delivered customized calendars to his Top 20 clients … unannounced. He took the time to just show up in the late afternoon, and many of his clients were pleasantly surprised. This technique he attributed to a best ever December business because the Law of Reciprocation took over—with the result that many of those who received the customized calendar freely gave him more business or referral business.
The biggest payoff rests with the fact that you went the extra mile to reach out to your special clients. Your thoughtfulness was distinctive. You took the time to do something special for them. Believe me, among the onslaught of non-distinctive Holiday Cards your clients receive, your personalized-and-thus-distinctive Holiday Card will stand out! Furthermore, when they read your handwritten comments, they will certainly notice your effort and their esteem for you will rise to higher levels of trust and appreciation. Better yet, when that client is ready to enter into your market—or they hear of someone who is—they will automatically think of you.