Want to know the sincerity of your sales outreach? It’s in the cards!
Are you a value provider or a beggar? A value giver or a solicitor?
Did you send out Christmas cards this past year? What did they look like? What did they say? How were they signed? Those are three elements you can control.
The elements you can’t control are: How were they received? Who read them? What did they think? What did they do? And, how were you regarded as a result of the message?
Hey Jeffrey, back off! It’s just a Christmas card, er, I mean a “holiday” card.
Is it? Eh, no Sparky. It’s much more than that. It’s your image, and one of the ways your customer perceives you.
Let me put the shoe on the other foot. How many cards, greetings, or holiday emails did you RECEIVE? What did you do with them? Were the cards hung up or thrown out? Were the emails read, printed out, and saved for all time, or just deleted?
We display cards until New Year’s, then shred. Some cards are great — personal, with sincere hand written notes — most are not. Traditional, boring, stamped in foil with the sender’s name printed. More obligatory than seasonal. Worthless.
But it’s the electronic cards that I really want to address. More and more people are doing it. More and more companies are sending them. And 100% of the electronic cards I received were a disgrace to the holiday, if not communication in general.
Every holiday greeting I received asked me to buy something from them. Email holiday cards — with a solicitation to buy something. What are they thinking? What kind of “joy” message are you sending? Are you greeting me or begging me to buy?
Here’s a typical email card
Just wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank you for your business, and wish you the best of holiday seasons — (even though it’s Christmas, you’re not allowed to say Christmas anymore) and please don’t forget about our special offer
Now I know you all received some or lots of these “combination” Christmas and buy something from us email cards. Did ANY OF YOU take the sender up on his or her offer to buy something? My bet is no one.
Personally, I deleted them in disgust.
Is it sincerity or a marketing ploy? “Please stop by our open house — lots of cheer, cookies, drinks, and, eh, bring your credit card in case you wanna buy some of our crap.” Give me a break.
Hey — it’s Christmas — if you wanna sell me something, call me or email me. I am actually in the mood to BUY. But if you want to SINCERELY wish me happy holidays (please don’t say Christmas) then JUST DO THAT.
Well wishes and solicitations are separate issues. Let’s keep the X in X-mas.
And this rant would not be complete without mentioning Thanksgiving cards. What are you thinking? Beat the rush so you can look like a fool earlier than anyone else.
What’s next — let’s see — Labor Day cards? Fourth of July cards? George Washington’s birthday cards? Nah, too early.
I’d rather get a World Series card (go Phillies!), or a post card from your winter island retreat, or a short handwritten note of thanks. Personally, I send out 20-30 handwritten cards a month. None on Christmas. I’m no Scrooge, I’m just trying to be real — with myself and with others.
Here’s what to do right now, even though Christmas, and the holiday season is over:
1. Call your top 25 customers personally.
2. Ask them what the one thing they plan to do without fail is this New Year.
3. Tell them three things you plan to do for them.
3.5 Make one of the three to have breakfast with them — and bring THEM a prospect — thereby guaranteeing that they will say yes (be careful, this requires work).
And if you’re still looking for bargain gifts, buy yourself a shredder. One that can handle all those Christmas cards you have left over.
If you want one idea you can use NEXT year to thank customers, go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enter the word GIFT in the GitBit box.