Most businesses spend a huge amount of time and money looking for NEW customers. We advertise, make phone calls, even travel cross country for meetings, all in the pursuit of the ever elusive stream of new customers.
What we’re probably forgetting is that up to 80 percent of our sales growth can and should come from PAST customers. People who have bought from you before are pre-sold on you, your products, and services. It often just takes a simple reminder to get them
to buy again and again.
A while back I was talking to a group of realtors. When I asked how many followed up with old customers, only a couple of hands went up. Even though most customers will sell their home and buy another within just a few years, hardly any of the realtors
were considering how MUCH that repeat business could increase their sales.
I don’t mean to single out realtors. Just about ALL of us could increase our business simply by getting in touch with our past customers.
I’ve found the most effective way to say, “I’m here and can help you,” is to send a genuine paper greeting card by regular mail. It’s FAR more effective than sending an email, mailing a sales letter, or even placing a phone call.
Paper greeting cards say “I appreciate you.” Everyone loves them! Send cards to past customers to let them know you miss them, send them to employees for a job well done, send cards to prospects on birthdays. These are just a few tried and true ideas, and I’m sure you can think of many more.
Now I’ll admit choosing, buying, and mailing a greeting card can take a lot of time and a fair amount of expense (figure $3 for the card, $4 for the gas to get to and from the store, and even more for postage).
The time and trouble involved is one reason why greeting cards are so effective. First of all, the recipient doesn’t receive many cards, and secondly, they intuitively know just how much trouble you went to.
But let me share a little secret with you. There are new systems now that let you log onto a web site, choose your card, affix your digitized signature, then the service regular mails your card for you. The cost for the entire package can be as little as $1 per card, and it only takes a few seconds to do.
Can’t remember important dates? These same services will let you enter all your dates for months, then send your cards out automatically.
If you’ve got lots of relatives to keep up with, your customers would appreciate this special gesture, or you know your employees would be motivated by a nice pat on the back — then sending paper greeting cards is a communication tool you shouldn’t be without.