Every year at Christmas and on my birthday I receive cards from my financial advisor, the auto dealer who sold me my current car and my insurance agent. I see them far less than the vast majority of other merchants and salespeople I deal with (in fact, I can’t remember the last time I even talked to my insurance agent on the phone).
Yet, ask me to recommend a good financial person, car dealer or insurance agent, these people instantly come to mind.
A month before the elegant Niemen Marcus store opened, I received a personalized, rich-looking invitation from the store’s manager to a private reception to celebrate the store’s opening. I’m sure everyone fitting a certain profile received one. Do you remember receiving one? You did!
Come on! you may be saying. It’s a common marketing tactic. They send cards and invitations to everyone they know. Exactly, everyone they know.
Why do you still remember the Niemen Marcus invitation? Why do I have an insurance agent, car dealer and financial products salesperson top of mind? Because our relationship is personal, evidenced by their personalized good wishes and invitations.
I buy from dozens of businesses – vendors, merchants, restaurants, department stores, dealers, salespeople – and I only remember a few of their names and have no strong partiality to any of them. Well, there is one grocery clerk. She addresses me by name after pulling off my credit card.
I feel good about people who address me by name.
Oh, yes. There’s also the woman whose family owns the dry cleaners I use regularly. The second time I came in, weeks after the first time because it’s not on my regular traffic pattern, she greeted me with “Hello, Mr. Walker.” I was astounded and wondered how she recalled my name. No trick. Her daughter confided that she simply has an astonishing memory.
You’ve undoubtedly gotten my point by now. To be regarded as something more than a faceless one-time source, a fleeting introduction or just another whatever – turn it into a relationship by making it personal.
Look at the different ways you communicate with your customers, prospects and those who might refer you. Do they inspire personal relationships? If so, share some tips on how you do it.
Péllo Walker, Daily Digital Imaging
Pello Walker provides Direct Marketing Campaigns that fill company sales pipelines with qualified prospects.
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