Growing With Gratitude

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The best advice I ever got was to picture everyone I met with a sign around their neck saying, “Make me feel important.” What a great image to remind us of everyone’s need to be appreciated. Even (especially?) in business.

“People will forget what you said,

people will forget what you did,

but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

Let’s look at some statistics:

the #1 reason a customer will purchase from your competition is “perceived indifference.” If customers don’t feel APPRECIATED, they will make their next purchase elsewhere. 

2% of sales are made on the 1st contact

3%-10% of sales are made on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th contact

80% of sales require 5-12 contacts!

Only 15% of salespeople make > 4 contacts

Clearly, it is important for entrepreneurs to keep in touch to make their customers feel valued. The real question becomes “How can I stay ‘top of mind’ with my customers?” 

Traditional marketing often includes impersonal bulk mail and print advertising. Email campaigns are so over-used now that most people delete hundreds of unopened emails. The key is to build a “Relationship Marketing” system that makes you stand out using the proven “80/20 Rule”: 80% relationship and 20% marketing! My favorite tool, which has shown great success across industries, is old-fashioned snail-mail greeting cards.

Think about it. When the mail comes in, what does it usually consist of? Bills, advertisements, bank statements… Want to make your customer’s heart jump? Send a greeting card. Maybe you are already sending birthday cards and thank you cards. What do they usually say? A standard greeting is accompanied by your logo, your tag-line and maybe your business card. Impersonal. Can you see how your customers may perceive that the interaction is about YOU and not THEM?

True customer retention through Relationship Marketing can be achieved using the following proven 5-card touch system:

1. Take a selfie with your customer and put it on the front of a “Thank You” card without asking for a referral. Just plain and simple appreciation. 

2. Take a selfie with a new customer referred by an existing customer and do the same thing! Send a “Thanks for the Referral” card – with a photo of you with the referral! How thrilling for your customer to know they’ve made a difference!

3. Send birthday cards! Not cards with coupons or offers. Don’t even include your logo. Just a simple note to celebrate THE CUSTOMER! 

4. Send holiday cards. Again, not with the intention of promoting YOUR business, but with a genuine sentiment of good wishes. 

5. The 5th card is the 20% of the 80/20 rule. Send a card telling your customers you appreciate their business and ask for a referral.

That’s it! Simple, easy-peasy. When your customer sees an envelope from you in their mailbox, they will be happy because it’s a fun, personal acknowledgment of your gratitude. Grow with gratitude.


Kathy Kendrick

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AppreciationPAL, powered by Random Act of Kindness Cards, was launched in late 2017 by Kathy Kendrick of San Diego, California.  Kathy is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in education, a mother of three young men, and a spirited woman seeking to develop and express her authentic self.  She is a columnist for San Diego's only magazine exclusively for entrepreneurs written by entrepreneurs, Life By Design.  Ready to grow your business while making a difference?  She is looking for people to join her on this journey of Relationship Marketing.