By Doren Aldana
With few exceptions, the first two words we learn as kids are “Please” and “Thank you”. As a parent, I’m constantly reminding my three year old daughter, Kiara, to say these two words because as a culture, we tend to be repelled by people who lack those basic social graces. Plus, to be honest, it makes me look really good when my kid is polite. Wouldn’t you agree?
If showing appreciation is such an integral part of human interaction, how might you use appreciation to differentiate yourself and improve your marketing results? It seems to me, as the world becomes more technologically advanced, people are becoming more inclined to send a quick text or email to say “Thank You!” rather than the good Old Fashioned phone call or snail mail thank you card. When it comes to showing true, heartfelt appreciation, we haven’t advanced at all!
I recently listened to a controversial interview with Tommy Wyatt, author of the Appreciation Marketing. (Dan Kennedy had recently slammed Tommy in the No B.S. Newsletter for his stance on sending “Chocolate Frosted Dog Crap”). Before I give you my thoughts on the issue, here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Tommy: “If you’re my accountant, you don’t need to send me a Christmas card and say, “Merry Christmas,” and put your business card in it and your contact information. I know you’re my accountant. I already know that. Just be real. Just say, “Merry Christmas,” or say, “Happy Birthday,” or “Happy Thanksgiving,” or “Happy Groundhog’s Day.” You don’t need to say, “The best compliment you can give me is a warm referral”; that just made me throw the card in the trash.
To prove I’m right on this, think about you. What do you do when you get those cards? They aren’t special to you. I’ve got a friend who’s in mortgages. He sends me postcards in the mail with his face in the corner and his mortgage company next to it, and it’s a recipe. What do I want with sweet and sour chicken? That did not make me want to go do mortgages with you. In fact, it’s junk mail. It doesn’t get into my house.
I don’t know how many people are like me, but I get my mail, I drive into my garage, and I stand over the garbage can before the mail comes upstairs. Boom, boom, boom, most of it’s not getting past the gatekeeper.
We get too much junk; we’re inundated with it. If you want to say Happy Birthday to somebody, say it and mean it. Don’t dress it up like Chocolate Frosted Dog Crap and hope it gets past the gatekeeper. It’s pointless.”
Based on the specific examples Tommy was giving, I wholeheartedly agree – no need for a business card or a referral request in those cases. BTW – I wish I could say I’ve never made the mistake of serving up any chocolate frosted doggy doo-doo but I’d be lying. On one occasion, I set my customers up on a 3-year birthday card campaign with a link to save 50% off any product in my online store in every card. How do you think that one went? Needless to say I didn’t make one sale. They probably got one whiff of that self-serving steamy heap and flung it in the trash. If the purpose is to let the person know you truly care about them as a real human being, then cut the crap and be authentic with your intent.
On the other hand, if your intent is to thank them for their business, then by all means ask for the referral. The “Thank You Card” on the right shows an elegant example of how you can show appreciation for your client’s business after the deal closes. Let me point out a few key elements:
1. Acknowledging the fact that they had options and thanking them for choosing you as their trusted advisor.
2. Let them know that you will be providing ongoing support with an “Annual Mortgage Review”.
3. Give some examples on how they might benefit from your services in the future.
4. Emphasize importance of referrals to your business.
5. Give a surprise gift such as movie tickets, Starbucks or Tim Horton’s gift card, etc.
Regardless of how you choose to show your appreciation, remember this: IT ALWAYS PAYS!
If you’re a member, CLICK HERE get instant access to a customizable version of this new Thank You Card.
If you’re NOT a member, you can get a 30-day free trial when you order our new “Referral Secrets” DVD set. This will give you unlimited access to over 350 turnkey marketing templates just like the one shown here.
So, what do you think of this post? Please share your thoughts/comments below. I love feedback!