There are three main reasons why you should be using personal notes: To increase referrals from power partners, warm up big prospects you’ve been working on and strengthen relationships with your existing clients. The following strategies will help you develop greater bonds with people in these three groups.
The competitive advantage
The more your client base grows, the harder you will have to work just to keep up with the clients who are leaving you. This is especially true if you are suffering from low retention. Writing personalized notes is one way to address this issue. The more reasons you give your clients to stay with you, the more likely they will not only stay, but refer more clients to you as well.
Your notes and envelopes should not be typed on company stationery and mailed in a standard business envelope that is run through the postal meter. If you want your notes to get noticed, the best way is to make them look as different from junk mail as possible.
To do this, use an off-size envelope such as a 4x6. The envelope and personal note should be in an off-white color such as ivory. The envelope should also have a handwritten address with a postage stamp instead of a postal meter print.
You can get a local printer to print note cards for you. Keep them simple. The front of the card could just have your name, “From the desk of Joe Agent’ or even “A personal message from Joe Agent.” This keeps your note cards flexible so they can be used for any reason—from a sincere sympathy note to a birthday card. On the back, you may want to put your contact information in case you do not plan to include the name of your business.
Personal notes can leave a lasting impression that could some day pay dividends.
Go the extra mile
Including little extras such as a coupon for a free dessert in a happy birthday note is a classy way of keeping in touch and showing appreciation. Most restaurant managers are always looking for ways to attract more customers. Many will give you, at no cost, a redeemable card you can give to your clients for a free appetizer or dessert.
Let the restaurant know you will be giving these coupons out only for special occasions, such as birthdays. You do not want to blast the special deal to your entire client base all at once and have your friendly manager trampled by a stampede of your clients and prospects.
Timing is everything
Ideal occasions to send personal notes include a birthday, a wedding, an anniversary, a new baby, a job promotion or a big day in your client’s life, such as when he earns a degree or certification. For birthdays and anniversaries, it is best to send a card or letter one week early.
A husband who has overlooked an anniversary will be forever grateful to you for getting a reminder a week ahead of time to save the day. For your top clients, you may even want to call them on their special day and ask them if they received your card, and wish them well.
Try to create about five or six personal handwritten notes every day. You may think this is a waste of time, but if you have ever received a personal note, think how it made you feel and how long that person stayed in your thoughts. Personal notes can leave a lasting impression that could some day pay big dividends. Unfortunately, you cannot send these notes to everyone, so think about the people you want to send them to.
At a time when many people don’t even know their agent’s name, your odds of making repeat appointments with clients who know you well are greatly increased if you send out personal notes. Often additional life sales come from reviews with your existing clients. Your best clients will have a greater appreciation of you and be more receptive to future visits.
If you put some creative thought and effort into the timing of your notes and phone calls, you will find that doors you previously could not get into will begin to open. Tough prospects will appreciate your personalized attention, and your power partners will begin to see that their clients will get more personalized service from you than from other agents they know.
Perry Hillegas is an agent with COUNTRY Insurance & Financial Services. Contact him at 303-649-9203 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.