This idea is tried and true to get some time in front of your prospective client or your current customer – originally presented by Lisa Dennis of Knowlegence –
As you send out holiday cards, there are some people you want to see or talk with after the holidays are over. For many years I would send a card either as a thank you or for some occasion, and incllude a coffee card with $10 or so on it – sign the card, say thanks or whatever the message, then send it off. I was proud of myself for this non-innovative, but consistant means of follow through and appreciation for my referrers, or those whom I had a great conversation about their business.
The TWIST: Lisa’s suggestion, as told to me last year on a cruise ship, is to add: “Let’s have coffee soon – I’ll buy the first cup” (this is a paraphrase, but it was along those lines) because rather than just sending a coffee card (good for tea, juice, whatever) – it helps set up the next action to move things forward. We are all of good intention, but often we don’t follow through or put it as a priority to meet with someone eager to meet with us (who may be able to reduce our costs, streamline our business, or increase our revenues. Try this and post in the comments if there was any benefit to this idea for you.
This twist Lisa added, that forever changed my viewpoint, also shows how you may think you have a great idea (like I did) and you are not looking to make it better – (I would have never changed my card process) – so ALWAYS look to make your ideas better, bigger, and easier. Bounce them off of others, too.
Selling is not tricking people or making them do things – it is about furthering a conversation and following through on an ongoing basis to move things forward. It is a critical part of a relationship to stay in people’s minds and find ways to add value to THEM and their life – from their point of view.
Also: if you know of a prospective customer, or colleague, or neighbor business owner who is struggling with somehting at the holidays – over-stressed, overworked – there are great things you can do for them to help them, including just “asking” how you could be of help – or doing something helpful, like offering an endorsement for their services, or sending new customers their way.