Happy Clients ???? Raving Fans ???? Referral Machines
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Years ago, 60 minutes article, talked about a grocery chain who had done a survey which revealed that the cost of keeping a current customer is a small fraction of the cost of acquiring a new customer.
REALTORS have knows this for decades, and in fact many have built their business almost completely on referrals by past clients.
Everything I’m going to talk about is based on one basic premise: That you provide an excellent service or sell an excellent product. For this to work, you need to start with happy customers. If you do a shoddy job, I can save you some time right now, nothing I say will help with that.
First step is to simply ask for a referral at the right time. Whats the right time? When your customer is at their happiest. You’ve just shown them the fancy features on their new furnace, or gone over the paint job you just did. They are happy, and at their most agreeable state. That’s a great time to ask for a referral…. Make sure it’s a referral, not a lead….. I’ll explain the difference in another episode.
Maybe they’ll give you a referral, maybe not. But they’re happy, so you’re happy, and you leave thinking they’ll send you business down the road. Right????
Follow up question: What was that agents name? 20% knew the answer.
Buying or selling a house is arguably the most important financial step most people will ever make. Yet only 20% remembered their agent.
So if 80% don’t remember them, do you really think they will remember you, just because you painted their house, shingled their roof or sold them a car? They need to be reminded about you and your excellent service.
Entire systems have been creating to make it easier for real estate professionals to keep to a schedule of staying in touch with past clients. But those systems don’t need to be JUST for real estate agents.
A little side note here: Studies have shown that letters sent in the standard #10 envelopes often receive the same level of attention and love associated with bills and notices.
So if you’re going to send out personal touch-points, try using postcard-sized envelopes, which have a much higher opening rate.
So, you can develop your own system, but as you add more clients to it, it might become confusing…..especially if you chose to send cards on the anniversary of your interaction with them…… so for example, 1 year AFTER they bought a new car, installed a new furnace, etc etc.
Incidentally, you will WANT to send cards outside of the normal dates. Everyone gets Christmas cards, Easter etc…..
Pick dates when no one else sends them. Check your own industry to see if they have a nationally recognized day, or send a card on the anniversary of your dealings with them. Their birthday (if you remember to ask), or other holidays which are not the usual days where people send cards.
There is a system out there that has many of the answers and solutions for these kind of issues: SendOutCards can
- Start with one client and work up to an infinite number
- Add clients throughout the year, as your business grows
- You select the number of touch-points per client
- Their cards are sent as postcards, with script style addressing, and faux postage stamps.
Lets talk with a friend of mine, who is an affiliate with SendOutCards, Ted Vailas. I have a few questions for him on how this system works.
Interview with Ted Vailas of SendOutCards. Transcript:
All right. I’m here with Ted Valence of Send out cards. And Ted, got a couple of questions for you. So let’s assume I’m a house painter and I just finished painting someone’s house and they’re very happy with my service. And I get the feeling that they would recommend me if only, you know, I would stay in touch and given time, they would recommend me to their friends and family. So given that the send out card system, how many touch points a year, what kind of system do you think I should put them on to start?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Great question. Both. So it’s going to depend on the type of business that you have and you know, a little bit on the industry, but at least two or three I think is going to be a really good point to start at least. So if you wanted to do something like Holiday or New Year’s cards, Christmas cards, as well as a birthday card, which is more personal for somebody, and sometimes in some industries you could do like a house anniversary on a home purchase or the anniversary of some service that you’ve provided or something like that with this fun like Easter, you know, if you want to spread it out throughout the year. Okay, at least a few of those. And there’s other reasons too, which are fun, but at least a few.
Okay. So if I set him up on a let’s say a four or five cards a year system, what’s my cost? What’s my rough average cost for five cards throughout the year?
Yeah. So it depends what plan you’re on. So you could start with a basic plan that doesn’t have any recurring monthly costs where you pay the full price of the card, which is 275 plus postage, U.S. or the unlimited plan. And that’s sort of on the other end of the scale, which is what I use in a lot of people who are using a lot of heartfelt cards. That’s ninety seven U.S. a month for completely unlimited cards, including postage. So it depends on what you’re sending in.
That’s right. So you can start off at one level. And then as you get more popular, as you add, maybe you can even add past clients into the system and start sending them cards on a regular basis.
And that 97 dollars covers unlimited cards.
That’s right. Yeah, absolutely. There’s a few other plans that are good to look at, but it depends how much you’re sending. How many individual or heartfelt cards, which is the customized cards you’re sending to people or groups sent. So if you’re sending big batches, for example, or Christmas cards or Easter cards, it depends what type of card you plan to send. And you can look at different plans, but you can look at those that easy, heartfelt cards dot com. And so it just depends how you’re trying to use it. But there’s a few different ways you can customize it for your business.
Yeah, I’ve been search around the system, so if I understand it right, I can actually start. If I’m going to start off fresh, I can start with just one or two clients. I don’t have to have a database of 100 people to get started with this, right?
Oh, absolutely. And that’s where the basic plan is great. Just to get started. See what it looks like. Send yourself a card even if you want. There is no recurring costs. You just pay for the one card. And if you don’t use it for another six months, then you know you can send yourself another or send a card again whenever you need it. So there’s no no setup costs or maintenance costs.
OK. And then as my business grows, I can add one client at a time throughout the year, at any time. Just no, there’s no sign up limit or no dates. I can just Adam whenever I get them, right.
Yes. So on the plans, there is the relationship manager, which is pretty well built. I think you can import a CSP file, which it predicts all the fields that makes them super easy to do that you can categorize people in different folders and set dates for it to remind you when you need to send. So yeah, there’s a few really cool features on the relationship manager and there’s no no you know, there’s no upper limit on that. And the people, you can fill it.
OK. So maybe last question here is if I get into this system and I know I use it for a few years and then at one point I decide to stop. Can I download the client database? I do. I own those information and I put in.
Yeah. Great question for sure. So you can download your database anytime. It is a good idea to have a different CRM again, depending on your business. I always have a separate CRM right where I track, you know, the different clients that I’m working with. In addition to the snow card. But yes, then I’ll download that and then make sure everything is synchronized nicely.
Cool. So you conserved actually clients all over North America. So if somebody is listening to this from Kentucky, whatever, they’ll probably have their own rep in their area. But if they don’t, they can sign up to your. You are ale for you is what?
Yeah. Definitely so easy. Heartfelt cards. Dot com is my link there. And yeah, anywhere, anywhere that can send mail essentially is is where you can use it from. So there is no limit in that sense on where you can sign up from. So check that out and then you know, the unlimited plan going back to that it sends to anywhere in the world which includes the postage costs. So yeah, very much a system to make the world a smaller, more connected place.
Okay. Excellent. That’s all we got for today. So thank you very much, Ted, and I appreciate your time.