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The Million-Dollar Marketing Lesson – Part 1

by Aaron Halderman

Master salesman Zig Ziglar is famous for saying, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” This always makes sense to entrepreneurs because if you help enough other people get what they want, you get what you want. Although it, perhaps, defies what most would consider to be common sense, in a competitive market-place there is always room at the top for a company that has great customer service. Give your customers what they want, and they’ll give you what you want.

What people really want is a personal connection. They want to know you’re not just taking them for granted – but rather that their business means something to you.

I spent some time with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, recently and took a tour of his company. Tony will be the first to tell you that although he may be known for selling shoes online, Zappos is really in the business of customer service. It’s how he turns a one-time visitor into a lifetime customer.

This is why it’s so important to implement your own, personal “keep in touch” system and strategy to stay connected to your clients, vendors, partners and even your borrowers.

One of my key areas of focus is on the principle of helping others I do this by constantly researching and working with the latest tools and techniques and strategies to help investors and business owners grow; then teaching them to utilize these tools and techniques.

The marketing tool I want to focus on today isn’t particularly cutting edge, at least not from a technological standpoint. It’s been around since long before the computer was invented. Yet it’s still one of the most effective marketing tools in your arsenal.

It’s the mail. Yes, the regular mail. As in snail mail.

Traditional mail has almost been abandoned in favor of the internet – everything from paying a bill to sending a birthday card can be done quickly and efficiently online; and that’s exactly the key to mail’s appeal.

When was the last time you opened up the mailbox and found something other than a bill or an advertising mailer – like a card or a note personally addressed to you?

With the exception of a birthday or Christmas, I’m guessing it’s probably been a long time. That’s what makes traditional mail so powerful, when used correctly. In these days of cyber greetings and email blasts, getting a real, actual card in the mail that you can open and read and keep on your desk is memorable. It’s even special. That’s the magic of the mail. It still has the power to surprise, which can do amazing things for your business.

The World’s Greatest Salesman

Just ask Joe Girard. He’s actually officially listed as the World’s Greatest Retail Salesperson in the “Guinness Book of World Records.” And he did it all with mail.

Girard was a car salesman — and the undisputed master of the field. Within three years of launching his career, he was selling more new cars and trucks than any other salesperson in the world. And he retained that position at the peak of his profession until he retired. In total, in just 15 years, Girard sold exactly 13,001 retail cars. This adds up to more cars per day alone than most dealers sell in an entire year – a pretty amazing story. (FACT CHECK: That’s 2.4 cars per day, if you take out weekends, it equals 5.4 cars most dealerships are going down if that’s the case)

Even more amazing to me was how he did it. His secret sauce – the thing that set him apart from all of his competitors – was that he stayed in touch with every single person he met, from clients and potential customers, to people he met at meetings and seminars, with cards.

After every meeting or phone call or other form of contact, he would  take down that person’s details on their business card, or on a file card. He’d include whatever relevant information he could get out of them, their birthday or their kids’ names, even their hobbies.

Then, every single month, without fail, he would send every single one of those people a personal card. Not just for Christmas and birthdays, but for anniversaries, Groundhog Day, the Fourth of July, Halloween. These weren’t sales letters. These were just friendly reminders designed to let people know that Joe was thinking about them. That he cared about them as people, not just as customers.

Of course, Joe’s greeting card enterprise took a lot of work. This was before the days of computerized databases. Everything was on paper. Yet, he still managed to send out over 13,000 handwritten greeting cards every month – with the help of two assistants hired just to help him stay in contact with his client list.

A lot of work? Definitely. But you can clearly see how it paid off.

In part 2 of  this article, I am going to share with you the exact tool we use…You’ll not want to miss it

If you have questions, you can contact Aaron Halderman at    [email protected]