In Client Outreach, Make Sure the ‘You’ Comes Through
You are extraordinary.
No, I’m not getting all motivational speaker on you. I can’t comment on how well you’re doing in other aspects of your life. But when it comes to promoting your business, it’s important to remember that no one puts forth the same combination of style, background, skills and interests that you do. You are, quite literally, unique.
The problem is that most clients probably have no idea.
There’s a simple explanation. No one can communicate how extraordinary he or she might be by ordinary means.
Yet so many advisors and businesses rely on client communications of the same caliber as those “your business is important to us” reminders that repeat ad infinitum while we’re on hold (and annoyed).
It’s true that your exploration of the ideal client’s character should always be growing more complex and specialized. But, meanwhile, there are plenty of ways to leave a distinct touch on your communications—something unexpected and delightful—in the otherwise relentless stream of dull impressions that clients and contacts bathe in daily.
There’s a hidden silver lining. It’s easier to stand out when no one is expecting you to make an effort. Who expects a financial advisor to have a personal touch? When you do, clients notice. And talk about you.
Your brand style and approach can make a splash at any point along the prospecting path. To my thinking, you can’t start early enough. Some of my favorite ideas can be rolled out before you even talk to a prospect.
And remember, ‘tis the season. Does anyone on this earth need another generic holiday greeting? Especially when you could wrap up a year’s-worth of dialogue with a unique touch, such as:
- Customized invitations. Personal stamps on invitations are a must, but you can make even unofficial correspondence look distinctive. Consider the old concept of the calling card: script message (even the scent!) of your card can package your personal brand. Paperless Post has a website I use, not only for group invitations but also to design reminders for lunch dates and other casual meetings
If a client ever says those wonderful words—I told my friend about you—follow up with a Paperless Post note that thanks the client and invites her and her friend to lunch. Remember that class goes way beyond a stylish typeface.
Of course, this applies to holiday cards as well. If nothing else, your clients will appreciate that you put more thought into your card than a click and a scribble.
Showing taste …
- With taste. Never forget that we’re all creatures of our senses. We like to touch, taste and feel things, and events we enjoy are enhanced through these primary experiences.
Back in New York City, I happened to stumble into a fabulous store in Brooklyn called One Girl Cookie. The baked goods were to die for, but the shop’s just-so layout and vibe made me an instantaneous fan.
So my networking events began to feature One Girl Cookie take-home bags. You can’t imagine how many thank you’s I received for that courtesy. The most important was the OGC proprietor, who appreciated the extra business and word of mouth (and taste buds) from Manhattan
- And smell. Speaking of memory, the nose knows. How much would it cost to send a thank-you note accompanied by a bar of scented soap, or a candle? As with taste, you should consider the recipient, but don’t send out any scents you don’t find appealing. Why be identified with scents that don’t make sense? Are you getting my point?
These are just a few examples for a single aspect of your marketing outreach plan, but don’t make the mistake of trivializing their impact. In a crazy world where most of us can barely remember what we ate for breakfast, the charming gesture that also happens to be right can be the difference between your name—and what you do—striking a chord or being struck from memory.
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