When I first started my training I noticed around end of November the partners would be seen with piles of cards and envelopes on their desks. What are you doing? The answer of course was signing the clients Christmas Cards. The cards were always of the Christmas Chocolate box variety all snow, holly and firesides, the inside usually had pre-printed “Merry Christmas for the partners and staff at *******”. The partner’s job was to actually sign each card personally and the staff would then place one in an envelope with a typewritten label drawn off the CRM and post them off in time for Christmas.
Over the years even actually signing cards became too much of a hardship and the signatures became themselves pre-printed which as Partners left and orders were placed before they left meant further costs the partners printed signature was replaced by the generic practice name.
Bu even that became too much bother and the email Xmas card started to appear followed by we will donate some money to a charity to offset the fact that we are not going to send you a Christmas Card.
When I started out on my own and I was faced with the same dilemma I thought long and decided that my client’s deserved better at Christmas, they deserved to see that I at least took the time to send them a card at Christmas. It didn’t matter whether I had 1 or 100 or 500 clients, I kept to the plan.
I always chose cards that were not cheap and frankly nasty, I never had anything pre-printed on the inside and I worked through the client CRM personally addressing the envelope and furthermore I tried to write something inside each card that might make the client smile and of course I always signed everyone.
Yes it took an awful lot of time but each card made me focus on every client for a few moments thinking solely about THEM and the year they had undergone which would help me write the inside, form new additions to the family, to new shops, new start-ups, to children off to university, to grandchildren and yes great grandchildren.
In those moments I could make notes to the staff to follow up on and yes sometimes the note was simply I don’t seem to have enough personal information on a client and that was to be rectified next year.
They were always posted in plenty of time and clients were universal in thanking me for the card and, I for theirs because that was another result and many would say how good it was of me to actually take the time to sign and address the card personally.
Lots of talk abounds across the twittesphere and Internet about client retention and how to go about it well here in December spend the money and more importantly the time to send your clients a personal Christmas Card unless of course you are either too busy or too important.
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