A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham McGregor: Two magic words that boost sales and delight clients

One of the reasons thank you cards have such a positive impact is that it is very rare in business today. Photo / iStock
One of the reasons thank you cards have such a positive impact is that it is very rare in business today. Photo / iStock

I'm a big fan of simple marketing strategies that are easy to use and produce a noticeable impact on your sales results when you use them consistently.

And that's why I love thank you cards.

Thank you cards are easy to use, very affordable and work like magic.

Yet less than 1 per cent of all business people use them!

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The way you use thank you cards is very simple.

Just get into the habit of sending out a small number of handwritten thank you cards or notes on a regular basis.

A thank you card is a short card that you send to a client, customer or potential customer and in the card you write a handwritten message.

(Thank you cards have the biggest impact when they are handwritten.)

One of the reasons thank you cards have such a positive impact is that it is very rare in business today to be thanked in writing today for anything.

There are many occasions where thank you cards are very useful.

Here are five of these occasions and the words you could write when you send them out.

1. Thank you card after a demonstration or presentation

"Hi Bob; thank you for the opportunity to show you our XZY product or service. I look forward to talking with you again soon. Regards John"

2. Thank you card after a sale

"Hi Bob; thank you for investing in our product or service. I know you will be delighted with the benefits you receive and look forward to your positive feedback. Regards Jane."

A very common experience when you buy a product or service (particularly one that costs a lot of money) is what we call 'Buyer's Remorse. In other words you wonder if you've
made the right decision buying this product or service.

A thank you card after a client purchase goes a long way toward reducing any second thoughts or doubts they may have about what they have bought.

It's also nice to be thanked for spending money with a business.

In 97 per cent of situations where you spend money on product or service you never receive a written thank you for becoming a client.

So sending a thank you card means you are immediately remembered.

3. Thank you card for a referral

"Hi Bob; thanks for the referral to Fred Smith. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I'll let you know how I get on when I talk with him. Regards John."

The more you thank people for referrals the more likely they are to give you more referrals.

And we all want more referrals because they are so easy to talk with and are highly likely to become clients as well.

4. Thank you to anyone who gives you good service

"Thanks for your great service the other day. I appreciate it. Regards Jane."

This use of a thank you card does not have to relate at all to your business.

You can send one to anyone who gives you great service.

This could be to a restaurant owner where you received a memorable meal.

It could be to someone who performed a helpful service for you at short notice.

This will make the person you send it to feel great. And you'll be positively remembered as well.

5. Thank you card to someone who says 'no'

I had the experience a while ago of sending a thank you card to a person who said 'no' to the advertising service I was selling at the time.

It' said something like this:

"Hi John, thanks for the opportunity to meet with you. I appreciate you considering my advertising service. I'm sorry I can't be of help right now and best wishes for the future. Kind regards Graham."

A few weeks later I got a phone call from the owner of a large business to talk to him about advertising. We met and this person placed a huge advertising order.

When I asked him why he phoned me he told me it was because I had sent a thank you note to his business friend who had told me 'no.

His friend and he were talking about advertising and his friend suggested I call him.

So thank you notes can work well even to people who say 'no!'

By sending out thank you cards on a regular basis you will soon have dozens of customers and potential customers talking about you and remembering you positively.

And the investment in both time and money to do this is tiny.

How many thank you cards should you send out?

My personal recommendation is to send out at least 2 thank you cards each work day or 10 thank you cards a week. This will take you less than 5 minutes to do and will mean you positively influence over 500 people a year.

Try thank you cards in your own marketing.

You'll be delighted at the positive results they produce for a tiny investment of your time and money.

'We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.' - John F. Kennedy

Action Exercise:

Get 50 or more thank you cards printed at your local digital printer and start using them in your own business. (You can also handwrite thank you messages on a 'with compliments' slip or your business letterhead as well.)

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

Graham McGregor is a consultant specialising in memorable marketing. Download his 396-page Unfair Business Advantage ebook at no charge from theunfairbusinessadvantage.com.

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A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham has had 36 years 'hands on' experience in sales and marketing. He has sold a range of services including advertising, sales training, personal development, life insurance, IT services, investment property and business consulting services.

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