Sales and Sales Management Blog

December 10, 2007

Wait Before You Send Out Those Christmas Cards


About this time, many of us are thinking about sending Christmas or Holiday cards to our clients and prospects. We don’t give it a great deal of thought—other than trying to select a greeting that will help us ingratiate ourselves with those we send cards to. Well fret over the particular design and message of the card, then run off a bunch of address labels or maybe feed the envelopes through the printer for a little more personal look, stick a stamp—or maybe even run them through the postage machine and get ‘em in the mail.

If we ordered them from a company, we may have our name, company name and maybe even signature printed on them. If not, we’ll sign each individually.

There is, however, a serious problem with this way of sending cards. It’s impersonal. Sure, we may actually sign each card, but that’s about as personal as it gets. After all, who has time to personally address several hundred envelopes—maybe even over a thousand. And certainly, we don’t have time to put in a personal message on each one.

May I suggest you don’t have time NO TO?

Like most every other business, we get two kinds of Christmas cards. Those that have been treated as described above. This group has obviously been sent because either the sender thinks, it is an easy way to keep them in my mind or because they feel that, it is an obligation they have to perform.

A second group of cards has obviously been touched by human hands. The envelopes are hand addressed. The cards are hand signed and each has some personal message. Short, kinda general, but personal in the sense the sender has taken the time to write it—supposedly just to me. These haven’t been run through the postage machine either. These have been individually stamped.

The impact of the first group is minimal. Just a bunch of cards where people are were fulfilling a business obligation or taking advantage of the time of year to keep their name in front of me.

The second group has real impact. A message to me from a vendor or supplier who has taken the time and care to make it personal. They’ve invested not just a dollar or two for the card; they’ve invested their time to address me.

I certainly remember who these men and women are during the course of the year. I remember and I continue to use their services because I appreciate the fact that they appreciate me and demonstrate that by giving me personal attention—even to the minor detail of sending a personal greeting card at Christmas.

Now, the reality is I have no idea who actually addressed the envelope or wrote the message and signed the card. I assume it was the salesperson that sent the card. I don’t automatically assume they had their assistant or paid someone else to it. As a matter of fact, I know a number of salespeople who enlist the aid of their wife and kids to help get their mailing out. It becomes a family affair. And I appreciate their dedication and commitment to their clients.

This Christmas, think about not only the message the card you send makes, consider the message the way you send the card makes also. Because how you send the card can make a stronger statement than what the card says. In sales, the message you state by how you say things is just as important as the message contained in the words you use

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