Have you ever noticed how many times it's the simplest concepts that end up working the best?
The same is so true when it comes to marketing. I'm constantly amazed at just how powerful some of the simplest concepts are. I've seen simple marketing ideas that cost next to nothing and really require little to no additional extra work begin to make a company an extra thousand or more a month - every month.
Unfortunately, the problem with simple marketing ideas is that many are so quick to excuse them as, well, "too simple to possibly work." Intelligent small business owners and independent professionals just like you mistakenly believe an idea has to be sophisticated and intricate to be really valuable.
WRONG! In fact, it's completely the opposite that's true. The more complicated the idea, the less chance you have of making it work. If you can even get the idea implemented that is. Simple does not mean well thought out. It just means not complicated.
OK, where am I headed with all of this?
Well, one of the simplest marketing ideas I've ever come across I believe to also be one of the most powerful. Incredibly successful professionals have shared that this one technique has been primarily responsible for completely filling their business pipeline.
It has been called the "Number One" strategy for generating word-of-mouth business. And remember that when I ask people where most of their business comes from, 99% or more say that it's from word-of-mouth. I wonder how many of them use this strategy consistently.
Even though most people know about this powerful method, it's surprising how few people actually use it consistently. Perhaps because it's just too simple and business owners are always looking for fresh, new, and more sophisticated (i.e., perceived to be higher value) ideas.
So many marketing ideas, where do you start?
There's no doubt that there are a seemingly endless number of ways and variations of ways to market your business. But doesn't it just make sense to start implementing the simplest methods first? You may even find that some of these simple techniques are all you really need to grow your business to the levels you want.
I've seen it time and time again both in the companies I've worked for and the clients I've worked with. You are given the simplest, most effective solution to your marketing or management problem, and you don't put it into practice because it just seems too simple, too darn easy to work.
After all, if the simple, easy ideas really worked then wouldn't everyone be using them? Well you would think, but even the simple solutions take some work on your part to be successful. And too often, people want the results without having to do the work.
Simple does not mean you don't have to do the work. It just means not complicated.
So what is this simple yet incredibly powerful idea that can help you generate significantly more business? What is this marketing technique that is so simple and inexpensive that I believe everyone should be doing it from the very first day they go into business?
Drum roll please...ba, da, ba, da, ba, da, ba, da, ba, da...
Commit to sending out personal hand-written notes - Thank You notes or Cards.
What's that? You were expecting something a little more sophisticated and intricate than this? Don't hit the 'delete' key just yet. I really think you're going to want to hear this.
The great salespeople and successful business owners want to be in front of their customers, prospects, referral sources and alliance partners as much as possible. And one of the primary keys to staying top of mind with these folks is to find ways to do it in a positive and non-threatening manner.
Personal hand-written notes certainly fit this criterion.
When someone hires you to do work for them, or someone else refers some business your way, they expect you to produce results, deliver quality service, and get the job done. Therefore, if you do all of these things, all you've done is meet expectations. But guess what, your competitors are typically able to meet those expectations as well.
If you want to create raving fans that will help you really grow your business, then you have to give them more than they expect. And the power of a personal hand-written note is a perfect way to do that. Think about the last time you received a hand-written note of appreciation. How did that make you feel? Didn't it make you feel good?
The unwritten part of the message is that this person cared enough to take the time to write a note to ME! That is precisely the reason that this simple but powerful idea works so well. Try it and you'll find that the more you use them, the better they'll work and the better you'll feel.
The reasons to send personal notes including "thank you" notes are practically endless. But this is a lost art in the world of business anymore. Even though personal attention is always more effective, email and voice mail are just so much quicker and therefore make it ineffective in some peoples' minds.
I just have to shake my head when I hear comments like, "That won't work for my business. My clients expect me to be more technically advanced." Don't get me wrong, email and voice mail certainly have their place. But, the personal touch is what will set you apart from others competing for your clients' attention.
Consider How This Might Work For Your Business...
Imagine how a scenario like this might work for your business... A client makes a small purchase from you and receives a personal, hand-written thank you card in the mail within a few days. Then they receive another hand-written card 30 days later just checking in to make sure they're happy with their purchase and reminding them how they can access customer service. Then they receive another personalized card 60 to 90 days after that making a special offer only available to current customers.
Do you see how powerful a simple campaign like this could be for your business?
Kevin Dervin is the owner of KPD Marketing, and Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach business. If you find this article useful, you'd probably enjoy Kevin's FREE eZine called the Marketing Coach. Subscribe at http://www.kpdmarketingcoach.com and receive a FREE report that reveals 7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success.