How to Use Cards to Connect with Clients

Writing cards on a personal level is a practice I’ve done for years. It was only a few years ago, I realized writing cards is an effective and personal way to stay engaged in my professional life as well.

While the points of the previous article, 7 Ways to Write Cards to Keep You Connected, is more for personal use, this article is specific to the unique ways professionals can stay connected, helpful and in touch with their existing and new clients.

Using Cards to be a Resource and Guide

Sending a card with a helpful study, article or guide is a good reason to connect and stay top of mind as a resource to your clients.

I’m on the lookout for things that would  be helpful to the people I serve. So when I come across an article in a magazine or online, I go to the effort to cut it out or print it (if printing is allowed, many websites have print options), enclose it in a card with a simple, “I saw this article and thought of the work you are doing on project ABC. I thought this might add some insight.”

This could be done nicely among every industry. For example, real estate agents can send relevant articles on tips for staging a home while navigating life with small children or pets.

It is easier to send a link via email, but studies keep showing many of us engage, connect and retain things we read offline significantly more than we do online.

Below I show how I’ve used cards + inserts to connect with new and existing clients.

Using Cards to be A Consultant

Alan Weiss gives my favorite definition of a consultant. According to Mr. Weiss, “consultants improves the client’s condition.”

I try to think of my role as a consultant to the people I want to work with. How can everything I do, including the cards I send, improve their condition?

Often, I send helpful packets composed of a card, an educational piece, and a product sample.

In the sales world, there is a saying, “Be a resource, not a rep.” Reps are known for being “sales-y.” Doctors and managers duck into the nearest office when the sales-y “rep” comes down the hall, the one who is always looking for a sale. We all avoid that guy.

But when the rep who constantly solves problems walks down the hall, the doors open a lot easier.

I found that sending letters with educational material and/or samples with instructions makes it easier to follow up in a way that is genuine and helpful.

Instead of writing a lengthy email, I confirm they’ve received the packet and check in to see if they have questions on use.

Using Cards as a Follow Up

We may only have a few minutes to meet with our client, whether that is in person or on the phone. Everyone is busy. Whether it’s an incoming call or a meeting or a customer, time with clients is often cut short. There is always something that does not get said.

I could send an email but following up with a card leaves a lasting impression. Studies done by the USPS and direct marketing associations reveal direct mail creates greater trust, stays around longer and is cognitively easier for your client to understand. I can appreciate the last point. So many days I cannot stand to look at the screen for One. More. Minute!

Following up with a card is a great way to:

  • Express appreciation for their time
  • Recap the next steps (very briefly)
  • Add in a follow up. “In our conversation, we didn’t cover xyz. I think this will be helpful for you…”
  • If appropriate, include something relevant and helpful. I’ll include a “usage guide,” an abstract of a study, a brochure, or some other tip sheet relevant to what I’m doing.

Using Cards to Connect to New Clients

It can be hard to get in front of the person you need to talk to, whether that is in business or some other venture. One way I get around this is sending out education material directly relevant to the person I want to connect with. If it is appropriate, I’ll send a sample of a product as well.

I found that sending letters with educational material and/or samples with instructions makes it easier to follow up in a way that is genuine and helpful.

After waiting a week or so, I will follow up with a simple email, such as, I wanted to follow up to make sure you received xxx in the mail. Do you have questions about it I could answer? This is often where the connection is made.

People are busy so they may not initiate an email even after receiving the sample. But with that final follow up, I will receive a response from the people who have resonated with the product/service and want more information.

Even if the response, “thanks, but no thanks,” the door is opened for me to reply with a sincere thanks for their time and response. People are busy with very full lives! If someone takes the time to reach out with a ‘no thank you’ I’m not going to let that opportunity pass me by to appreciate them for responding. They may have a need for me at a future date.

According to direct mail statistics, marketing mail is kept in a household for an average of 17 days. That’s marketing mail, not personal cards. That’s a lot more time for your connections to think of you, when you enclose a personal card along with the business literature.

Of course, I’m biased, but I’m a big believer in beautiful cards. They are a bit of art to brighten the client’s day (and desk), while also keeping you at the top of their mind. You can browse the selection of my cards here at the shop.

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