Don’t forget the personal touch

We talk a lot about arcane marketing tactics, productivity and technology, but sometimes the most valuable tool is a pen and a slip of paper.

Being personable on the sales floor and in the service bay is par for the course, but going the extra mile with customers is a great way to make them feel welcome and keep some word-of-mouth marketing going.

One of the most thoughtful ways to show you care is the tried-and-true thank you note. A few minutes and a good card or stationary can get you prime real estate on the mantle and keep your customer engaged after a sale.

There are a few best practices when sending out a thank you note or card to make it even more special. After all, you don't want to send off a sheet of notebook paper in a plain white envelope.

Branded Card

Most businesses already have some branded stationary laying around, but for a few dollars, you can get a stack of custom thank you cards. Everyone loves getting cards, and they're designed to be displayed. I know I keep all my thank you notes from folks in the industry. It's a nice way to spice up the cube as well as keep those people or businesses in mind.

Just be sure to make it an attractive card. A simple company name is a good first step, but an attractive logo, staff photo or boat beauty shot might get you that coveted mantle or desk space.

Keep it Personal

A card is a simple thanks, but it should be as personal as possible. A literal, "Thanks for buying that boat," just doesn't evoke many warm feelings. Firstly, it commodifies your relationship with the customer. They've already made the purchase, it's time to end the sales talk. Remind them of something you spoke about during the sale, don't forget their spouse, family or dog either. Something like this keeps it personal and reminds them of that great sales process: "It was great meeting you Jim, hope you and Carol enjoy the new Cobalt R5. Good luck learning to wakeboard!"

Also, be sure not to write anything about future sales. Again, it distills that relationship into a sales-only interaction.

Write by Hand

Even the most atrocious handwriting (like mine) shows that you took the time and effort to actually write out a note.

Take a little time before people start rolling into the shop to slow down and write some legible notes. Think about investing a few dollars in a nice pen. The old chewed up Bic can work, but a nice fountain pen shows that you really care about the note.

Also, don't forget to send holiday cards!

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