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What All Clients Have in Common

Mary Kay Ash


Who’s heard of Mary Kay Ash? Well, she’s the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Mary Kay said that her key to success was to make your people feel important. She taught her sales reps to send three handwritten thank you notes every night before bed.


Today, Mary Kay Cosmetics has more than 3 million consultants in over 37 countries worldwide, and has wholesale volume in excess of 3 billion, with a B, dollars. Now that’s a beautiful business.     


Harvey Mackay


He’s a business person, author, and syndicated columnist. Harvey became the top salesperson for an envelope company and used his commissions to purchase an insolvent envelope  manufacturer with 12 employees in 1959.


Today, his company, Mackay Mitchell Envelope Company, employees roughly 500 employees, produces 25 million envelopes a day, and has sales of approximately 100 million. Harvey is well known for his book Swim with the Sharks, in addition to many others.


He says, “Short, handwritten cards yield long results. In sales, never underestimate the importance of the personal gesture. Right at the top of the list of effective personal gestures sits the handwritten card. Always send memorable cards and personal notes when you are reminded of a person.”    


Bob Burg


He’s an international best‐selling author on entrepreneurship and creating powerful business relationships. Bob is the author of a number of books on sales, marketing, and influence with total book sales of well over a million copies. He’s best known for his book Endless Referrals. He speaks to Fortune 500 companies, franchises, and numerous direct sales organizations around the world.


The American Management Association named Bob one of top 30 leaders in business. He was named one of the top 200 most influential authors in the world by Richtopia.


He says, “Thank you cards are one of the most powerful tools in building a huge network, both professionally and socially. People with the most impressive networks are typically avid card writers. It’s one of the best techniques for long‐term winning without intimidation. I suggest getting into the habit of immediately sending out cards.”    


Danielle Kennedy


She’s a real estate legend. By the fourth year of her career, she closed on 105 homes while raising a family of five children. She says, “Write customers personal, handwritten cards frequently. If you run into an old customer anywhere, follow up with a handwritten card.”


In this electronic communication age of email, the handwritten card with the postage stamp gets more immediate attention than ever.

So let’s talk about the reasons that customers leave…


    • 1% pass away
    • 3% move away   
    • 14% are lured by a competitor   
    • 14% are turned away by product or service dissatisfaction   
    • 68% leave because of experiencing a poor attitude or perceived feeling of indifference.


Those last three reasons alone represent 95% of the customers who leave your business and they are all avoidable reasons. Just imagine if you were able to count on repeat orders from 95% of your clients, what a difference that would make in your business and your bottom line.


Of course, you may not be able to keep all of those 95%. Some folks are never satisfied and others refuse to believe that you are ever giving them a fair deal, that’s fine. Those are not the type of clients you want anyway.     


But look at that bottom number, this is the number that represents the number one reason that clients leave, experiencing a poor attitude or perceived feeling of indifference. They are literally leaving because they think that you don’t care. They don’t think that you’ll notice. They don’t think you’ll do anything about it and are they right?  


This number represents a totally and 100% avoidable reason for losing clients. It’s just completely unnecessary.

In order to build a true rapport with your customers, you need to use their name in whatever you send them. Don’t be the guy that sends an unsigned card with a business card in it. This is the personal touch that needs to happen for that innate human connection to take place.


This is where the know and the like start to happen before they trust you enough to buy from you. The best part of all is this is extraordinarily easy to do. Because it is so rarely done, it really tends to make a lasting impression. The best way to do this is to send a personalized greeting card.   


Here are some opportunities to be remembered as someone who makes others feel valued:

  • “Just  because”, on their birthday, an anniversary like for example a wedding anniversary or an annual renewal of their contract or closing of real estate.
  • How about congratulations? Maybe they had a baby. Maybe they got engaged. Maybe they had a wedding.
  • Thank you. Thank you for your business. Thank you for the referral. Thank you for the gift. Thank you for taking us out to dinner.
  • A sympathy card. If something happens in their life that’s a tragedy, send them a sympathy card.
  • An apology card ‐ maybe something didn’t work out just right. Send them an apology card.
  • Holiday cards. There are a ton of holidays: Christmas time, New Year’s, 4th of July, Thanksgiving. There are so many holidays that people just love to get those types of cards.  


There’s a famous quote by Maya Angelou and it says, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is really what this is all about.


How do people feel when they know that you care about them? It’s vitally important to remember do not mix these with marketing. Do not send a business card inside a card telling them congratulations on their wedding. Do not put your business card inside a greeting card that says, “Congratulations. You’re having a baby.” That does not work. Do not do that.  

One of the best ways to get more business out of your clients is to ask for more business instead of waiting for them to buy. You can send notices about other products and services you offer that your customers may not even know about. Maybe they already know about your other products or services, but you  don’t want them to forget about them when they need something other than what they normally buy from you.


According to the statistics, 62% your customers are not taking advantage of all the products or services you offer. If you’re not engaging your customers on a regular basis, and staying at the top of their mind, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. This is how you increase your revenue without finding new customers.     


This is also a great way to increase referrals, especially for your best clients. We’re going to talk more about exactly how to do this later, without begging for referrals and being embarrassed when you don’t get them. For now, just keep in mind that this is the entry point to getting more sales and increasing referrals.     


So, stay top‐of‐mind to keep your customers and increase their sales from you over time.

We’re all different in how we think because our brains are wired differently. We also have many different values and beliefs based on who we are, how we were raised and what we have learned in our life experiences.


There’s no way for us to perfectly align with every customer in building a relationship because all of our clients are different. It’s not possible, and that’s okay. Instead, and most importantly, what we can do is focus on the part that we’re already aligned in and what makes us all the same. Here’s the answer: Everybody has a natural human desire to be loved and appreciated ‐ everybody.  


This is a basic need that every single person on the planet has. Appreciating our customers and making them feel important is what they all want. Give it to them or they will look elsewhere.


We have many opportunities to communicate appreciation to our customers. We can build friendships by thanking them and giving them gratitude. We can wish them a happy birthday and give best wishes at various other holidays throughout the year. We could recognize them for their accomplishments and celebrate changes in their life, such as getting married or having a baby.   


Only after all that can we send them information on some of the things that we’re doing as a way of keeping in touch. This is the 80% relationship building part of the equation. Don’t be afraid to send cards to the leader personality type, by the way. I used to be afraid of that, myself, and I thought that was kind of  goofy, but let me tell you something, everybody does have the natural human desire to be loved and appreciated. The leader personalities want to be appreciated, as well, so don’t be afraid to send it to them.


Now, marketing and promotional materials can be sent, as well.  Remember to abide by the 80/20 rule. 80% has to be on the relationship building part, and 20% marketing. It’s critically important to remember that sending marketing material can only be done 20% of the time and it’s got to be spaced out a little bit every so often, otherwise, the customer won’t trust you as  being authentic in wanting to build the relationship with them. And if they don’t  trust you, they won’t buy.   


Most people think, “What’s in it for me?” An important thing to remember is how people feel with dealing with the typical sales person, their mind automatically goes into a defensive mode. All they’re thinking about is, “What are you going to do to me as opposed to what are you going to do for me?” They’re on guard and really only want to know, “What’s in it for me?” It’s crucial that your communication needs to be about them most of the time and only about you some of the time.