Little, personal things can make the biggest difference in your results and get the extra loyalty you want.

Every year I was with Mutual Life I received a personal note from the President, Chairman and Agency VP on my birthday. Think that played a role in their industry best agent retention? You bet. It’s also faded away as we’ve “professionalized” the business. Too bad.

While little things don’t necessarily lead directly to business, they create a business that’s more promotable and referable. Rule one is that if an idea is “hokey” – traditional, sentimental or simple… it probably works.

The best example is birthday cards. Age matters in this business and recognizing birthdays works. Cards become more effective the older you get and you barely get any cards anymore from anyone. So, your card will stand out, up there on the mantle. Make it personal, not commercial. “They want to know how much you care, before they care how much you know.”

If you want to really impress, send cards to the family. 

Holiday cards work too. Choose a special holiday like Thanksgiving to be different.

One of the most impressive things you can do today is send personal, handwritten notes. Three occasions can be only recognized effectively with a handwritten note: Appreciation, Congratulations and Sympathy. Any other way, and you’ll lose the impact. Your words and handwriting are perfect. 

We used to send new business appreciation letters but they’re “endangered” too. It’s “stinking thinking”, as Zig Ziglar used to say… “Why thank someone when you helped them?” Because you instigated the relationship and it’s your responsibility to maintain it. A stock letter with a short handwritten note at the bottom shows you are worthy of earning more business and referrals. (I have some sample letters if you’re interested.) Send notes to prospects when you get an appointment and even when you don’t. Good prospects are good next quarter too.

Make every occasion a great occasion and you’ll attract business. Clients will catch your enthusiasm and you’ll be harder to replace.

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