Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Wrapping Up 2015 With — and For — Your Customers

November 11, 2015

January is a month of new beginnings, but you should close down December satisfactorily before 2015 turns into 2016.

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Your personal and professional calendars may already be getting full for December. You have end-of-year reports and those last-minute sales appointments to try to meet your quota. Your department and/or company may have holiday gatherings, and you’ve probably arranged seasonal events with family and friends.

Have you put much thought, though, into how you’ll put a period at the end of the year with your customers and lay the groundwork for a new sentence in January?

Obviously, Remember Them

If you haven’t yet made plans for a holiday mailing, it’s time. These days, you have to be sensitive to the fact that people celebrate different types of winter holidays in the U.S. Card designers are well aware of this, and if you’re just going to send a card with your signature and a personal note, you can still order them. There are also countless websites and applications that let you design their own. Try to keep your message generic but celebratory, if that makes sense. Or you can just send traditional Christmas cards and assume everyone will understand that that’s the dominant December holiday.

If you have a little extra money to spend, do have at least your name and phone number printed on a promotional item that can be mass-produced. Calendars and nice pens are good because they’re more likely to be kept and seen, but you’d be amazed at the multitude of options you’ll have by browsing sites that sell tschotchkes. There’s still time.

More to the Point

Rather than just wishing them a happy or merry whatever, you could also make this a more professional “touch.” Here are some ideas:

Illustrate that you know who each customer is. This is only realistic, of course, if you don’t have a customer list that numbers in the hundreds.  Select a product or two that they’ve ordered during the year and tell them you hope they’re still enjoying it/them. If you’ve struck up personal conversations, pull a comment or two out of your CRM application and let them know that you remember them as individuals, not just names on an obligatory card list.

Thank them for their patronage. Obviously.

Extend a special invitation for an end-of-year discount, shipping upgrade, etc. Especially good if you sell,things that people might buy for gifts. If you can tie this in to their previous purchases, all the better.

Put all of this in a handwritten note. It’s such a pleasure to get one of those these days. If you have the time and nice handwriting, give your holiday greeting this personal touch.

Include a teaser for 2016.

  • Tell them to look for a special sale/new product/website upgrade in [month].
  • Hint at an upgrade/price drop for a product they’ve bought.
  • Give them a sneak preview of your early 2016 editorial calendar. What don’t they want to miss?
  • If it’s time, ask to get on their schedule now for coffee/lunch/a meeting in the dreary month of January.

You get the idea. Smart, thoughtful holiday mailings will most likely be remembered when it’s time to buy.

Stock image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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