Business Articles - Marketing


There is a technique that very successful salespeople use called "anchoring." Unless you anchor relationships, they drift apart and you are forgotten. Your business success depends on how many relationships you have, the quality of those relationships, and the leverage these relationships bring you.

Relationships Drift

As the success of your business depends on effective relationships, you've got to remember the nature of relationships is that they drift. Dan Kennedy, a national marketing expert, has a rule: each month that you neglect a customer, the customer loses 10 percent of his or her value. In 10 months, if you haven't communicated with that customer, 100 percent of the value is gone and you might as well be calling or mailing information to names in the white pages of the phone book.

Using this idea, let's review a number of ways to anchor both your past clients, current clients, and future clients. One thing I do is to keep a list of past customers. I did my best to contact them in some way at least once every 90 days. It might be as simple as driving by their house if I'm in their neighborhood and making note if they have done anything new— any kind of new landscaping, a new fence? I could then call and say: "You know I drove by your place, saw the new landscaping, and it really looks great!" My comments about the landscaping or fence are really just an excuse to call and touch base. In so doing, I get to re-connect with my past customer, and "anchor" our relationship.

Here are some other ways to "anchor" your relationships:

Warranty Checks

Warranty checks are a fabulous way to re-connect with past customers. When you go to see your former clients, you have an opportunity to talk to them, not only about how their house is, but to let them know that you are still around, that you appreciate their referrals, and you would appreciate anything that they could do to help you build your business. For example, this is the perfect time, if you haven't done it before, to ask them for a letter of recommendation. So remember, warranty visits are a great way to spread your business "good tidings."


With potential future customers, send out postcards to the neighborhood surrounding a job you are working on. What you send out, and how many times, depends on the size of the project. For smaller projects that last a week or less, send out a single note letting neighbors know that you are working in the neighborhood. There may be more that want your products and services. Let them know that you are there.

For longer projects, take up the surrounding 100 houses and send out a simple postcard saying: "We're just starting a job down the street. If you have any inconvenience or see any problems, please call us at this number and let us know."

If the job is several weeks or longer, there is a card that I send out during the middle of the job: "This job is more than half done. Things are going well. If you would be interested in seeing the work or if you have any questions, please let us know." Then there is a third postcard I send out upon completion: "Just wanted to let you know the job is now complete. If you have any suggestions of how we could do better in the future, have any questions, or just want to see the work, please let us know." Name recognition, or branding, takes place when potential customers see my name in connection with a project going on in their neighborhood

Birthday Cards

You can send out a birthday card if you know your clients' birthdays. If they have children, on the child's birthday, send out a simple something for them. You will really leave an impression on someone when you send a birthday gift to one of their children. A low-cost gift card is more than adequate for something like this. Here is a key point. I prefer birthday cards to holiday cards. Everyone sends holiday cards, so these days don't leave much of an impression. Birthday cards are much more personal.

Women Are Better

Don't be ashamed to get your wife involved in the anchoring process. Women are usually better at this than men. They are better at sending out cards. They usually keep in touch with people better than men. If you are unmarried, or your wife is too maxed out to help out much, ask a female employee or friend for help with this.

Brass Tacks:

What's good about anchoring?

• It creates stronger relationships.

• It gives the customer the opportunity to praise you or complain if they have any complaints.

• In a positive environment, it gives you additional opportunities to ask for referrals.

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