The Magazine

The weekly mail pickup brought a bountiful harvest of bills, flyers, ads, magazines, and two 9 x 12 envelopes. In one, I knew, were tax documents. In the other.... well, well... from Boston Private Bank and Trust Company..... hmmmm..... I think that's where John-the-guy-we-call-when-we-refinance-our-mortgages now works..... Ah, shoot, I'll open it now.

I did.

I pulled out a package that included a 3 x 5 creamy white note card, on which John-the-guy had written “Nick and Patricia, Enjoy the Magazine!   Regards, John.”  Under the card, John had placed a richly blue brochure for residential construction loans.  All of this, he had paper clipped to the March-April issue of the well appointed magazine, “DESIGN New England.” The cover presents a to-die-for wood paneled kitchen in done in honey-colored oak. When I opened the magazine to the spot where the paper clip clipped, I found an article about a “Sumptuous Shower” created in a house two towns over. I felt an immediate urge to jump in and turn on the water.

Well, well. Nice kitchen. Nice shower. Nice magazine. Nice of John to send it to us. Nice of him to keep us in mind. I’ll enjoy reading a few of the stories. With college tuitions looming, not likely we’ll be overhauling our bath room or much of anything else… and still, it’s nice to dream a bit.

This is a good example of a “stay in touch.”  Although I see John around town from time to time, this touch feels a little special. Even though I know what he’s doing, it’s still special. The handwritten note. The top-end magazine related to my life (after tuition) as well as the financing services John offers. Really a nice touch.

Our research and general practice suggest that touching our prospects and customers several times a year is a good idea. Touching them with something they’ll find valuable, useful, or entertaining is better than touching them with the same brochure we or our companies send to 7,500 of our closest friends and contacts in the territory.

Varying the mix is useful. A telephone or personal call from time to time.  Magazines or magazine subscriptions can be a nice touch – I receive two each month from friends and I’m pleasantly reminded of them when each issue arrives. [For a $20 – $40 annual investment, monthly reminders at a good price.]  When they ask, “what did you think of the article about…,”  common ground results. A card at a holiday. One of my associates is very generous this way, surprising me with cards on many holidays and recommendations for concerts in between.  The more personal the message and the closer the content to my life at home or work, the better.

Yes, this takes some work. Gotta choose your targets. Gotta design the program. Gotta have a tickle system. Gotta have some help launching things out the door. And, gotta do it. This is one important strategy for building a sense of connection, common ground, commitment, and consistency.

So, when we’ve needed mortgage financing, we’ve called John.  He’s done a good job for us. We don’t really think of anyone else.

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