I was speaking with a consulting client around this time last year who excitedly informed me that their new Thanksgiving Day card process had just been initiated for the first time.
Those that read our weekly articles and have seen us in the field are likely aware that we at Pareto are fixated with process, and it is always a thrill whenever we hear that one of our clients has taken it to heart and applied process within their own practice.
As well, this specific process is one that we feel particularly impassioned about because we have been promoting the notion of giving out Thanksgiving Day cards for about 15 years now. In fact, we always get rave reviews from the advisors that have employed it.
Although it is fine to send a Happy Holidays or New Years card, we have always argued that sending a Thanksgiving Day card will set you apart. There are a lot of gifts and communications going back and forth around the New Years and Christmas holidays, and your Christmas card tends to blend in with the many others.
Historically speaking, the Thanksgiving Day card has never been a strong tradition. Therefore, when you send one out, it is quite likely the only card that your clients will receive. You stand out as someone who is genuinely interested in them and sincere about wishing them a great Thanksgiving holiday. As well, in this age of the Internet it is often rare to get a physical card of any kind for any occasion. This last point creates a further opportunity to really stand out and to make a statement about your level of commitment to them.
In order to execute this Thanksgiving card idea effectively, there are a few things to consider, and one of those is the all-important message on the card. Many advisors look for a quote which resonates with them of course. Perhaps they might speak to the state of the nation, the time of year, and of course the clients they are sending it to. In today’s world, it takes but a few moments and an Internet search before you have several worthy quotes to choose from.
Next, arrange to have your chosen message written on the card by someone in your office or inner circle who has admirable and legible handwriting. I realize that you may think this is a lot of writing, but it is well worth the effort. It is important to note, based on your service matrix, this is not going to be sent out to all your clients – it is going to be sent out to your best clients. You also have to decide who will sign the cards. My personal preference is that the cards are signed by all your team members (if this applies). Again, what is the statement that you want to make to your best clients about the level of service that you provide, and the respect that you have for them?
Your Cards should have Impact and Shelf Life.
Lastly of course, what kind of a card do you want to send? In short, we have always suggested that you send the nicest card you can possibly find. It has to be something that someone really doesn’t want to ever throw away (we often call this ‘owning the mantle’). It has to be so attractive a card that the client will keep it on their mantle or desk for months to come.
Now, as it relates to our client, I was curious as to what steps they had put into their Thanksgiving Card process, and reviewed it. It was airtight. Anyone, even brand new to the office, could have followed it with ease - perfect for documenting in a Procedures Manual, a great bonus.
Step 1, which was already in motion, was to order the cards by a ‘drop dead’ date to ensure that they would be sent out in a timely fashion.
They had called me that day because they were taking the “best card you can find” to heart, really wanted to “wow” their clients, and felt a bit stuck at finding something suitable so I told the about Lavish Cards. Their cards will set you apart from others as they are stunningly beautiful and produced on the highest quality paper, and they have a very diverse selection of beautiful photographs. I personally have ordered them for use with my friends and family, and often get phone calls from friends thanking me for the card (if you can imagine that). One friend framed one. I love it that people enjoy them so much.
So remember: take process seriously at all times. Don’t leave anything till the last minute and even though it is still many weeks away, it is a great time to plan and begin executing your Thanksgiving Day card campaign. If you are initiating change and sending Thanksgiving cards yourself for the first time, be sure to order them soon.