For many of us ‘birthdays’ are a pretty special thing. To others a birthday may be just another day on the calendar. Regardless of how you feel about your birthday, I don’t know of anyone who does not appreciate at least being acknowledged on that one day of the year.
In this article we will be covering a little known promotional action that will help you stand out like a diamond in a sea of rhinestones. It’s called: ‘The Birthday Call’ and it is something that is very rarely used by business owners. Now if you’ve followed some basic marketing principles you should have, or have already begun putting together a pretty complete list of client/patient/customer phone numbers and e-mails. If you have not begun this process, it is advised that you get busy on that as soon as possible. As mentioned in ‘Basic Promotional Actions Part 2’, you should be gathering important information on every client/patient/customer that comes through your door. In this case a date of birth is pretty important, so make a habit of it! All you have to do in a retail setting is tell the customer that you need their birth date for ‘special promotions’. You’re not saying what kind of promotional activity it is, as there is no reason to. But if you don’t remember to get a birth date, none of what In have said in this article will mean very much.
It is a given that the information you gather should include as many methods of making contact as possible. Twitter address, Facebook address, Google+, business and personal e-mails are all important. As a business owner you should also have (at the very least) an accurate phone number that you may use to reach your client/customer/patient directly. While this goes without saying, the best times to reach out should also be included. This way when you make that call on a particular birthday, you’ll have the best chance of making a connection.
Please keep in mind that this will be a ‘friendly call’. It should not include a sales agenda or marketing ploy, or questions about an injury, problem unless the patient/customer/client breaches that subject. The simple act of making this call in and of itself is very powerful. And where the rewards of this action may not be seen immediately, over time you will come to realize the purpose, as well as its effectiveness.
Some at Aeon have called this promotional action ‘The Magic Bullet’ because they felt it had a way of piercing through social veneer. This action has a tendency to soften, yet strengthen bonds between business owner and patients/customers/clients. Even the most unruly and belligerent folks tend to soften up when getting this call. It’s quite remarkable actually. I guarantee that once you see the effects of this promotional basic in action with your own eyes, all that I’ve written thus-far will make more sense. There is also a good chance you may also wonder why you’d never done anything quite like this in the past.
A famous chess player by the name of Viktor Korchnoi once said: “The human element, the human flaw and the human nobility, those are the reasons chess matches are won and lost.”
While we’re not talking about a chess match here, try to think of this quote in a metaphorical sense. Think of the action of making the call as adding a human element; one that is so often missing in society.
Now the first thing I want you to do is click on the following link: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/
Once you’ve arrived at that web address you need to download the software.
The software will walk you through how to set up and connect your e-mail accounts. The purpose of downloading the software, however, is to access Thunderbird’s calendar. I prefer this type of calendar because one can set it up to receive alerts for each client/patient/customer birthday. You can also use a spreadsheet in Excel. The drawback to using a spreadsheet is that you will have to check it each day. You won’t receive alerts as you would with Thunderbird.
The sorting and organizing process is what will take the most time. But what you are doing is worth the work. The time you take now will pay dividends for years to come.
Each day of a calendar year might have one entry for a birthday, or it might have 7, or 10, 15, or even zero. Regardless, receiving alerts will cut down on the amount of time you spend on this promotional action. You can even utilize ‘Outlook’ if you already have it set up. Remember that prior to setting up your calendar you want to have three things ready for each entry:
1) Customer/client/patient full name.
2) Best phone number for contact.
3) Best time to reach your customer/client/patient.
Once you are organized and have your customers/clients/patients entered into your calendar you’ll probably need a break! I realize that for some of you this basic promotional action will be quite the task. But once again please focus your attention on the value of performing this action. Ask yourself how you would feel about from a business owner wishing you a “Happy Birthday”. Like most you would probably feel pretty good about it. It’s something you would remember isn’t it? They will too. They will remember that call for years to come. They will tell their friends that you called them, which can only lead to more good things like referrals and more overall business. It’s a home run because your competitors are not doing this. If you truly want to stand out in your community this basic promotional action must be put in place as soon as possible. The last thing you want your customers/patients/clients thinking is: “_________ is just like every other ________ in town!” One thing is certain: After that first birthday call, that idea will never enter their minds again.
Until next time, I hope all of you flourish and prosper beyond your dreams. Have a great week!