First impressions only come once. It is a powerful moment that likely shapes what will happen next in a burgeoning relationship.
But here’s a tantalizing question.
When does a first impression end? Especially in regards to wooing a new employee or winning a customer? Is it the moment they:
- Leave the room?
- End a call?
- Finish reading your email?
At Shutterfly Business Solutions, we believe a first impression extends all the way until the next person-to-person engagement. Here’s why acknowledging that matters.
When you view the first impression as a longer experience, you have more opportunities within it to awe, influence, and create a preferable opinion. If you end your first impression too soon, you’re missing out on hours, days, or maybe even weeks of chances to create a positive impression.
In this blog, Shutterfly Business Solutions will explain how your organization can extend the first impression. Using our greeting card strategy, you’ll create a compelling early impression and forge deeper connections.
Strategizing the Perfect First Date
Some companies refer to the initial interaction with a prospective hire or new customer by some name. Lincoln Motor Company referred to these moments as a first date.
Their goal (not surprisingly) was to create a second date. Not only did the “date” nomenclature add charm to the journey, but it underscored the personal nature of the relationship they challenged dealerships to build with customers. The idea was to elevate the situation from a possible transaction to the first of many exciting, interesting, educational, and rewarding experiences.
We believe most organizations should adopt this mentality.
Relationships that endure are forged by emotional investment. If you do not show care for people, why should they care in return?
How does an organization build emotional investments? Shutterfly Business Solutions suggests sending highly personalized communications. You need to demonstrate to the person that you know about them.
Greeting Cards Say “You’re Important”
How should you follow up on an initial meeting?
Most people don’t do anything at all. Some people will rip off a quick email. A rare few take the time to pen a note. The best way, however, is sending a personalized greeting card.
Greeting cards are recognized across many cultures as a sign of respect.
Still, greeting cards aren’t used enough. Especially in a business setting.
How often, if ever, have you gotten a greeting card after an initial meeting? It’s likely not ever. If you did, it’s likely you remembered it and were impressed by it. That right there is the point, greeting cards will impress a person and tell them “You’re important. I’m thankful we met, and I hope our journey continues.”
Greeting Cards Sell Without Selling
We’ve discussed the first date concept. It’s a powerful idea. But greeting cards aren’t only part of the first date. You should use them to foster relationship-building moments throughout those early stages of interaction.
In fact, greeting cards have a superpower that other communication channels don’t share. They can sell you and our organization without even trying.
In its purest form, selling is relationship building — and that’s what greeting cards achieve.
The alternatives to greeting cards all come up short in one way or another.
- Emails become a task to be cleared out
- Voice mail is even worse at clogging inboxes
- Meetings are often tough to arrange
Plus, all of those are layered in a business context. The recipient knows you have a commercial agenda. But a greeting card is a pleasant reprieve from the work day. It’s a surprise to get and creates a moment to enjoy (not cross off the list).
Here’s another thing, you can send greeting cards for just about any reason. Here are some opportunities to send greeting cards to deepen business relationships:
- Say thank you for a meeting
- Celebrate a business achievement (promotion, new contract, work anniversary, etcetera)
- A person’s life event (marriage, new child, new home)
- Invitation for a causal business happy hour, lunch, or dinner
- Share some interesting business news or recent development
Here’s a critical tip when sending greeting cards for business: keep the message casual, personal, and don’t sell. It isn’t supposed to be direct mail, so don’t let it sound like a pitch. Treat each message as nothing more than sending a bit of goodwill or sharing news. Don’t go all feature and benefit or competitor shaming. The power is in the greeting card format (what it represents) and less in the actual details of the message.
Make It Easy to Send Business Greeting Cards
Who has the extra time to go to a store, walk up and down the greeting card aisle, look for the appropriate message, take it home, write in it, then get a stamp to mail it? Not many of us. That level of effort is reserved for your very close family during birthdays and anniversaries.
But sending greeting cards for business can be almost effortless with help from a partner like Shutterfly Business Solutions.
We’ll integrate greeting cards into your organization’s enterprise systems and tie them to the CRM. This means you’ll have an assortment of pre-selected cards and messages. We can even automate the workflow so sending greeting cards happens without you taking any action.
Prefer to have your greeting cards to be handwritten? Shutterfly Business Solutions can accomplish that too. Type in the message, and we have staff that pens it to paper.
We’ll even do the envelope and mailing for you.
Getting to Know Your Customer
Greeting cards become more impactful when you add unexpected personalizations. How? By paying attention and doing a bit of homework.
Take notes when you meet/talk to the recipient. Not just about business stuff but the casual banter too. That’s where you’ll find the real nuggets of opportunity.
Maybe they mention a child that plays a sport or an upcoming competition they are traveling to. Look those things up and then follow up with a good luck or great results message in the greeting card.
Also, follow them and their organization on LinkedIn. That way you’ll get notified of work anniversaries or major news for their company. You can use those moments to send congratulations messages too.
Be careful you’re not stalking the person; your goal is to get to know them better. Be wise. Never use any information the person didn’t mention directly to you or is publicly announced by their company. For example, looking online, you might find they have a family member with a Go Fund Me page for a health need. Leave that kind of topic alone. You’re creating a business relationship, not a personal relationship. Many people feel uncomfortable when that line is crossed.
Use Greeting Cards to Establish Meaningful Business Relationships with Shutterfly Business Solutions
Building business relationships with greeting cards creates a lasting advantage. It creates more points of contact and deepens customer relationships.
As powerful as it can be, a greeting card program is only one strategy. Shutterfly Business Solutions has thousands more that are ready to deploy. Using our expertise, scalability, nationwide presence, and massive Shutterfly platform will maximize your communications.
Capitalize on Shutterfly Business Solution resources and workflows to solve your communication challenges.