Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How to Make Clients Stick to You

You know that I preach writing and mailing thank-you letters to anyone who matters in your business life: clients, prospects, vendors, and referral partners, to name a few.

In his excellent book, You, Inc., Harry Beckwith writes: "Handwritten thank-you notes feel like gifts because you took the time to find the paper and envelope, write the note, affix the stamp, and gift-wrap your note in its package."

Well, here's a terrific twist on thank-you notes as "gifts," borrowed from one of my marketing heroes, Joe Polish.

It's called a "stick letter."

First, recall one of the reasons you mail thank-you notes to clients: To make them feel good about doing business with you. Because, if ignored, a client can quickly come down with a case of buyer's remorse.

Especially in today's economy, your clients may question their purchase and think:

  • Did I pay too much? 
  • Should I have shopped around more?
  • Do I really need that?
  • Is that product/service really worth the money?
  • Did I make a mistake?
  • Etc. -- all of it bad

So here's a Big Question: How do you eliminate or minimize buyer's remorse and possible refunds?

The answer, according to Joe Polish (and my own experience) is to send a "stick letter."

A stick letter is simply a letter to make the sale "stick." In other words, ensure that the buyer of your product or service is happy enough to keep and use it.

Best part: For a tiny investment of time and money, you can not only reduce refunds, you can delight your clients, and stimulate referrals. That's a triple play.

What does a stick letter look like?

I'm glad you asked. Here's an example of what I mail to my copywriting clients ...

Here's what that stick letter says:

As you can see, I've attached a $1 bill to this letter.

It's my way of getting your FULL attention as I say, "Thank you!" once more for your business ...

... and it represents the first of many dollars you can expect to receive from the web pages, emails, and other materials I write for you.

Here's to a long and prosperous relationship!

Kevin Donlin

By the way, the dollar bill is called a "grabber" in direct-mail parlance. It's an attention grabber that forces the recipient to read the letter and find out why you sent them money.

Mailing a stick letter to clients within 3-5 business days of their purchase -- even the same day -- is one of the best ways I know to reduce or eliminate refunds, ensure happy clients, and build your business. Win-win-win.

There's really only one way to do this wrong: Mail a fake letter. Fake as in you don't mean what you say. Clients can smell fakery like a dead skunk, so don't write a single word in any stick letter that you don't mean 100%.

And, if attaching a dollar bill offends your sensibilities, attach something else ... like a gift certificate good for an "emergency consultation" or some surprise extra service.

Meanwhile, the potential upside of sending a stick letter -- in terms of client delight, follow-on sales, and referrals -- is HUGE.

Sure, you've probably never heard of anyone in your industry doing anything like this. And that's exactly why you should try it.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

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