The holiday season presents often overlooked opportunities

November 27, 2012

By Bob Johnson, NAID CEO

First, let me say that I understand that for many people, including me, the holidays have a deep significance that is often lost in materialistic concerns and pursuits. My comments today are not designed to contradict or capitalize on that meaning. From a practical perspective, however, the holidays represent a time of reflection, warmth and renewal, and there is no reason to overlook the obvious opportunities they present.

The most obvious opportunity the holidays represent is the strengthening of client relationships. I suggest a handwritten card sharing with the client how much their trust in your firm has meant to you, your employees and their families. Keep in mind, it has to be genuine or it can back fire. The words in the card should not overstate the extent of the relationship. Even if you have never met the contact, you can still write a nice note stating how much you appreciate their support and how seriously you take your responsibility. Don’t have the time? Baloney! It might be the most important note you send all year so it is worth however long it takes. Obviously, you will not do this for every account but I recommend erring on the side of overdoing it rather than underdoing it. I would include more than a few prospects in that list as well. Not that you will be thanking them for their trust, but rather acknowledging them for their time over the last year.

The second, often overlooked, opportunity has to do with the New Year. Marketers have long known that the beginning of the year is a time when people think about changing the way they do things. We all know there are times of the year when people are more and less likely to take action. Since we know that January marks the beginning of a period when decisions are more likely to be made and people are more open to change, now is the time to start preparing. The Doctors’ Office Marketing Program and the Customer Employee Training Program are examples of NAID initiatives to roll out during that time. But that’s not the point. The point is that you could be making plans now. Will you push hard for purge business? Will you pursue the residential market with a campaign timed to coincide with the personal tax filing deadline? Will you aggressively pursue route density?

Lastly, if your business is like most, your employees have become part of your extended family. Please make sure you let your staff know how much you appreciate them — not from a Machiavellian ulterior motive, but a true and genuine place.