You probably know by now that customer retention is a good thing. You spend less time making sales to a client who is already in the fold, and the happier your current customers are with you, the more likely they are to recommend you to their friends, family and other contacts.

The holidays have become a time when many businesses reach out to their customers to try to solidify ongoing relationships. You might get an email from your realtor, a postcard from your dentist or even a nice card from your mechanic.

Should you jump in, too? Research does show that insurance retention is higher among customers who have regular and meaningful contact with their agent. Since reaching out at this time of year is one way to accomplish that, it can be a pretty good idea.

So how can you make your holiday communication stand out? Here are some dos and don’ts that might help:

Do This

  • Make It Personal  It doesn’t take much to turn an impersonal communication into a personal one. Simply adding “Hi Ron—” in your handwriting before the printed portion of the greeting will do the trick. If you want to earn brownie points, add a longer message at the bottom like, “I’m looking forward to seeing you at the school concert,” or “Hope your Cubs have another great season this year!”
  • Make it Legible  Take the time to write any personal messages neatly. It only takes a moment to arrange a card in front of you to ensure that your writing will be at the correct angle and placed in a spot that is aesthetically pleasing.
  • Target the Rainmakers  If it takes more time than you have to personalize greetings to all of your clients, focus on those who already have or are likely to refer you other business. Look for the folks on your list who are connectors or who have outgoing personalities. Your hair-stylist client may be a better bet for a special message than the computer programmer who works by herself out of her home.
  • Message to Your Audience  You know your client base better than anybody. Is “Happy Holidays” the right message? Or would “Have a Great New Year” be more effective? It might seem like a small difference, but most people follow the same calendar, while a growing number of people in the United States are non-Christian or non-religious. Neither is right or wrong, but the message you send should be an intentional decision on your part.

Don’t Do This

Good intentions aren’t enough. For your contact to be effective, there are also a few things you should avoid.

  • Don’t Cheap Out  If you’re going to send a card, make sure it’s decent quality. Nothing says “I didn’t put much effort into this” like a flimsy, poorly-printed card with an illegible signature. If you can’t afford to do it right, you’re better off not doing it.
  • No Hard Sales  We’re all bombarded by consumerism during the holidays. The idea behind your holiday contact should be to make a personal connection. Think about setting aside your salesperson persona for a moment to convey sincerity and warmth. What you’re saying in effect is: “Hi. It’s me—a human being, just like you. I really hope you’re doing well.”
  • Timing Matters  Maybe you’ve been extra-busy and didn’t get your act together to write out your cards in time. Instead of sending that “Happy Holidays!” card in mid-January, think about subbing in a different card that would still be appropriate. Get clever – how many Groundhog Day cards have you seen? It’s the regular and meaningful contact that matters, not the holiday you send it on. Plus, if you do this, you’ll already have that stack of holiday cards ready to go for next year.
  • Ban Glitter  Glittery cards mean a mess for you and the person who opens them. Just…no.

As we move toward 2019, your friends at Hometown Quotes have a message for you: we sincerely wish you a fantastic new year. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if there is any way we can support you in growing your book and building a prosperous business— 888-808-6007

Bridget Chamberlin

Bridget Chamberlin works in marketing at Hometown Quotes and is posting author and editor for Hometown University.

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