In the break room, I’d often find those peppermints with Sonic’s logo imprinted on them. Even if people didn’t eat the mints, they couldn’t bring themselves to throw them away. (or the packets of ketchup, either).After seeing the peppermints, the power of suggestion was so strong that I would jump in my car and head to the drive-in for a Number 1 double meat with cheese and a side of massive coronary. And I, too, would leave the mints on the table for the next unsuspecting fool.
So what can you give to a customer - that won't get thrown away - that will serve as a reminder of you when you’re not around? A friend of mine owns a successful produce company. He would find his expensive full-color product brochures in his customers’ trash until he started placing exclusive recipes on the back. Now he finds them pinned on the bulletin boards in the offices of his customers.
Of course, not just any promotional gadget or "gimme" is going to work. For it to have any chance of triggering a positive memory of your company, it has to meet three criteria for the customer.
- Relevancy – it has to be related to your business and the customer.
- Personal – it has to be something that specifically fits the individual customer.
- Functional – it has to serve a purpose for it be used and not forgotten.
Here’s another example. Several of my partners have given the Eisenberg’s book, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? to potential clients. In at least two of these instances, the prospects have become customers. Why did this work? Because it meets the three criteria: it's relevant, personal, and functional.
When was the last time you gave a client a book that brought you more business? You might order a couple of copies and have them on hand to give as gifts. It would make a great “door-opener” for that customer you’ve been having trouble getting in to see. You know that I rarely try to sell you anything in this blog, so you know this is something I strongly believe in. And $11.99 for a hardcover book - WITH a CD featuring an 80-minute presentation and a search-able PDF version of the complete manuscript- is an incredibly worthy investment. Order three Cats and Amazon picks up the shipping cost.
What are some other ideas that you've used to keep your name in front of customers when you're not physically present?