Have you ever sent out an email or made a phone call and got an ‘out of the office’ message? Did you read the ‘I will return on…’ email to the end, or, did you simply hit ‘delete?’ Have you ever hung up after making a note of when they will be returning without hearing the whole message? If so, those are opportunities lost.
Here is why you may want to stop doing that. Those messages could give you a golden opportunity to solidify the bonding and rapport and increase your business exponentially. They give you hints as to where they are and what they may be doing; therefore, giving you the opportunity to respond to the actual ‘out of office message’. In other words, you become a person that cares about them as a person and not just as a source of income.
Here is an example; I take an annual vacation to Mexico every year and leave the obligatory ‘out of the office message’ and mention that ‘I will be in Mexico on holidays and will be returning to my office on…’ Please note, this happened in my past corporate life. One of my suppliers I had been dealing with actually responded with: “Hey Joe, I hope that you had a great time in Mexico with your family and were blessed with warmth and sunshine. When you have a chance and the sunburn has subsided, could you give me a call on our discussions of a month ago regarding bringing in the second item to your offering from us?”
Who do you think I called first upon my return? Furthermore, who do you believe did not only get their second item, but also a third and fourth item into our offering?
From that time on, not only have I read/heard every ‘out of the office message’, but if I know why, I automatically go into ‘action’ mode. This enabled me to ALWAYS hit my targets and only did lead generation because I wanted to, not because I had to. There is a very big difference between those two.
If your prospect or client is going to a family wedding or graduation; a personal congratulations card gets mailed immediately. If it’s a funeral, a personal sympathy card is sent out. Some may be thinking; “Wow, that’s a lot of work and expense.”
Sure, a card is in the neighborhood of $4.00 a stamp is about a $1.00. You are into it for a whole $5.00. Of course, there is all that time to sit down and actually write the note and then take it to the mailbox. Absolutely, 15 minutes that you feel is coming out your perceived value of $250.00/hour works out to be $62.50. Have you ever considered that the $67.50 investment may pay off tenfold or more in the end?
The supplier wanted another item brought into our line up; he got four more. That to me is a fairly good Return On Investment. How about you? The amount of extra business I got from existing accounts exceeded the amount that I would need to get from new clients.
The author of ‘Think and Grow Rich’, Napoleon Hill, said: “98 out of 100 people won’t go the extra mile. Going the extra mile is the one thing, above all others, that will always guarantee success, far out of proportion than most people ever dream of.”
Are you one of the two?