After losing a speech contest that I really wanted to win, my journey home to my family was grim. I was hoping that I could burst through the door and proudly show my trophy to my wife and two children. This time there was no trophy; He was returning home empty-handed. When I walked in the door, my six-year-old son came up to me and handed me a trophy that he made for me. Constructed of cardboard and colored with a yellow crayon, my son had written “Best Dad Trophy” in large letters.

When he handed me the gift he had made, he said, “I wanted to make sure you had a trophy, Dad.” This gift continues to be one of my most treasured items that is proudly displayed on my desk. It was a different gift; it was a gift from the heart. Gifts, and the act of giving gifts to those who matter so much to us, remain one of the best ways to reach those who do business with us and those we want to do business with us. This fact is indisputable, but it is rarely practiced in the course of day-to-day business. There is no better way to schedule appointments, keep the sales process going, and establish a personal connection with those who support our business than by giving gifts; yet few of us do. Why? We don’t give gifts often enough because we look with cloudy eyes. Look at the reasons we don’t give gifts as a regular part of our daily work from the eyes of an innocent six-year-old:

Perceived challenge: not enough time to give away

Sure, we all wish we had more time, but if you look at this perceived challenge with a fresh look, you would quickly see that we also lose a lot of time. We approach gift giving as if it were a time consuming thing, it is not. Instead of wasting those ten minutes before an important meeting, dig through your drawer and “gift someone.” If you had to add up all the little blocks of time that you waste throughout the day, you would have several hours a week that are simply not used. They are not used because it is not enough time to start a new project, but it is still valuable time that can be used to increase the volume of “keys” you have with those who “can tell you yes.”

Perceived challenge: gifts are expensive

Gifts are only expensive when you look at them with wasted eyes. Look at gifts from the eyes of a six-year-old and you can magically redefine what a gift is. As I was reminded, a gift is valuable when it comes from the heart. Now, you are not about to create a cardboard trophy with the words “Best Customer Trophy” written in pencil. However, take a moment and consider why that gift was so valuable. It took time, creativity and energy to produce it. These three valuable components made the gift worthwhile, not to mention the fact that my son thought enough of me to put his time, creativity and energy into creating a gift for me. You have these three things within those wasted ten minute blocks of time that, until now, were not being used to grow your business. The adult version of my son’s cardboard trophy is a handwritten card.

The art of the handwritten card has power because you are telling your prospect or client that you value them enough to take the time out of your day to write them a message. In the same way that I received my cardboard trophy, your customers will literally be delighted that you took time out of your busy day to thank them for a conversation you had, that they were glad that they were still your customers or that they are grateful for the opportunity to earn your business. These handwritten gifts are inexpensive and more valuable than most gifts you can send. The beauty is that you can send them often, and you will instantly discover that you have a coveted place on your mind – the top of your mind. As you create and protect this space at the top of your mind, you will receive all the benefits that come with this esteemed position. Perhaps the easiest thing to understand is that you will receive the phone call when it is time for them to make a purchase. That’s something you can break through the door and show your family!

How can I ensure that I am prepared for success?

You now have the ability to let Market By Hand’s team of manual writers take care of all the work for you. We have created a system that allows you to send real handwritten cards, either on demand or at a predetermined time. You can test the system yourself completely free of charge. Just go to www.marketbyhand.com, sign up for a free trial account, and you’ll instantly have free shipping and credit to send in a trial card. Regardless of whether you submit the cards yourself or the experts at Market By Hand deliver them to you for you, we sincerely hope that you fully understand and use the power behind these simple and effective marketing techniques. Trust me, your checkbook will thank you.

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