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Shane Decker: Play Your Cards Right

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Set a target to hand out 500 business cards this year

On Sales Strategies: Play Your Cards Right

Set a target to hand out 500 business cards this year

BY SHANE DECKER

Published in the January 2012 issue

Technology has changed how the world communicates. One of my retail friends on the East Coast asked his repair clients how they wanted to be contacted when their repair was finished: phone, e-mail or text. More than 50 percent said text! Because your clients are time-starved, an e-mail or text may be more appreciated than a phone call when it comes to delivering snippets of information.

However, there are times when personal contact and allowing the client to look you in the eye, hear your voice, shake your hand and see the smile on your face make a far greater impact. Many salespeople think that when they leave the store, their work is done for the day. But in sales, your work is never done. And one of the best tools you can carry with you is a good oldfashioned business card.

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Always keep several new business cards with you. Every person you come into contact with is a potential client. Next time you go to see your dentist, and you have a moment when smoke is not coming out of your mouth, say, “This is my card, and this what I do. I know you have special events in your life that you love to celebrate. Please come in and see me when you do.”

When you’re out to eat and the maître d’ stops by your table to ask how your meal is, do the same thing. When you speak at a Rotary function, pass out your cards.

What’s the big deal about handing out your business card? First of all, it makes people feel special when you go out of your way to be nice to them. Some will throw your card away, but others will put it in their purse or on their bulletin board, and they’ll use it when Christmas or their anniversary or some other special event rolls around. I have personally had clients that contacted me seven or eight years later with a crumpled-up card in their wallet and said, “Do you remember me? You handed me this at such-andsuch event. It’s my 20th anniversary, and I’m here to buy a diamond.”

It doesn’t take long to hand somebody your card. You may create a sale by doing so. You’re becoming someone’s personal jeweler. And when they come in with your old crumpled-up card, the closing ratio is close to 100 percent. Texting, e-mail or Facebook will not accomplish this type of salesmanship.

I used to make it my goal to pass out 500 cards per year. It works!

 

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