It’s axiomatic that if you want to get ahead—no matter what field you’re in---you have to do more than everyone else is willing or able to do. You don’t need to work 12-hour days—you only need to do a little more than everyone else.
Right now, with the emphasis on impersonal mass marketing strategies, doing a little more has never paid bigger dividends. If you’re not proud of what you’re selling, rework it until you are. Doing a little more requires a lot more strategy and a little more effort (not necessarily time) than you’re probably used to and the goal is not to waste any of it.
Don’t fall into the trap of developing marketing strategy based on what everyone else is doing. When it comes to marketing, there are a lot of things everyone does that aren’t very smart. Following are a few doing a little more ideas to get you started.
Thank You Notes
Handwritten and mailed, of course. The most efficient way to ensure that you follow up promptly with a sincere thank-you note after a visit is to keep some pre-stamped stationary in your car. That way you can write and mail the note on the way back to the office (assuming you hit enough stoplights).
If you have an appointment to visit a client or prospect, make a note of other clients and prospects that are on your route. Create personalized notes before you leave and drop them off on your way.
Don’t think you need to charge for everything. If someone is struggling with something that you can easily solve or at least help with, don’t hesitate to do it. Offer suggestions—or really wow them by stopping by to help.
Everyone says they follow through, but very few people actually do. In addition to following through on everything you promise, look for additional opportunities to create promises and demonstrate your great follow through discipline.
Pull 20-30 names out of your email blast list and every time you send a blast out, follow it with personal emails to the shorter list.
A small thoughtful gift will go a long way. Keep it under $5 so it doesn’t feel like a bribe. Find something novel and useful that everyone needs—pocket Sharpies, a mouse pad with a calendar on it-- and keep several in your car.
The key to success is going the extra mile just because you want to, not because you’re expecting anything in return. People already know you’re professional and competent, let them know that you’re considerate too. In fact, don’t worry about going the extra mile; just go the extra block or two. That’s enough to set you apart from the pack.