Costco has holiday items in the store as of September 1st, this week we talk about your plans for the holidays and your clients.
Recently we talked about your list of former bankruptcy clients and how to stay in front of them by contacting them.
Our friend attorney Marvin Oliver from Tustin, California sent me a great idea of what he learned from his years in the insurance sales business. Please note that what works well in one industry, can easily be adapted to the bankruptcy business.
I send all of my current and former Clients a “Seasons Greetings” card, or letter each year with a business card(s). Even though they cannot file for BK for a period of time, they all have friends, or relatives that need BK and/or other legal services. Last year, we paid $74.95 for 300 personalized photo cards with envelopes at Sam’s Club. Costco has a similar program. This works out to approximately .72 each including the postage at current rates. My wife and I did a lot of direct mailing when we were in the insurance business, and we learned that it does not matter if you send a .25 card or a $5.00 card. Just send something. Sort of like the new mantra for First Responders “Imperfect Care Given is better than Perfect Care Withheld”.
You can use return address labels, or a stamp pad for the return address. Sam’s will also print the return address on the envelopes for a nominal additional charge, but that increases the lead time from one day to 2-3 weeks because the envelopes are not done in the store. We have also ordered an inked stamp that prints “Address Correction Requested”. USPS will return the envelope with the new address if there is one, or a notation of FEW, Unclaimed, etc. at no charge if mailed with First Class postage (not bulk). This way, you can clean up your mailing list. We also use the “Address Correction Requested” stamp on BK mailings to clean up the creditor mailing lists.
Why Seasons Greetings? By accident at first, the Thanksgiving to Christmas period is such a rush, that we seemed to be mailing our cards later and later every year. One year, my Wife said, “…these are so late, we might as well print Seasons Greetings on them…”, so we did, and mailed them Christmas week. We got the best response to date from that mailing. We surmised that because our card missed the pre Holiday Christmas Card Crush, many Clients were off work during that period, and had more time to read and respond to the mailing. We have been doing it that way ever since.
Does it work? I have never mailed a batch of cards that we did not get cards, notes, calls, referrals, etc. from some of the Clients. This year I got two excellent Chapter 7 referrals from the same Client, which generated fees far in excess of the cost of the cards. It is the best $225 you will ever spend for Client contact, and it will get you more business. Don’t forget to enclose a business card(s).