So you thought the holidays were over, right? Well, to do my best Trump impression, WRONG!  Go ahead and thank Hallmark, because the holidays are never over. Every month has a holiday in it, and even if one doesn’t, you’re free to create one of your own! All you need to do is get ahead of the game and leverage at least one monthly holiday each month in your marketing plan. But that is the key – get ahead of the game. Stop being reactive (lazy), and start being proactive and intentional. Think of it this way – when did the Christmas and Chanukah decorations come down and the Valentine’s Day gifts and candies come out at your local drug store chain or department store? Probably at 12:01 am, December 26.

So keeping this holiday theme going – let’s review a quick observance I had over Christmas and the New Year – Hardly anyone is sending Holiday Cards. Over the years, especially since the invention of email and then social media, I have experienced an incredible drop off of receiving actual holiday greeting cards. And that is sad. Really sad. And it is a reflection of our society overall and the way we do business today – which is pretty much impersonal. And that sucks.

Yes, it takes time and money to actually send out cards. But you know what? It’s supposed to take time and money to actually reach out to folks. So much of business today is trying to get the attention of folks you don’t know and get them to buy from you instead of the other guy who really doesn’t know them either and didn’t follow up with them after the last time they bought so why shouldn’t they move over to you or anyone else for that matter? Have you ever heard that your influence with someone declines 10% every month you don’t have contact with them? When was the last time you heard from your cable company? Or your cell phone provider? That’s why it’s easy to switch when the competitors come calling with a great deal. Funny thing is though – that great deal is only for new customers.  The old customers get nothing except rate hikes. Thanks for the loyalty!

Okay, so you’re probably saying, come on Nick, you’re just feeling all bah humbug-ie in this after holiday season. But I say, no. I’m actually felling just great because I’m not going to miss out on the opportunity to actually scale down on my list of contacts and actually care about the ones that make the final cut. I’m actually going to send each one of those VIPs a Valentine’s Day card with a personal note about them (not me or my business). That’s right. I’m not going to try to sell them anything. I’m just going to say, “Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s go grab coffee.”  And when those that actually do take me up on that offer, I’ll actually ask them while we have coffee if there is anything I can do to help them or refer them business… and I won’t try to sell them anything then either.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve actually been doing this for about 6 months now – and my business has never been better.

So don’t miss your opportunity to truly connect with your VIPs for Valentine’s Day. But get it together now, because when you read this, it will seem like a great idea to do, and then time will slip away and you’ll be left wondering if you can find St. Patrick’s Day cards… (hint: you can, and you should).

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