On Wednesday evening, we did a show in the SWS Virtual Studio about Doo-Dads - y'know, those customized promotional trinkets we hand out to our spheres of influence throughout the year, but especially during the holidays?
During the show, we got into a discussion of what makes a Doo-Dad "soulful" - and by "soulful" I mean a little special, a little unique and likely to make the recipient smile, think of you fondly and hopefully even keep your Doo-Dad. As opposed to some dorky piece of junk that makes him roll his eyes and think the giver of said Doo-Dad is an idiot. Or even barely acknowledge the Doo-Dad because he has ten more just like it from the other real estate agents, financial planners and insurance agents in his life, all of whom desperately want his business (which is obvious from all the I <Heart> Referrals slogans on the Doo-Dads).
And that's the topic of today's blog. No, not referral-begging, but rather, burdening your precious sphere of influence with Doo-Dads they don't want.
What do I mean by "burden?"
Well, when we receive Doo-Dads from strangers, we have no qualms about tossing it into the trash if we don't want it. No muss, no fuss, no angst - Doo-Dad gone and forgotten.
But when we get a Doo-Dad we don't really want from someone we know, we aren't so quick to throw it away. We might hold onto it for awhile, out of respect for that relationship.
Um, yeah, Jennifer - that's the point! I want the recipient of my fancy Doo-Dad to hold onto it - DUH!
Not so fast. Let's think about what's going through his or her mind. This person really doesn't want to keep that Doo-Dad. It's likely just one more thing to find a home for and to collect dust. But his loyalty to you forces him to make a decision that he's going to be uncomfortable with either way. Throw it away and feel guilty or don't throw it away and feel irritated.
That's what I mean by "burden." I don't want my precious SOI spending one second trying to decide whether or not they're willing to hurt my feelings by throwing away that trinket I sent. And I REALLY don't want them to make the decision to throw it away, thus subconsciously relegating me and my service to the round file. <she shudders>
Let me give you an example. A few years back, I seem to remember a particular Doo-Dad making the rounds in early July. It was a little flag on a stick that served no real purpose except to give the real estate agent an excuse to drop it off. There really wasn't anything the recipient could do with the flag except maybe stick it in his pencil holder.
I thought this was the epitome of a burdensome Doo-Dad. First, no one wants to throw away an American flag, especially at such a patriotic time of year! And of course, since it came from a friend, that adds even more fuel to that I-Feel-Guilty fire, should the recipient choose to dispose of it.
So, what's the answer? Any thoughts? I'll share mine next time!