A long time ago (last week? The week before?), I promised to continue a little series I was running about Turning Cheese into Soul - that is - taking yesterday's tired old prospecting techniques and making them less, um, cheesy. Well, I got a little distracted, but it's been driving me NUTS to have the remainder of the series on my to-do list... so, I'm back.
Today's topic is about greeting cards. Specifically, a program called Send Out Cards.* If you aren't familiar with the product/program, it's a greeting card system where you choose a card from an online selection, customize it, and "sign" it... hit SEND and a real, live greeting card goes out in the mail with what appears to be your signature. You can even provide samples of your handwriting and the system will "handwrite" your personal note in the card so that appears to actually have been written by you. Pretty slick.
I've been rather critical of the program for awhile now. I did try it a few years ago, had a negative experience - my cards were sent out twice, thus destroying any notion the recipients might have had as to the authenticity of the cards. I've never used or recommended Send Out Cards again. Here's a blog I wrote on the topic, in fact: http://activerain.com/blogsview/430334/if-you-re-gonna-soi-don-t-over-systemitize-
However, I had a conversation a few weeks ago with my new friend John Lind who might have changed my mind. At least, sorta. Maybe I should say that he opened my eyes to a better way to use the product/program; one that is much more in line with my philosophies of how such things ought to be done.
John uses his Send Out Cards membership in a decidedly non-dorky/non-cheesy manner. In fact, his use of the program falls right in line with what I teach about staying in touch with your Sphere of Influence. Instead of simply relying on the program to sign and mail a mildly clever, but run-of-the-mill greeting card, he takes the time to use the technology offered by the program to create a truly memorable card - one that will almost certainly make the recipient smile; maybe even LOL!
Here's an example of a card John sent me:
John generated this card after our discussion where I explained why I didn't like the idea of Send(ing) Out Cards. He "wrote" a very nice note on the inside of the card; one that was personal to me and our conversation. I am, in a word, impressed. And yes, I did LOL when I opened it. I even kept it!
Here's another card John did at Thanksgiving...
So, what's the punch line? While it's cheesy (IMO) to rely on technology to do your staying-in-touching FOR you, it's not at all cheesy to use technology to make your staying-in-touching memorable!
See the difference?
Let me know if you have any cool ideas I can steal admire.
* I have nothing to do with the Send Out Cards program - I don't sell it, promote it or distribute it, so the above is definitely not any sort of infomercial for the product. However, I'm sure John would be happy to brainstorm ways that you can make more of an impact with your staying-in-touching! Here's his email address.