Passing out business cards with help from Ben Franklin or the State Lottery

By
Home Stager


When I was in the planning phase of my Home Staging business, I worked out a deal with a Realtor friend.  I staged her house in exchange for the privilege of taking before and after photos for my portfolio.  Since she lived two hours away, this involved me staying at her house for a couple of days.  It also included a variety of shopping trips in search of the perfect accessories.

I came away from that experience with more than just some great before and after photos.  I had the privilege of observing a networking pro in action!  My friend took advantage of any and all opportunities to hand out her business card to everyone we met...from the wait staff in restaurants to the people in line at Pier 1 or Marshall's.  

Not only did she give out a lot of business cards, she had a clever way of minimizing the likelihood that they would end up in a dumpster.  When she handed a business card to someone, she did so with a big dose of WIIFM.  (What's in it for me?)

 She would smile and say "hello" to everyone she came into contact with.   When the timing was right, she would hand them a business card and verbally instruct them to write their name and phone number on the back of the card and then to put it in their wallet for safekeeping. The puzzled looks on their faces quickly turned to smiles when she told them that, should that card ever find it's way back to her, after close of escrow, her friend "Benjamin Franklin" would be on his way to see them.  She kept  a crisp, new $100 bill in her purse to show to anyone who needed a little extra incentive.

I asked her how many times she had to send "Ben" on a trip and she said, "Ben was a frequent flyer!" 

Unfortunately, I never mastered that technique. As a stager who predominantly does consultations and hands-on staging of occupied homes, setting up a travel itinerary for Ben Franklin was too rich for my blood.  And sending Alexander Hamilton in his place just didn't have the same allure.

After having this info lie dormant in the recesses of my mind, I recently had an epiphany...in a convenience store.   The prospect of being rewarded with $10 is not likely to stir up much interest, but what if the $10 was transformed into 10 chances of winning a lottery?

As I waited my turn at the counter, I envisioned myself passing out business cards and saying, "If this card lands in my hands after payment for a consultation or hands-on staging, $10 worth of lottery tickets will land in yours!!!" 

Woo Hoo!!! Visions of huge jackpots and rolling in dough would surely be great motivators for passing along my card.

And I intend to make it crystal clear that this offer only applies to completed transactions...not inquiries or free estimates.

This should make it easier to hand out  business cards to everyone I meet.  Because, not only would it be beneficial to me, it could possibly benefit them as well....in more ways than one!  Who wouldn't want to receive $10 worth of lottery tickets for doing nothing more than giving a business card to a friend or family member? It would also be an incentive to hold onto the card in hopes that they or someone they know would be able to use it in the future.

So what you do think, is it worth a try? 

 

 

                                                            

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Rainmaker
492,231
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

I think it's an excellent incentive!  What a clever idea your friend has implemented.  I'm sure it has brought her business and I half suspect yours will to.  Now to answer your direct question;  YES.  I think it's definitely worth a try.

Kathy

Oct 29, 2007 10:39 AM #1
Rainer
45,288
Tara Boettger
HOMEGIRL Home Staging - Poughkeepsie, NY

Judy -

It's definitely worth a try! If someone handed me a business card that could be worth money I would hold onto it and hope someday to give it to someone who needed it. Good Luck!

Oct 29, 2007 12:41 PM #2
Rainer
77,324
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona

Judy, Your epiphany is just wonderful. Great idea. It reminds me of the gift my sister-in-law once gave her dad for Christmas. Each time she asked him what gift he would like his only answer was a million dollars. You guessed it -- she gave him several lottery tickets with the hope that they would turn into at least a million.

As for your idea, now I'm thinking. Way to go. 

Oct 29, 2007 02:53 PM #3
Rainer
196,865
Judy Kincaid
Tampa, FL

Kathy -- That unique marketing method worked quite well for my friend, she retired at the age of 50 and moved to Las Vegas.  That's why she needed me to stage her house. 

Thanks for the affirmative answer...it's the one I was looking for. 

Oct 29, 2007 05:08 PM #4
Rainer
196,865
Judy Kincaid
Tampa, FL
Tara -- Thanks for the vote of confidence.  I am contemplating using this idea at office presentations....complete with an onsite raffle for $10 worth of lottery tickets.

 

Oct 29, 2007 05:12 PM #5
Rainer
196,865
Judy Kincaid
Tampa, FL

Yvonne -- You have a very clever sister-in-law....but then, again, so does she!!!  Thanks for sharing the story of how she handled her Dad's unusual request.

Imagine this scenario:  You stage a house, it turns out great, client pays you and hands you your business card with his name and number on it, you give him $10 in lottery tickets, he calls you up a few days later to tell you that his house is under contract and he won $5000.  Can't think of a better opportunity to alert the media!  Not to mention all the resulting referrals that would come your way.

Oct 29, 2007 05:18 PM #6
Rainer
77,324
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona
Judy, that is right! You will certainly rock the media with that scenario. It would drip down on the rest of us too, so I'm praying for it to happen just like that! Way to go.
Oct 30, 2007 11:53 AM #7
Rainer
196,865
Judy Kincaid
Tampa, FL
Yvonne -- Oh you had better believe I would be posting about it if one of my clients hit a jackpot.  I am also considering handing out my business cards to Realtors with these same instructions when I do presentations....but I will leave it to their discretion as to whether they should put their own contact info on the back or give the opportunity to their clients.  I would like to see other stagers embrace this idea as well.  Are you game?
Oct 30, 2007 02:31 PM #8
Rainmaker
272,195
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento
Well that is such a clever idea. Thank you for sharing Judy ;)
Oct 30, 2007 02:36 PM #9
Rainer
77,324
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona
Judy, I have truly been mulling this idea. I'm not sure about the part of using the idea with REAs. Don't they have some kind of rule (regulation) about not accepting this type of thing? I really don't know what they are allowed to accept. It does seem like a really good idea though. 
Oct 30, 2007 04:18 PM #10
Rainer
196,865
Judy Kincaid
Tampa, FL

Lori K -- Thanks and you are welcome!

Yvonne -- Like you, I am not sure about all the regulations relating to what REA's can and can't accept.  You certainly brought up a good point.  

Some stagers raffle off free consultations that often go unredeemed.  I thought I would raffle off $10 or $20 worth of lottery tickets to everyone present as my way of saying "Thank You" for allowing me to have a few moments of their time.

Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

Oct 30, 2007 04:36 PM #11
Anonymous
penny white

Judy,

What a great idea, I think you're on to something big. Thanks for sharing, it will be easier to hand those cards out and generate interest! This will be fun and easy to do.

                 Penny W

Oct 30, 2007 08:55 PM #12
Rainer
45,206
Sandra Hughes
Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia - Fairfax, VA
Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia
Judy, you are such the clever girl!
Oct 31, 2007 12:00 AM #13
Rainer
196,865
Judy Kincaid
Tampa, FL

Penny -- Thanks for your kind words.  I think passing out cards with an incentive will be much easier and fun, too!

Sandra -- And aren't you the sweet girl!  Thanks for the compliment.

Nov 01, 2007 06:36 PM #14
Rainer
54,084
Kimberly Uksik
Independent - Pickering, ON
Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On.
Judy,  What a great idea!!  You are so full of them these days.. I will be giving this a try as well!
Nov 02, 2007 04:32 AM #15
Rainmaker
2,193,932
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Judy,  I came across this old post today and wondered if you have been offering the lottery tickets and if so what have been the results?

May 22, 2008 02:49 AM #16
Rainer
57,001
Tori Lynn Wallitsch
Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC - Omaha, NE

Very interesting; your friend is quite clever!  Let us know how that turned out.

May 23, 2008 01:11 PM #17
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