Sage words from Blue Eyed Sun’s md Jeremy Corner who made Deborah Meaden think at business seminar
Earlier this year I was invited, along with several other Queen’s Award winners, to a lunch with senior execs at the Department for International Trade. It was really an interesting mix of impressive businesses all discussing various issues to do with growing, exporting and reaching new markets.
I was curious to see if any of the other businesses has reached out to their international customers, partners and distributors to celebrate their success. We had sent ours personalised Montezumas chocolates and a card to say thanks. Interestingly none of them had done anything of the sort.
I think businesses could really set themselves apart doing this and more importantly develop much closer relationships with their clients. People buy from people. A greeting card is a really simple elegant way of doing this. It’s not invasive like a phone call and it’s way more personal than an email or text message.
Christmas cards are an especially good time for businesses to send a card to their customers. Taking the time to write and thank them for their business really helps you to stand out from the crowd at an important time of the year. We all know how we feel when we see those emails from businesses that say they’ve saved money on Christmas cards by emailing instead. We rarely believe that they’re really donating the savings to charity, even if they say they do. Worse still, we feel a little less loved by them. In fact, I gave a previous bank manager a particularly hard time when he emailed me one such message several years ago (to me – a greeting card publisher!)
Another way businesses can use greeting cards is to connect more closely with their team. The CEO of Sage Plc, Stephen Kelly, is a big fan of our cards and uses them to connect with his team by sending them thank you notes to acknowledge the great work they do. It’s a lovely personal touch.
Sage are also sending out Well Done cards to their next 1,000 employees to welcome them to the company. The cards contain a personal message inside from one of its customers, Blue Eyed Sun. Again, I think this a wonderful way of making the start to a large company more personal.
I’m planning to talk more about this with Stephen when I see him next week in Atlanta, where I’m speaking at Sage Summit. I recently attended Sage Summit in London where I coached some small businesses and had the pleasure of meeting Deborah Meaden and Kelly Hoppen from Dragons’ Den, as well as Sahar Hashemi, the founder of Coffee Republic. I gave them all a gift pack of our cards, which they were very happy to receive. Perhaps using them will improve their businesses?
Find out more about Sage Summit Atlanta
Jeremy Corner is the md of Blue Eyed Sun and treasurer of the Greeting Card Association. As well as being passionate about small businesses, he is also an avid fan of social media. You can find him on Twitter @JeremyCorner and his YouTube channel The Greeting Card Project.
Watch Jeremy’s video on sending out thank you cards from his Greeting Card Project