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June 2009

The Lost Art of Keeping in Touch

IStock_000004474914XSmall Keeping in touch is a lost and dying art I'm afraid.

I remember back in 1997. The internet was mainstream by then and clients and prospects thought it was very cool to receive email.

On top of that, everyone in small business also thought it was so very cool to send emails instead of using the US Mail.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on marketing, we could  do the same work for just hundreds. It was a novelty and most everyone was playing.

Fast forward to 2009. What a difference a decade plus two yeas makes.

We have grown weary of email, SPAM is despised and information is coming at us all at the speed of electrons.

Everyone is overwhelmed by the massive amount of information that's sent to them every day.

Whenever new becomes old, it's time to make the old new again.

Hence the use of cards, letters and phone calls to express appreciation and thanks to our clients and prospects.

Think about how you communicated (or your parents communicated) before email. Now, apply those techniques today instead of just defaulting to email.

People appreciate receiving a heartfelt card. You'll receive  a call of thanks when you send one.

A phone call is welcome if the person you're calling gains value from the conversation.

An introductory letter has just under double the chance of being read than an email.

The statistics are:

15% of emails are ever read

27% of personal letters are opened and viewed

A whopping 98% of greeting cards are opened and appreciated.

When it comes to marketing, what's the best investment?

How to Learn Things from Reading a Business Book

Purplecowcover Business books are great. I love them and read a lot. But there’s a catch.

Reading business books without taking action on what you learn is a waste of precious time.

How much more productive and successful could you be if you actually took action on the ideas you learned from reading?

It’s easy to do. Here’s what an adult learning expert once shared with me on how to learn more from reading.

Start by paging through the book. Notice what the chapter titles, subheadings and bullet points have to offer. Write down any questions that come up as you leaf through.

As you start reading highlight areas that you want to remember and review later. Make sure each of your questions from the first exercise are answered as you read each chapter.

Take notes and create action steps as you read. At the end of each chapter recap the steps the book offers.

Follow this advice for each chapter. At the end of the book, go back over your notes and highlighted areas, starting with chapter one and do the steps outlined.

A few great books to start with are:

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

How to Become a Rainmaker by Jeffery Fox

How to Get Everything You Can From Everything You’ve Got by Jay Abraham

Webify Your Business by Patrick Schwerdtfeger (this is an easy one because Patrick provides action steps at the end of each chapter).

With Appreciation on Memorial Day 2009 USA

AmericanFlag In the United States today is Memorial Day. It is a time when we remember and reflect back with pride and appreciation on the men and women who are serving or have served in the armed services.

To all veterans and service members, thank you for your service and sacrifices.

The veteran and service member groups that I am part of and support are:

The Viet Nam Dog Handlers Association at - Thank you for remembering the service of all Military Working Dog Handlers during the Viet Nam era.

Special thanks to Jon Hemp for developing a program that shows current K9 troops they are appreciated and remembered through his Feed the Dawgs program at

Inspiring Alliance at - Ruth Adkins is an amazingly dedicated women who offers programs of guidance and support for current military members, wounded warriors and veterans. Learn more about Ruth and her efforts on her Web site and by following her on Twitter @RuthAdkins

Please support the efforts of these selfless people who are caring about and appreciating those who serve in all branches of the United States Military.

American Flag photograph is courtesy of Send Out Cards