Are Voles and Moles Eating Your Profits?
Takeaway Points to Consider
- When was the last time that you conducted a full review of all your outgoing correspondence--mail, phone and online--to your customers, prospects, inquirers, suppliers and stockholders?
- I once was hired to consult with a specialized book club in the Midwest. In preparation for the trip out there, I asked that they assemble the printed material that was sent to the members. In particular, I wanted to see the very first shipment of books and welcome literature. When I arrived at the meeting, I was told that this shipment had been assembled with great difficulty and that nobody on the marketing side had ever seen it before--not the vice president of book clubs, not the club director, not the marketing manager.
We opened the package just the way a new member would and I found a series of gaffes that could negate much of the good will generated by the acquisition mailing. Over the years, the voles and moles in the shipping department were told to put in this piece or that piece, but nobody took the time to show them how it should be folded, what sequence of material the new member should see, etc. The result was an olio that was more confusing than welcoming.
- Do you--and does every member of your organization--know what letters and other material are going out over your signatures? When was the last time you looked?
- When Ernest Hemingway finished a novel, he would stick it in a desk drawer in his Cuban finca and go off to hunt game in Africa, deep-sea fish off Bimini or follow a hot new bullfighter around Spain for a couple of months. When he returned to Cuba, he would read the novel with fresh eyes, immediately see what needed rewriting and then would send off a hard diamond of masterful prose to Maxwell Perkins, the great editor at Charles Scribner's Sons.