Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters
• Some of the best cards on the planet come from Mason & Geller's art director, Pepper Huff. One of my favorite cards by Pepper features the faces of Mason & Geller employees superimposed on the bodies of Santa's elves. Not only is it fun, but it delivers in person our good wishes to clients and colleagues.
No matter what kind of card you send, try to sign the card yourself. It's even better to write a personal note. You never know how meaningful it can be to the people who get them. I know it's a pain to sit there and write and sign a lot of cards, but each recipient doesn't get a lot of cards from you. They get just one. It's worth it, trust me.
Simple example: I hadn't hit it off with a doorman in my new building until last Christmas when I enclosed a short handwritten note with the usual cash gift. He smiled the next time he saw me and thanked me for the gift and especially for the note, which he thought was "very sweet."
Better example: I was talking about this at a speech last year and a lady came up to me later and said, "I know what you mean. The only card I got on my birthday was from my oil man. He'll be my oil man forever."
Years ago when the agency was just getting on its feet, I was working hard to try to get business from an automobile company. Our letters and phone calls weren't getting much of a response. Then I came across a replica of one of the cars the company manufactured. I decided to send it to our prospect with a note. We eventually got a hearing and landed the account. Years later, the replica car I sent is still sitting on his desk.