Why I will buy $50 Worth of Popcorn in 2012

Posted on 10. Jan, 2012 by in Blog

This Fall was a busy season at my house.  Late October, another knock at the door, brought another lesson (read about the first one here: What Are you Worth?).

While I usually don’t entertain solicitors, when I heard the statement below coming from a boy dressed up in uniform and pulling a red flyer wagon overflowing with boxes, I became the very picture of hospitality.

“Excuse Me Ma’am, Will You Buy My Popcorn?”

Remembering how much I disliked such tasks as a Brownie and then a Girl Scout, I took pity and bought a big box. I was rewarded with a sigh of relief, a shy smile and 24 packages of microwave popcorn (that I didn’t really need or want).

The end.

Or so I thought.

Cub Scout Customer Service

Six weeks later, I came home to find a note taped to my door with a candy cane on it. As it was getting close to the holidays, I thought it was from a neighbor. Instead, it was from Andrew, the Cub Scout, thanking me for my order. The note moved me so much (okay, full disclosure, I even became a little teary eyed), that I shared the story with several people and I kept it by my kitchen door. Smiling every time I saw the note I thought, the Cub Scouts (or maybe his parents) are teaching him a customer service golden rule: follow through.Cub Scout Thank You Note- customer service

The Lesson

After several weeks of looking at Andrew’s note on my shelf, I realized that this wasn’t just good customer service because of his follow up. You see, when working with clients on business development, I advise them that the marketing we create should start with good content. Andrew’s note was a perfect example.

How to Write a Well Written Thank You Note

The business communication building blocks that Andrew used are below and they can help you write a good thank you note, but more importantly, they are the core of any good communication strategy:

  • Engage (tell a story)
  • Enrich (provide useful information)
  • Enlist (create brand advocates who bring new business)

Andrew certainly got it right.  He sincerely thanked me and detailed his success, allowing me to be a part of it by telling me what my purchase helped him do. In turn, I had enough information to share a good story with several neighbors, who will now likely support the Cub Scouts next fundraiser.

This time the lesson was mine. Well really, it was the validation of one I teach my clients; business development (selling $50 worth of popcorn) can sometimes be as simple as a well written thank you note.


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