Just Give'm a Hand. It's Really that Simple.

  • Jan 23, 2016

The day I helped my mentor and good friend was the day I came to personally appreciate the power of promotional merchandise to solve real business problems.
I really liked Bill.  He was our financial advisor for many years.  He was the VP of sales for a mid sized regional financial services firm.
From day one he seemed like a long time friend.  He asked questions about and talked about me and my family.  He always wanted to know about them and about our plans.  He'd share tidbits of wisdom, mostly in stories about how he learned something.  He never preached.  He also did thoughtful things like inviting me to lunch with potential clients he thought might be a match.  
Bill won our hearts and business before we even knew that he would do a good job of managing our investments.  He cared about us.  The way he spoke about his other clients let us know he cared about them too. He got excited about graduations, promotions and their other successes.
Any way, it was nearly 7:00 PM on a Friday.  We were sitting in his corner office. He had just bought an order of gifts for his clients and some smaller items for new client packages.  He was successful hiring and training other reps and had hired administrative staff to manage administrative changes for his personal clients. So, I asked him why he was still in his office this late on a Friday night.
He had built his business on personal relationships with hundreds and hundreds of people.  All knew him as a personal friend as I did.
He was fielding nearly three and a half hours of phone calls every day for administrative changes that his clients wanted to make.  He clearly knew he had to shift the admin work to others but like everyone else, we had his direct phone and wanted to talk to him.  On two occasions he sent letters to everyone explaining that Lori (his new assistant) was a registered agent and specialized in administrative changes.  She would take care of changes more efficiently and quickly than he could.  To no avail, everyone kept calling him.
I asked him if he would try something different.  He said, with desperation in his voice, "ANYTHING".  Here is what we tried.
We changed the first sentence in his letter to "Lori is my Right Hand, she will squeeze the stress out of your changes".
We sent that letter with a stress ball in the shape of a right hand.  Printed on it was Lori's name and phone number.
He called me with the news a week after the letters were sent.  His phone calls were down to about 30 minutes a day and nobody felt like he was abandoning them.  Lori's phone was ringing off the hook.  Bill continued his success by always being available.  He did not have to force an administrative assistant between himself and clients, which would have created emotional distance.  His clients, his friends, voluntarily opted for the better service and he gained fifteen hours a week to get things done or to go home early.  That time savings continued every week until Bill retired.  Knowing Bill as I do, he made enough money in that first 15 hours saved to pay for the entire campaign.

 So, why did our letter work so well where the others failed? Simply, the stress ball in the shape of a hand engaged Bill's clients by presenting the idea as a physical object to interrupt their normal thought patterns, Enchanted them with the theme so they would actually see, hear and feel the message.  Of course, that energized a change in their actions.  

What do you need for people to do differently?  Maybe we can help them decide in your favor.  Let me know. We can explore the possibilities.   - Bruce
Bruce Reissaus, MAS
"Together, we'll get it done"
Hello, I'm Bruce. Most people don't even try to pronounce my last name.  It sounds like "Rice House" Actually it sounds more like Rice-ouse, house without the "H".  My friends just call me Bruce.  
I help people with their sales, marketing and communications.   The focus is on helping people use  Specialty Advertising to advance their careers and achieve their organizations goals.  Together, we work with clients to help them create maximum return on their branding and advertising.   
While all businesses and most people in business have similar goals and challenges, no two are exactly alike. Working together we discover who you need to reach and what you need to do to influence their decisions and ultimately their actions." We help you leverage current efforts and create new opportunities out of today's challenges. We keep it simple with a creative twist. I love a good challenge, if you have one, I promise my undivided attention.