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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Make An Impression With Mail

As  the world seems to turn faster and more types of communications emerge, the handwritten note is still powerful.

Key Question:


Put your name in front of people in a personal way.

Q:   How does an unknown get to be known?

A:  The unknown puts forth a variety of communication directed at the audience the unknown wants to know.  Since we are convinced that business is built on relationships, it is key for you to try become known in your marketplace.   

To try to form a new relationship or nurture one you already have, there is nothing like the handwritten note.  We know a CPA who cuts articles out of his local newspaper and sends them along to people he knows, or wants to know, with a little note attached.  The note might say, "I see your name in the paper today!  Congratulations on your accomplishments."

You can grab a person's attention with personalized mail.  It  gives you a perfect reason to call them and say, "Did you get the note I sent a few days ago?"  Very few people have personal assistants anymore so an envelope hand addressed with a stamp will probably be opened by the person you are trying to reach.

Think about it

Who do you need to know that you do not now know?  Could you use the mail to launch a relationship?  How is the physical mail different from email?  How do you react to a personalized piece of mail?

Clip from: Calise & Sons Bakery, Providence

Providence, Rhode Island:  Visit an old New England family business. With roots back to 1908,  the Calise & Sons Bakery has been through the good times and the bad.  The founder gave the reins to his four sons and they just about ran that business into the ground. Three grandchildren came to the rescue. They bought the business, and then went to work to retire the debt. They did it, then they built the business beyond anyone's wildest expectation.

Calise & Sons Bakery now serve most of New England, New York and Pennsylvania and increasingly they'll be serving the world. Big chains and grocery stores -- The Olive Garden, Shaws and Albertsons -- depend on them. But, you know, even with such success, it is just not easy. 

The Calise brothers make bread from the same recipes their grandfather brought from Italy.  Yet, it took them nearly 30 years to bring this company back from the brink. The brothers learned on the job. Though there are no MBAs here, their management practices are now case studies in major business textbooks.

The adoption of technology and the acquisition of competitors have fueled growth and prosperity. These owners quickly learned a key big business secret -- grow by acquiring your competition.

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Calise & Sons Bakery

Michael Calise, VP, Sales

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Business Classification:
Food - Bakery - Bread

Year Founded:

Make An Impression With Mail

ATTIE: (In the studio) Even as we embrace technology, our marketing advisor says there will always be a place for pen and paper.

HATTIE: OK, John. I'm a small business owner. I don't have an identity in the marketplace like big companies do. So when I'm trying to get somebody on the telephone to take my call, a lot of times it's hard. They won't take my call. I found something really interesting. What do you think of this?

JOHN WARGO: Creative.

HATTIE: These are business greetings. There's a whole catalog and what happens is when I use these people start taking my phone call. What's working? What is the psychology of this?

JOHN: First of all, as you say, if you don't have a relationship with a person, you don't talk with them you don't communicate with them. what you want to do first of all is establish a line of communication. Mail helps you establish that line of communication. The personalized greeting helps you identify yourself as someone who is interested personally in talking with this individual. So what the mail is helping you to do is pre-sell the person. This lets them know who you are so when they begin to look at who is calling they have some reference.

HATTIE: So is I send three or four of these, after awhile the person is going to say, OK, I'll talk to you. But what about the handwritten note? We're in this cyberworld now and and moving at laser speed with email and faxing. How does this affect someone?

JOHN: I think it shows a great deal of interest on the part of the individual who is taking the time to write a hand written note. this is important and effective. I understand that George Bush, over the years, established a great relationship with people all over the world because he always took the time to write a hand-written note. Your own personal touch is more important than anything in the communication.

HATTIE: Talk to me about stamps. I use stamps. Is that important?

JOHN: The meter is OK. Stamps are OK. Everything works. The stamp with a personalized note is an indication of a more personal communication. There are a variety of stamps for different occasions and what it is showing is you're putting extra effort into this communications. You do that two or three times and the individual knows that you want to establish a personal communication. I think using the right stamp is an effect way to get an open and read rate.

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