The Swartz Report: The Power of a Letter and a Postage Stamp

The Power of a Letter and StampIn today’s world of social media, emails and other methods of immediate communication, I thought it would be interesting to share a recent situation that proves telephone calls and personal meetings still have great value.

Two years ago, I sent out informational letters to owners of a certain type of property where I felt my company had certain expertise. While there was no initial response from the letter, I also did not have a plan of action for follow up. Typically, this is the end of the story, and a lesson about a strategy without follow up is not a strategy at all. That story about failure to follow through is for another day…

Recently, I received a call from a recipient of the letter who had kept it on file.

I was contacted to see if we would be interested in assisting in the review of the 2019 property tax valuations in Kansas City. Not only was I thrilled to receive the call, I was determined to not let this opportunity fizzle and proposed an in-person meeting to go over the property. However, the ownership group was located in Eastern Iowa and about six hours away from Kansas City. Undeterred, I felt this was a chance to meet in person, stop in Des Moines to meet with clients and former clients and stop and have dinner at the greatest University in the country (Go Hawkeyes!) with a high school and college friend.

What was the result?

They hired us to review their locations in three states. Additionally, an introduction was made to the owners of an adjacent property at one of their locations. After getting on the phone with the controller of the adjacent property, we determined that I had worked with his brother at CBIZ – MHM for 15 years. Not only that, the adjacent property owner has 100 locations across the country and was wondering if we would be interested in reviewing some of these as well. Hmmmmmm, sounds like a good option to me, and now a few of the properties are under our review.

But wait, there’s more.

Remember the stop in Des Moines? I contacted a former client we worked with several years ago and indicated I would be in town. I thought it would be a great chance to reconnect and just catch up on how things were going for each of us. Shortly after meeting, I received an email asking if we would be interested in proposing on work for 2019. Yesterday, we signed the deal!

A simple letter and a postage stamp I sent two years ago have turned into a review of properties in excess of 200 million dollars in value. This is a great lesson about the power of the letter and how the effort to meet in person and develop relationships can never be underestimated.

Oh and Carl, (my buddy in Iowa City) I’ll buy the next dinner as well! Looking forward to it.

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