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A Thank You Card, Business Card Enclosed

Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
December 15, 2010

These are enormous differences between marketing and nurturing your dream clients. Marketing isn’t personal. It does nothing to indicate to your dream client that you personally care about helping them to achieve the outcomes that will improve their business results.

Nurturing is personal.

A Short Story About Business Cards

I was pursuing a dream client that had rock solid relationships with other companies in my space. I was locked out. I had identified eleven people within the organization that were either decision-makers or stakeholders of some kind.

One by one, I called each of the contacts I had identified to try to get in. And one by one, each of them rejected me. They were loyal to their partners.

Fortunately, I was blessed to be born with a few assets that serve you well in sales and in life. The first is being too dim to know exactly how inadequate you may be for the tasks that you are undertaking, which allows you to pursue big dreams and goals (this dream client was one of them). The second attribute is a dogged persistence that, when coupled with an oversized optimistic outlook, allowed me to believe that given enough time, I would eventually prevail.

Each and every time my attempts to get in were rejected (and there were dozens), I sent a personal thank you note to the person that I spoke with, thanking for them for sharing their time and information with me. I also attached a business card.

It was a pretty simple pattern: 1). Ask for appointment, 2). Get rejected, 3). Send thank you note and business card. 4.) Repeat

It was month’s later that my dream client’s world was turned upside down. They had an enormous increase in their business, and their demand for the type of service I sold skyrocketed. It wasn’t long before my competitor’s seams started to show through and the dissatisfaction that precedes all opportunities reared it’s ugly head.

A meeting was called to discuss what must be done to improve a rapidly worsening situation, and all of the decision-makers and stakeholders gathered around a table. They needed help, and they need to decide who to call. As it was later described to me by what eventually became my client, that one by one each person at the table started to identify the people that they knew who might be able to help, and one by one, each pulled out my business card.

When I received the call to meet with them, it sounded like this: “We really need some help, and since everyone here knows you, we thought we’d ask if you’d like to come and meet with us.”

Best Practices

I don’t think an email, regardless of the content, is the same as a thank you note. I don’t think that your address block is the same as your business card.

Behind your desk, you have a giant box of business cards. For a long time you have wondered what you were supposed to do with all of those business cards. You are supposed to put them in the hands of all of the people who work at your dream client companies. Better still, put the in the hands of other people attached to something that indicates that you care about them personally.

When you send anything from your nurture toolkit, send your business card with it. Sign your name. Write a personal note. This is sales; it isn’t marketing.

When you speak with your dream client on the telephone—especially if you are rejected—send a thank you note and a business card. When you meet with the contacts and stakeholders three or four levels deep within your dream client’s company (those who have no organizational chart power or authority), send a thank you note and a business card.

Nurture the relationships you need, and make it personal.


What are the differences between nurturing and marketing? What are the outcomes you need from nurturing?

Why isn’t email a substitute for a hand written thank you note and a business card?

Take out your nurture list. How many contacts at each of your dream client companies have a personal communication from you and your business card? How can you double or triple that number?

For more on increasing your sales effectiveness, subscribe to the RSS Feed for The Sales Blog and my Email Newsletter. Follow me on Twitter, connect to me on LinkedIn, or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your sales organization, check out my coaching and consulting firm, B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, email me, or call me at (614) 212-4729.

Read my interview with Tom Peters (Part One and Part Two).

Read my monthly post on Sales Bloggers Union.

Sales 2010
Post by Anthony Iannarino on December 15, 2010

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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