When I was living in New Zealand in the late 1960’s I go to know a bachelor by the name of Dave Ellett who had an uncanny ability to get invitations to lunch and dinner. I worked with him for 10 weeks and learned his secret: “Thank you” notes. Dave would mail out over a dozen a week.
Every morning as we reviewed plans for the next few days, Dave would look at our route, and recall someone he’d invested time in before, who lived along the route: business men, shop keepers, families at home. He’d get on the phone and after confirming our morning appointments, he’d call one of these friends, people who he had met, shown an interest in, and left a thank you note with before. He’d ask how they were doing, chat a bit, then mention we’d be passing their office about 11:45 am, or their home about 6:30, and ask if he could drop in for a minute. Almost always, there would be the invitation to join them for lunch or dinner. Once we dropped by a home for lunch with a mother with four kids and dined on soup and sandwiches. Another time we stopped to visit a client who was a butcher, and came away with package of steaks. Dave never asked, but he was profuse in his thanks, and charming with everyone. And before we got home that day, he’d mail out the thank you notes. No one forgot Dave Ellett.
I was reminded of my friend Dave when I heard about Marsha Petrie Sue, a motivational speaker who gathers the email addresses of everyone who attends her workshops and seminars, and contacts them every 6 weeks with an postcard. Sometimes with information to follow up on the workshop, sometimes to mention a new seminar,or event. The messages are personal. The results are interesting. She claims this effort leads to new bookings for her as a speaker. Marsha suggested using the e-postcards from www.amazingmail.com
Would that really work for genealogy speakers? Would regular notes from a speaker you heard encourage you to invite her back? I’d love to hear your comments.