Oct 04, 2017 by - Gayle Zientek

How to Stand Out and Be Memorable by Connecting with Cards

How do you stand out from the crowd?

Last week my husband, Steve, and I attended the Michigan Realtor Convention in Grand Rapids, MI. There were a couple thousand agents attending the event. This was a special convention because I had been selected as Realtor of the Year for my local association. One of the perks with that is being recognized at the state convention in front of my peers. We were told, there are 29,000 Realtors in the state of Michigan and 39 associations. I met some really cool influential Realtors during the mix and mingle.

We were called to rehearsal and I left my hubby to mingle with the remaining guests. Forty-five minutes later I returned to find Steve chatting outside with two gentlemen. I approached them and asked if they had figured out how to save the world. They chuckled, and I was introduced to Ken and Todd. Ken told me that my husband had just said that he believed kindness matters and if we applied more of it we could change the world. I agreed! The three of us took a selfie together. After a brief conversation, Ken was escorted off by the CFO of Michigan Realtors. Steve asked me if I knew who Ken was. I didn’t have a clue. I assumed Ken was a fellow Realtor enjoying the mix and mingle with everyone else.

Ken, it turned out, was the keynote speaker for the grand assembly. As the former director of communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Ken played an active role in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history – and got paid to ride motorcycles. His full bio can be found here: http://www.kenspeaks.com/bio.

During Ken’s speech, he talked about his neighbor in the DC area hiring a Realtor. He asked Miss Neighbor who was listing her home. Her response? “Someone my husband found.” He went on to emphasize the fact that she listed her 1.4 million dollar home with someone she didn’t know! He talked about commoditized markets and how we should work to stand out, be memorable, valuable as well as referable.

Ken shared how Harley-Davidson turned around its perception in the marketplace. Going from the biker guy with long hair, beards, Hell’s Angel type personas in grimy motorcycle shops to today, where people will buy the experience and are willing to pay two to three times more for the brand “Harley-Davidson.” This resonated with the Realtors in the audience to build value in the experience of the home buying and selling process. If you get a chance to hear Ken speak, I recommend it!

Here’s how I became memorable to Ken Schmidt:

Even before I knew who Ken was, I asked to take a selfie with him and my husband. I then took notes and took pictures of Ken as he delivered his keynote speech. After it was over, I created a card and when everyone else had left the auditorium, I approached Ken and asked for his mailing address. Guess what? He gave it to me. I then added a two-pack of brownies and clicked the send button on my phone. He smiled and said, “WOW… thank you!” He added, “I’d like to know how that works. My family are all card senders and they would love to do that.”

About 1,500 people attended Ken’s keynote. I’m going to guess that maybe 3 percent of the people attending shook his hand and said thank you. I may be willing to bet that I was the only one who sent Ken a card with pictures of himself and said it was nice to meet you and thank you for sharing.

Sending cards has been a habit I developed 10+ years ago. It’s a part of who I am as a person. Now… I have a hunch that sending a card to Ken won’t transpire into a Real Estate transaction. However, out of 1500 people in an auditorium, I’m pretty sure he’ll remember the conversation he had with Steve and I because the conversation only started at the mix and mingle. It will continue when the card arrives in his mailbox. I have his contact info so I’ll have the opportunity to send more snail mail in the future. He asked to connect on LinkedIn, so a request was sent today with a personal note.

You never know where new opportunities will come from. Get in the habit of asking for addresses and sending cards to celebrate others. I personally use SendOutCards.com for this. Then, connect with people through other means…Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. By doing this on a consistent basis, you will stand out from the crowd.

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