The best Birthday gift EVER!

September 12, 2016

My cell phone rings yesterday. It’s a number I don’t recognize.

Hi, this is Jeff, how can I…

A robotic voice cuts me off: “Hello, this is so-and-so with Kaiser Permanente calling for… (in a now even more robotic voice) Jeff-rey Bern-he-isel. (switches back to regular robotic voice) Birthday’s are the perfect time to celebrate the good things in life. They’re also a great time to take stock of your health, and we’d like to help by keeping you up to date with your preventative care.”

That’s great, Doc… except my Birthday was over 2 weeks ago!

Here’s one of the many similar messages I received through Facebook ON my Birthday, from a “friend”:

Hey Jeff, I just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! If you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, I’d love to help!

Uhhh, thanks… I guess?

Just Stop!

Is this the kind of “marketing” you do at your clients, family and friends? If so, do us all a favor and PLEASE STOP. I know your heart is usually in the right place… but it’s obnoxious.

No matter what some guru at a conference says… this style of marketing isn’t cool. I don’t care if it’s a social media post, an email, text message or a carrier pigeon (though that would earn bonus points for effort). It doesn’t give anyone the warm fuzzies that you’re hoping it will. If anything, it actually has the opposite effect on people. As if I didn’t dislike going to the doctors office enough already!

Here’s a good example of what DID give me the warm fuzzies though:

What makes this example so special?

Well, it’s obvious (at least to ME) that there was some thought put into this post. My friends and I have an inside joke about wolves, and I like to enjoy a good steak and whiskey sometimes in the confines of my hot tub (hey, this is a judgement free zone!). Then, as if that wasn’t good enough, he adds to “wash it all down with a few Cokes” which if you know me, you know that this post hits the nail on the head in just about every possible way. Well, done JT. Well done.

I received several other messages, emails, text messages similar to this from various friends from across the country. Each one customized and referencing something about my personal life, our friendship, moments from Birthdays past, etc.

So, whether you’re trying to take advantage of someone’s Birthday as a day to market to your clients, family and friends, or even things like sending an email or connecting with people on LinkedIN with the hopes of staying “top-of-mind” the next time they need a Realtor… Take the extra couple minutes and put in a little effort to customize the message. Create a little personalized video, use an app like SpeakingPhoto to add a voiceover to an image that you can text (see below for my latest masterpiece creation – you’re welcome Loren!), or just pick up the phone and call the person!


Now, it may not be the best Birthday gift ever, but it’s THAT kind of thoughtful customization that will make all the difference in the world to that person, and to the results you’ll likely see from referrals or repeat purchases or whatever your end goal may be.