"I had forgotten how good you are," they both said.
And it was my fault that they forgot.
Okay, let me see if I can put in writing what I learned this weekend.
Over the weekend, I had a chance to do multiple presentations for an organization. Back in the day, about 10 years ago, I used to work as a storyteller with this group every week, sometimes multiple times per week. For many reasons such as their staff (read that: decision makers) and location change for their group, I had lost touch with many of the members of that organization. I had gotten lazy with my mailing list and dropped people off the list under the assumption that they would not be interested.
Ah, did you see that word in there....assumption....assume "means that you make..." Oh, you know the rest of that one.
Now, this weekend, after many years of not working with this group, I now had a major event with them, primarily because one of my regular sponsors (who is now based at this location) called me and said, "why aren't you coming up to this place anymore?" That put things in motion, contracts were signed and there I was again.
Afterwards, two different people who had seen me work with them "way back when" came up to me separately and said, "I had forgotten how good you are." Although flattered by the evaluations, I asked how come they hadn't been in contact with me for their needs. The both replied that they had lost track of me and that "i stopped getting your mailings so I assumed you weren't doing this anymore."
Yes, I know. They might have used the Internet to find me. A reality check here calls us to remember that not everyone (yet) thinks about the Internet when searching for people they know. And 8-10 years ago folks were barely using Email to communicate let alone Googling storytellers.
Postal mailing still work. These two people judged my availability based on my mailings. How many bookings and good events had I missed because I stopped sending monthly mailings to these two people?
Let's do the math. Let's average a post card, mailed out, to 50 cents each. That's probably too high. Ten years of mailings, 12 months per year gets us 120 mailings. That's $60 each or $120 to both folks over the last 10 years.
How many bookings had I missed in ten years with these potential sponsors because I took them off my mailing list? $120 is a fraction of a single booking. I saved myself $1 per month not mailing to these folks who knew "how good you are" but probably lost several thousand dollars in bookings, coaching and performances. There are also lost relationships and lost chances to promote the Art of Storytelling.
Remember, they did not ask to be removed. I will always remove someone who asks. Rather, I assumed they wouldn't want to hear from me based on the actions of their leadership.
Am I making sense here? Some marketing gurus say that you need at least 50 contacts a year with customers to keep yourself at the top of their minds. I urge my clients to do at least monthly mailings.
And now, I'll urge them to never take a potential sponsor off a list unless asked.
"I had forgotten how good you are," they said.
It was my fault that they forgot.