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-What's up, Thrivers? Daniel McKenna here, and today Clay Clark will be sitting down with the incredible Rachel Faucett. And we're talking about the art of the thank you in this customer service training-- Send Five Foot Blowup Alligators. Don't know who Rachel Faucett is? She is the consultant of choice for Pottery Barn, Disney Kids, Home Depot, Whole Foods, and countless brands. Her website, Handmade Charlotte, has been featured in Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and more.
Today you'll learn how to stand out when saying thank you to current or possible business connections. This can be of huge value to you if you implement the lessons here and are able to make yourself stand out from the competition and make a lasting impression. Like the title says, sending five foot blow up alligators is a sure way to have your business remembered-- just don't send four foot blow up alligators, because that would be ridiculous.
-Rachel, we are talking today about the art of the thank you and sending five foot blow up alligators. Before we start, I want to thank you for being here, my friend.
-And I wanted to give the Thrivers out there a little bit of an introduction into you and what you do. If they were to go onto www.HandMadeCharlotte.com, what kind of awesomeness would they find?
-Handmade Charlotte is an online family publication that gives creative experience to families every day, all day long.
-How many millions of people-- I mean, are you reaching millions of people a year, or thousands, or how many?
-We are reaching tens of millions of people every single month.
-And your products-- if I want to go by one of your products and I say, I love this lady, I want to go buy her stuff. All right, where can I find your stuff?
-If you live in the continental US and you enjoy this episode--
-And Europe. If you live on the planet, you need to go in there and just check out some of her products. They are awesome. Neat, neat things you can do-- a lot of do it yourself projects. What makes you so passionate about that, by the way, before we get going? Why are you so passionate about do it yourself projects?
-Well you know, I started out-- I'm an idea generator, Clay, and every single idea that came to my head, I couldn't completely focus on and manufacture that product. So when I decided that I could give every single one of my ideas away for free through DIY, and taking things and really giving families a hands-on experience with these products that I was creating, and just showing them how to make them themselves was a real big turning point for us.
-Now you have this phrase called Send Five Foot Blowup Alligators, and I'm going to read just one notable quotable to kind of warm us up to the idea. But Stephen Covey, the bestselling author-- this guy writes some great stuff, he has some great audio books. He said that "Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships." How does sending a five foot blow up alligator help build some trust, or what are you talking about when you say sending a five foot alligator? What does that mean?
-We actually do send five foot blow up alligators, and killer whales, and gigantic beach balls, and all of those things. I'm super lucky because I'm a kids brand, and we can be as silly as we want. But I am super grateful for the work that comes in, and the companies that I get to work with, and the individuals that are behind those brands, and all the hard work that I know that they're going through to make sure that we also get these opportunities, and time.
And so I love to thank people, and so I love to also, with that thank you, make a big impact. So I will send something insane that they will most likely have never been sent before, and I just feel like it's a key to our successes. And I love doing it-- they're silly, I love doing those things, and they definitely work. And we definitely get work with them, and we get recommendations, and we start building a relationship.
I think it's super important to thank people that have given you work, for sure. Or, you know, potential people-- but mainly, thank people. And it doesn't have to be a brand that's given you work, but anybody that has done something for you.
-Can I ask you this here? I mean, you have this attitude of gratitude, where you really do want to thank people. Let's just say that I'm looking at this pragmatically, though. And I'm going it's like $50 to mail the alligator and it's five feet long, so it's probably $150 to mail it and that's by mail. Does it financially make sense for you to mail these five foot alligators?
-It does and my husband was trying to convince me to deflate the alligator, because the shipping would be much cheaper, the box and the shipping. But you cannot deflate.
-You cannot deflate an alligator.
-So I would say that alligator that I send, obviously those thank you's, that's budgeted into our budget. And you have to decide what's right for you and what's in your budget, but I often see at least 10 times the return on every single one of those alligators.
-Could you give me a story about one thank you you did that was particularly epic? Maybe where you thought this is going to be great and then you got a reaction that was pretty great?
-So I was able to go meet, I had read, actually, Googling yourself is a really good idea.
-Yeah, you have just like no idea. A lot of celebrities will say I never Google myself, but when you're like absolutely not a celebrity or have not done that much to garner articles constantly, so I Googled myself, or Hand Made Charlotte or something, maybe Hand Made Charlotte And it popped up that the Creative Director of J. Crew Crewcuts, Jenny Cooper, had said that the starting place for her on the internet was Handmade Charlotte.
-So I saw that and I was like OK, that's amazing. And it profiled her life and it was in another online publication. And I contacted her and I set up a meeting. So I was in New York and I showed up and I had shipped, myself and my husband was actually with me, a pair of eight foot number two pencil stilts that I made.
They're eight feet tall octagon. They're so cool and you'll see them in other videos. So I showed up with those at the headquarters and they wanted me to get there, it was early in the morning. And Mickey Drexler was actually doing his famous over the PA announcements.
-Who's Mickey Drexler, just so everybody gets an idea of who he is.
-He's the CEO of J. Crew and pioneer of building brands and he went over to Gap and then went back over but definitely Steve Jobs and mentor. So incredible guy. And so I don't know him personally but I just read a lot about him.
So I was sitting at the office and Jenna Lyons, who's the President-- and I'm a huge, incredible fan of Jenna Lyons, as well as Jenny Cooper-- and I was in the office as all of the staff was coming in and all the employees were coming in, and. I had these stilts. Jenna Lyons' like what it is that? Like what is going on over there?
And I went down into the Crewcuts, got escorted down to their offices and presented them to Jenny Cooper and I can call her anytime. She sent me pictures of her kids with them-- she asked me not to ever put up those on the internet-- with these stilts and she said it was the coolest gift she's ever gotten.
And I can email her any time with any question, any time, because she knew that I went out of the way to think about her and knew how valuable her time was to give to me. And I presented her with something so special.
-Let me ask you, as far as an action step, because you said something a minute ago that was profound to me, and you might have not heard yourself talk about this profound stuff. But you were talking about how you budget in for it. You budget for it.
-Which means that you planned on doing it, which means you're intentional about building relationships. You're actually saying, I am going to budget in these gifts, these thank you's, these items. And I love that you're doing that.
-For each and every project. So I know that if I create a DIY for French's Mustard, they're going to get either, like right now, I think last week we sent out all of the printables that we created for the PR agency that got us that work.
-Truth cannon, real quick-- do you believe that we should all be sending thank you gifts to our clients?
-If we're not, what are we doing?
-It's just a mistake. I think that you're missing opportunities there. And I think that people want to work with people that are thankful for all the work they're doing on their end. Just because we don't see them on that side-- I mean, they're working hard to make to your company bigger, and better, and financially successful. So that's amazing. Of course you're going to thank them.
-I'm not disagreeing with you, and so I don't want you to get mad at me. I'm just saying, if I'm on the other end of this camera over here, and I'm saying, well, I don't think I have the budget to send thank you gifts, you would say?
-I would say that you can probably afford a stamp. And you could send-- you could cut up a bunch of different color pieces of paper-- and this is like totally off the cuff-- and stick it in that paper, and say, like, thank you so much, we're celebrating. You know, so we celebrate this relationship and we hope to party on next time. Like, [INAUDIBLE].
-Yeah, but I mean, you're just going to be resourceful. It's not about the resources, it's about being resourceful.
-Right, like if you don't have a wood shop, or if you don't have whatever, you know, these crazy things that we send, they get bigger. But even the small things like, as we know, the small things matter.
-Got to tell you something funny. A lot of the Thrivers I've interviewed, a lot of the top entrepreneurs who are the most wealthy and successful people across the country, they have sent a ton of handwritten notes to the office. And I am blown away that somebody-- and I pulled one of them aside, and I said, you've sent me a handwritten note. This will forever be up on my wall. And he says, that's how you get to the top, is you send handwritten notes. And I just-- totally that idea that you would not send handwritten notes when you get to the top, that's how you get to the top, and then you keep doing it to stay on top. I just love that whole attitude of gifting.
-I love that. Oh, sure!
-It's phenomenal. If you're watching this, we all have some thank yous to write. We probably should just start writing them right now. We probably need to just get caught up there.
-We actually schedule that in our calendars. So I wanted to do every other, every week. And we actually-- every single project, because we send out so much, is that we do it every other week. Because that was getting left behind. And so I found a couple months where we weren't really sending out packages because we had so much work. And so now it's actually on the calendar, has a day-- like, has a day and a time.
-And again, what I love about Rachel is that you are energetic, you're enthusiastic you're a "creative," but you're a doer. And these creative ideas that don't get done aren't worth anything?
-Right, yeah, they're worth nothing. An idea without action is zilch-o.
-Zilch-o, we'll leave you at that. Hey, I appreciate you so much. Thank you.
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