Sales Pledge Cards

The first time I ever saw a pledge card was on a video during a lecture at Uni. A greying English corporate middle-manager was salivating on the virtues of Deming’s 14 points of quality. As a group of students, I sensed most found some of the ideas illuminating. Then to emphasise how the 14 were part of his/their inner fabric, he pulled out of his jacket pocket a laminated business card sized note, with the 14 points printed on. Everyone groaned with despair, I recall.

With the UK political top job changed 27 June, commentators have rushed to assess whether Blair was any good. Often they ask his (oft-ridiculed) ‘deputy’, John Prescott for his views. His stock answer is to waffle on about pride and pull out his ‘97 election winning pledge card, claiming all promises were met. (See below for both main British parties pledge examples.)

So, Pledge Cards – are they a good idea? If they are worthy, then how can they be applied to sales? I kind of think they are indeed a decent concept and can be applied. Companies race to ensure everyone has a business card. I know for my own sales team, several dozen business cards only cost around £50 every time someone new arrives, and to avoid the embarrassment of not having one is worth the price tag alone. But why not re-use the branding/design?

If you follow the mantra that every firm should be customer-focused, then what could be better than having a reminder on permanent show of why you exist, by printing the benefits you aim to unleash for your clients? And at fifty quid, it’s almost disposable, so you could re-write and evolve fairly regularly. I wonder how prospects would take to receiving 2 biz cards at introduction time, one with your name/number, the other with your ‘aims for customer achievements’? I’m tempted, and might even get some made up by my printers…..

And that’s not considering the power of having everyone’s bonus plan on a card in their purses/wallets next to their cash and other cards…..

Right of centre Conservatives current 5: 

  • Parent guarantee on school management change
  • Patient guarantee on hospital waiting time
  • Tax guarantee they will fall overall with no new stealth ones
  • Can work, must work guarantee, to avoid dodgy dole claimants
  • Sterling guarantee of no €uro entry
Centre-left Labour’s election-winning 1997 pledges were: 

  • cut class sizes to 30 tops for 5-7 yr olds
  • fast track punishment for persistent young offenders
  • cut NHS waiting lists by treating an extra 100,000 patients
  • get ¼m under 25-year-olds off benefit and into work
  • set tough rules for government spending and borrowing, ensure low inflation and strengthen the economy.

They’ve since introduced several more pledges, most alarmingly one on ID Cards.

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