Welcome pack

Other sandwich toasters are available – thanks to Amazon

When I was in the office products trade I came up with what I thought was a cracking idea. At the time I was the general manager of the depot in Newcastle and it was my job, among others, to make sure that the business grew and returned a profit.

The idea was not original, no doubt I stole it from somewhere else. It was focussed on capturing and retaining new customers. Whenever a business opened a new account, we would send them a pack of information which contained lots of useful stuff that they would need to know when dealing with us. Stuff such as a copy of the catalogue and special offer brochures.

What set the pack apart however, was that it included as small gift that might be useful around their place of work. A sandwich toaster was a popular item if I remember. We also included an invitation card to come and visit us.

The idea was to create the impression in the minds of these new and impressionable customers that we cared about their business and wanted to be seen as interested and amiable. The packs went down well. I am cautious of cause and effect yet sales doubled over the time of my tenure.

I was reminded of my little story when I met with Steve who described how he had recently moved and how the Council had been very helpful in setting up everything he could think of. What they didn;t do though was to prompt him of other things that a new arrival might want or need. That is when I thought of my pack.

Perhaps the council should send out a welcome pack to all people who move into the area. I am not sure what it would contain but certainly useful information about the services you are likely to need or how to find them. Bin collection days, local schools, the local councillor, where to get advice… you get the picture. Soem tea bags and a couple of mugs might help.

A sandwich toaster would be stretching it a bit.

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