Success Stories

Relationship Marketing Weekly: Interior Design Episode

This week we interview Award-Winning design expert Kendall Ansell. Kendall will explain how her relationship marketing strategy has kept her top of mind with her clients. She has also increased referrals through Business Network International. Listen and find out why Kendall has mastered being top of mind in the long term decision process of interior design and home renovation.

Kody Bateman: Hello everybody. This is Kody Bateman. Welcome to another edition of our Relationship Marketing Weekly show. Very excited for this show today. It is an exciting time right now. We just launched the new book Power of Human Connection and in this book are featured stories from people that have been on this show in the past. We have an incredible guest that’s going to join us on this show today.

Today we’re going to talk about interior decoration. So all you interior decorators out there, tune on in because you’re going to learn some really cool things from our guest today. So without further ado, we have Kendall Ansell from Kendall Ansell Interiors based out of Burnaby, British Columbia.

Kendall, welcome to the show.

Kendall Ansell: Thanks for having me. This is great.

Kody Bateman: We are really, really excited to have you on here today. I got some notes. We usually do a little pre-show and we have some notes here and there’s one thing that really stuck out with me that I want to start with and have you share with us what you mean by this. You made a comment. You said that using the relationship marketing system that we have is not about getting referrals or increase in business.

Kendall Ansell: Yeah.

Kody Bateman: Now what’s interesting with that – so what you’re saying is we’re here today teaching about relationship marketing and we have a system that helps people generate relationship marketing. Typically they’re doing it to generate more business and more referral business. The first thing you said is you don’t do it for that. So why do you do it?

Kendall Ansell: Yeah. I think we do it more on a friendly “We’re just checking in with you,” because most of our clients that we work with, we generally just become friends with or really care about and we’re more – we’re doing it just to be like, hey, we’re thinking about you and we remember you. It’s definitely not about the referrals.

Kody Bateman: OK. So you’ve detached yourself from the – from receiving anything, from getting referrals or increased business.

Kendall Ansell: Yeah. I think – especially with interior design. It’s not something that people just jump into, like one day they’re hiring me to do something for them. It’s a longer process for people. So we kind of recognize that we send a Christmas card and then we send something in the spring. We’re going to – we’re just kind of reminding them that we are here. So it definitely doesn’t go hand in hand with referrals.

Kody Bateman: Well, I love starting with that because we try to teach that principle all the time. You’re living it. What you’re saying is look, to me, it’s about making connections.

In fact, this book that we’re talking about, I don’t know if you can see that. But the subheading is what the marketplace wants, “How Relationship Marketing Is Transforming the Way People Succeed In Their Business”. That’s what the marketplace wants but the title is what you need. The title is what you need. You need to make human connection. By making human connection, this kind of takes care of itself.

Kendall Ansell: Basically.

Kody Bateman: Yeah, you’ve got that figured out, which is really super cool.

Kendall Ansell: Yeah, and especially for what we do. I mean anyone’s home, that’s their private space. So it’s all about making people feel as comfortable with us as they would be with a family member. So that’s kind of our goal with that.

Kody Bateman: Now you mentioned that when somebody – like you said, it’s a big decision when somebody redecorates or does that kind of thing. So you make special effort to stay top of mind with people that are out there and you do that in a unique way. You reach out to your customer base five times a year. Can you talk to us a little bit about those five touches and what you do?

Kendall Ansell: Yeah. So I think again SendOutCards makes it really easy to reach out five times a year first of all. I think if we weren’t using SendOutCards, we would have a less frequent touch with people. I think we’re all big fans of Christmas. So we always start to do a Christmas card and then that kind of leads us into spring. So spring for interior design and kind of renovating in the Vancouver BC climate is really popular.

So we get quite an influx of business in the spring. So we’re always trying to say, “Hey, we’re here if you’re thinking about doing something.” Then the beginning of summer is always triumphant here as well because that means the rain has stopped.

So we always like to touch base there too and then August, we’re coming in again to our busiest season. So again if you’re going to book and work with us, we need to remind you that we’re kind of booked in that pretty quick.

Then in the fall, we will do – we will do either a charity or we do some sort of event and we like to remind people we’re there as well. So again, with SendOutCards, it makes things really simple to do that and I think we probably – we might do three times a year if we were traditionally writing cards. But we’re able to do five times a year because of your system.

Kody Bateman: OK. So to recap, it’s a Christmas card with a gift and then you do a “Spring is coming” card and then you do a summer “Hope you are enjoying.”

Kendall Ansell: Yes.

Kody Bateman: An August renovation card and then mid-fall event promotion.

Kendall Ansell: And then back to Christmas.

Kody Bateman: And then back to Christmas again.

Kendall Ansell: Yes.

Kody Bateman: Now we talked a little bit about this beforehand. You do that in a unique way because you actually send each one of those as a group send.

Kendall Ansell: Yes.

Kody Bateman: So as an example, if it comes time for your Christmas card and it’s obviously do a group send, so it’s one card that goes to a group of people. Who are you sending these cards to?

Kendall Ansell: Yeah. So the Christmas one is more I would say the biggest one. We do that to kind of all of our current clients as well as our past clients. When we come to the spring, like if we’ve just finished their house two weeks ago and you get a card from me saying, “Hey, let’s renovate again in the spring,” that’s a bit odd. So we manually kind of choose who gets things in the spring, summer, fall, because we really don’t want to kind of – you to feel that we’re pressuring you in any way because again, like I said, it’s really more about touch points than it is about like let’s get some money.

Kody Bateman: Right. And then your list changes throughout the year. So you send them individually each time you do a group. So you have five group sends a year that go out.

Kendall Ansell: Yeah.

Kody Bateman: Through past and present clients.

Kendall Ansell: Yeah.

Kody Bateman: Do you do anything with – what do you do with prospects, people that you haven’t done business with but you’ve been in contact with?

Kendall Ansell: Yeah. So they do end up on an email list at some point and probably wouldn’t receive a Christmas card but possibly a spring or a fall kind of reminder. But we always put all of our prospects into the SendOutCards system.

Kody Bateman: And what kind of touches? So I get an email and then what else?

Kendall Ansell: Yeah, yeah. So the – like it would be like just again reminding them that we’re here and like did you end up doing the renovation that you planned and chatted to me about, but we never went through with it. Because like I said, it’s just not something people jump into.

They are always like definitely planning this for a long period of time. So it’s just more about reminding them that if they still needed help, we would be there for them. If I find out obviously that the lead goes to someone else, then I would take them off my list.

Kody Bateman: So there are two primary things you do in the name of relationship marketing. One, you’ve already mentioned using SendOutCards as a mechanism to stay top of mind with your clients and customers.

The other one is BNI, Business Network International. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do with BNI?

Kendall Ansell: Yeah. So I’ve been with BNI for seven years now. I think BNI was a great starting point for anyone who started out a new business. It is awesome. So with BNI, it’s the same thing. I was joining the groups to one, make friends; two, find great connections and then three, find referrals. So for me, BNI is kind of the same thing where I’m there for that support network and the referrals that come from it are amazing as well.

Kody Bateman: Wow, that’s great. That’s great information and of course you go to BNI. “Givers gain,” is the philosophy. You go there and you get referrals and that kind of reciprocates. So that’s great.

Kendall Ansell: Yeah. It’s funny. I always say to our new members that it has been seven years but it’s very natural now. It’s not hard work. If you know, like and trust someone, you’re of course going to give them business. So that’s kind of how I’ve always operated.

Kody Bateman: Excellent. So we always like to end the show by having you share a story. Everybody has card-sending stories of things that happened that made a big impact. Could you share one of those with us?

Kendall Ansell: Yes, for sure. So my best story happened last Christmas. We sent out our Christmas cards and we sent SendOutCards – I believe we sent the caramels with this one. We sent them to a client that we had done some work on her home. She had sold her big family home. The husband had passed away and she had moved into an apartment.

So we had helped her kind of make that into her new place, send her the card, send her the caramels and she wrote me this lovely card back that said that she received very few Christmas cards because she has moved. She had been in that house for like 35 years. No one – people knew she moved but didn’t really take down her address. So she didn’t get any cards and we’re one of the only cards she received and that made her very excited.

Kody Bateman: There you go, power of human connection. You made a connection with her not as a customer, not as someone you do business with, but as a human being and what a great story. Appreciate that.

Kendall Ansell: Yeah, I know. It’s very nice.

Kody Bateman: Kendall, any final words of wisdom from Kendall Ansell, Kendall Ansell Interiors? Go ahead.

Kendall Ansell: I think that again it’s – with the SendOutCards, it’s being yourself and being genuine to people will get you very far in business and in life for sure.

Kody Bateman: How much of your business today comes from referrals?

Kendall Ansell: Oh, eighty-five percent.

Kody Bateman: Wow. And so you’ve been with BNI for seven years and used SendOutCards for five years. Is that right?

Kendall Ansell: About that, yeah, about five years.

Kody Bateman: So five – let’s say five, six years ago. How much of your business came from referrals?

Kendall Ansell: Forty percent.

Kody Bateman: So you’ve doubled –

Kendall Ansell: Yeah, easy.

Kody Bateman: I mean I think anybody that’s listening in would love to have 85 percent of their business coming straight from referrals.

Kendall Ansell: Yeah, and now it’s the kids and the cousins and the second and third generations and the friends. Yeah, you start somewhere and then all of a – yeah, like you said, it’s double and it’s so great that when someone refers me to their best friend, that’s like the biggest compliment.

Kody Bateman: Wow. Well, that’s great. There you have it everybody. Kendall Ansell, thank you so much for being on the show today. If you want to find out how Kendall does some of this stuff that she has talked about today, get back with the person that shared this show with you. I’m sure they can share with you how she does that and stay tuned next week for another rendition of the RM Weekly show and we’re very, very excited about what’s going on out there. Remember, it’s about the power of human connection. It’s about connecting with other human beings and being of service to them. Be kind to people. Take care everybody. We will see you.


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If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate a Relationship Marketing Strategy in your business, feel free to call or text me at {LEAD_OWNER_PHONE|}I will answer all your questions and help you build relationships, increase referrals, and make an amazing impression on all your clients, friends and family!

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