How Appreciative Are You? 5 Easy Ways to Stand Out and Say Thank You: Part One
In today's highly competitive promotional products business environment, you have to distinguish yourself from the competition. I'm not one for gimmicks; they never worked for me and they don't match my business image. However, I do believe there are some easy things savvy promotional products sales professionals can do to build client loyalty and lasting business relationships, which of course means more sales. On that note, here are five ways to stand out from the crowd and build your sales by saying "thank you" to clients.
1. Give Them a Call
It seems obvious, but I'll say it anyway: After every promotional products order, call your clients and thank them for their business. I routinely tell clients that I appreciate working with them and that I'm there to help them in any way I can. You may be surprised how much "thank you" phone calls are appreciated and how much business they can lead to.
2. Drop Them a Line
Send a handwritten thank-you note. I keep a basket on my desk filled with thank-you cards to remind me to do this. Yes, it's time-consuming, but the effort and the impression made in this day and age of instant e-mail is big! A handwritten note shows class, time, effort and appreciation.
3. Share and Send
Send articles that will be of interest to your best clients and prospects. Whenever a client or prospect's name or business is mentioned favorably in the media, clip out the article and send it to them, along with a short note. This is a great way to keep your name top of mind and in front of the people you most want to sell to.
Another idea is to send articles or magazines that will help your clients promote their business. Have you read an interesting business article or book that your client would find helpful? Send it! Is there a blog post that will help them grow their sales? Forward it!
Finally, does your client have a hobby or favorite pastime? How about golf or theater? Send them a small gift with your company imprint that they can use when they're not working. Items such as imprinted golf balls and opera glasses make great gifts that are much appreciated.
4. Praise Good Payers
Thank your clients who have prompt paying habits. I know it may seem silly to have to thank someone for doing the right thing, but in this age of less-than-perfect business practices, the client who pays in a timely fashion needs to be appreciated.
I recently received a lovely letter from a well-known supplier that made my day. In essence, the letter said I was to be commended for paying promptly and that my business was very much appreciated. The letter went on to say that I could send it to any other suppliers as a reference for my business. What a great idea! Even if you're not an owner, you can thank your clients for this habit. After all, the sooner a client pays, the better your cash flow.
5. Reward Referrals
If your clients like your products and service, they'll be happy to refer business to you. Don't take those referrals for granted. Always show your appreciation. I like to send a creative promotional gift to my clients who send business my way. In the past, I've used gift cards (they're easy to mail), coffee mugs and apothecary jars, all imprinted with "thank you" and my company logo. What's great about this idea is that several clients liked it so much they started their own "thank you for the referral" promotional campaign.
In my next post, I'll share five more client appreciation ideas.
Speaking of showing appreciation: Thank you for taking the time to read this post! I always appreciate your comments and would love to hear what you're doing to appreciate your clients.
Rosalie Marcus, The Promo Biz Coach, is a promotional products business expert, coach and speaker. Combining her skills and years of experience in promotional sales, she helps her clients sell more at higher profit margins and dramatically increase their incomes! Get a FREE special report: 10 Big Mistakes Promotional Professionals Make and How to Avoid Them and a FREE Skyrocket Your Sales audio download at www.promobizcoach.com. Reach her at Rosalie@promobizcoach.com or (215) 572-6766.