Sounds like marriage advice, right? Actually, it is not far off.
I have always felt that a company should bend over backwards showing their clients how much they appreciate their business. They chose to spend their money with you for a reason. Would they do it all over again? You better know the answer.
It doesn’t take much but showing appreciation goes a long way.
I was attending a CEO Roundtable a while back and heard a business owner rave over this new concept they were implementing – visiting clients on schedule and
dropping off doughnuts. They shared how they had an existing client that gave them
a small contract a while ago. When they visited and dropped off doughnuts, the client shared a lot of frustration with their competitor. Apparently, the client had awarded a much larger contract to the competitor a while back. Once awarded, that was it. Competitor never stopped by, did not show appreciation, and didn’t stay in touch. The client said, “I gave them a huge contract and they never even said thank you. I want to do business with someone who appreciates us.” The client started funneling more business their way.
What did it cost? Just enough time for a handshake, doughnuts, and saying “thank you”.
Like any kind of relationship, people want to be appreciated. Substitute a greeting card, bag of bagels, or cookies or breakfast. Doesn’t have to be much.
I have seen this work as a long-term plan too. Lose a contract to a competitor? Thank the buyer in the same way. If out of town, have something delivered with a nice note. If the contract goes south or comes up for renewal, the buyer will think of you.
You want to increase sales and client retention? Take a few minutes each month, get out there, shake hands, say “thank you” and buy more doughnuts.
Best ROI ever!