Yes…that question is just around the corner. Should you buy Christmas presents for customers?
Do your customers need to be loved at Christmas, or do they justify a ‘we are now closed for Christmas from Friday 23rd December‘ email.
A ‘thanks’ can go a long way and by that I don’t mean:
– a Christmas card with ‘from all at ‘name of company’ in a Helvetica font
– a blanket coverage webemail with an animation of a deer, Santa, snowman, reindeer and the company logo pops up through the snow with a ‘from all at ‘name of company and we are closed from 2pm on Friday 20th December’
– a personalised email that says ‘see you in 2014, we are closed from 2pm on Friday 20th December’
Should We Give Before We Receive?
Another way of looking at it is that giving at Christmas is another way of investing in your company and that old adage of ‘you have to give before you receive.’
It isn’t under contract that a gift has to be given and that is the beauty in a little something that doesn’t have to be over the top and a huge business expense. A soulless Christmas card means that you purely blend in with other well-wishers and basically the same as everyone else. How will you stand out with that?
Alternatively if a customer you have a good rapport with receives a gift, then cements the notion that their business is valued and acknowledges the importance of business relationships and continued service into the coming year.
The great thing is that a present is always unexpected. We are here to cement relationships and if we stand true to believing that 80% of business is from 20% of our customers, then this becomes an ideal way to build alliances, rapport and even friendships.
If you deliver an all round experience that represents what you stand for, others will see a side to the business that is approachable, warm and above all else, better than anyone else.
An At A Glance List Of Things That Work
Here are six gifts ideas, some that we have used (and no, not the obligatory bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or flowers) that fit the description of ‘cost effective, but so effective:’
– Cinema tickets (a £20 voucher gives a night out for two)
– At the business networking lunch, cover the cost by taking a few customers along
– Create a bespoke gift basket, with some handpicked fillers.
– A piece of work that went down really well, frame it!
– A bit of home baking can add a more authentic feel
– A personalised card with an added bonus of a scratch card in it
Find out what is going on in your customers lives (is it sport, is it personal development, is it travel, is it family). If you understand what motivates them, you get to strike the balance between understanding them professionally and personally.
Always remember that the reason that others work with you is that they know, trust and like you, sometimes it’s good to say’ cheers.’
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