From Practice Management Insights

Telling clients you appreciate them goes a long way in building loyalty.  For less than $2 per client you can also give a unique and affordable gift. Follow these tips during busy season and make all of your client meetings a little more rewarding.

  • Act now! Thinking about a gift for your clients may not rank high on your priority list, but don’t wait on this one. Carve out a few minutes to plan ahead and order a gift; take into consideration the lifecycle of the gift, branding you want included, lead time on the order and order quantities.
  • Team up with a local business. Supporting a local business is good for the local economy and builds goodwill between your business and theirs.  Call and connect with a local business owner or manager to discuss mutually beneficial gift ideas.  Get creative and work with any local business that is interested in teaming up for the season.
  • Give the gift and make the client feel appreciated.  Resist the temptation to devalue the gift by not telling them it is a gift as a gesture of your appreciation for their business.  Giving the gift at the start of the client meeting will set the tone for a better meeting.  Practice what you will say ahead of time.  For example, “Before we get started, I want to take this opportunity to thank you and tell you that we appreciate your business.  I have a coupon for you good towards a free dessert from Restaurant XYZ.” 
  • Consumable or non-consumable? Consumable items like chocolates, gift cards or coupons for local restaurants have a limited shelf-life, but are often appreciated.  Non-consumable items typically have a longer shelf-life and can be branded or not branded, depending on your preference.  Gifting a client with a non-consumable item that is not typically part of a regular routine (i.e. rubber-band rocket or a light-up gadget) may result in the item being discarded rather than used, so also take that into consideration.
  • Branding and ordering. Adding your logo, website and social media sites like “Follow us on Facebook” to a gift item is good for branding and to build followership, but it is not always necessary.  When ordering items with branding, factor in:
    • Larger order quantities typically mean lower price-per item;
    • Plan for a minimum of 2-4 weeks lead time;
    • There may be shipping and handling fees;
    • There may be set-up fees for your logo to print on the item, typically $50 – $75; and
    • There may be a delay in shipping the product from the supplier if the item goes on backorder.

Looking for ideas for local business coupons?

  • Single (boxed or bagged) truffle or gourmet chocolate
  • Free cup of coffee
  • Free dessert/appetizer
  • Vehicle service station add-ons:
    • Free tire rotation with oil change
    • Free towing with [engine, transmission, accident repair] service
    • Windshield wiper replacement with new tire purchase

Unique branded consumable gift ideas:

 

 

Ready to learn more about branding your firm?  Read this article, Branding  your Firm.

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