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:
- Hershey’s Chocolate Bar
- Bottled water
- Mint & toothpick pack
- Lip Balm
- Hand Sanitizer
- Mobile phone holder:
- Business card holder
- Grip-it luggage identifier
- Letter opener
Ready to learn more about branding your firm? Read this article, Branding your Firm.