I had a coaching call with a company a few weeks ago, and we got into the topic of giving customers gifts.

I love what the owner does: They use their dedicated VSA to schedule presents to be sent to their business customers every quarter, and on special days like birthdays and Christmas.

And these presents are legit – foodie snacks, workbooks to improve sales and work performance, and device screen cleaners. All stuff I actually want (not the useless knick-knacks that clutter your space).

It’s above and beyond what their competition does; they “get it” that retaining and increasing sales from current customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones (and if you’re not already doing it…get on it!); they’ve automated it so that giving happens without straining their bandwidth; and it further increases the chances of cross-selling, up-selling, and asking for referrals. 

On this call, I suggested that they switch up their target – that their salespeople meet with their customers (or Zoom, in this COVID day and age), and ask them if they could give a gift to THEIR customers.

When you give customers gifts regularly, they do feel appreciated. But when you switch it up and ask if you can love on THEIR customers, you’ve shown that you’re not just trying to collect or protect your revenue, but you want them to win, too. 

I take it personally. For example: Even though it’s nice to get a treat myself (if I was a customer, regardless of the vendor)…when a vendor skips past me and treats my wife and kids (their customer’s customers), I am over the moon about it. I unconsciously trust and love them more. I tell others about it. 

Give it a try. It’s a reason to connect with your clients (I hate it when people follow up with no value whatsoever; “just touching base”). Tell them that you appreciate their business and you wanted to cater lunch to their office, AND to their best customers as well. Hold a free workshop on a topic that serves their clients. Offer to send a basket of brownies on your clients’ behalf to their customers. 

Let me know if you try this, what you think, and if you have any other ideas that the community could benefit from!

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