In our workshops, people often ask us about giving gifts to clients . . . and we like to take the focus away from the gift and over to the emotional connection we are trying to establish with the client. The two messages we hope to get across with a gift are:
- We are listening and we care about our clients lives.
- We are action-oriented, both personally and professionally, in terms of service.
So it is not so much about the gift, as it is about connecting with a sweet spot in the process. Here is an example.
I went to lunch one day with a salesperson . . . I was the client. I mentioned that right before lunch I had stopped at Barnes & Noble and was looking through a book on Joe Frazier since I was a boxing fan. When I returned to my office, the book was on my desk!
Obviously when I had excused myself for a few minutes to go to the men’s room, he had called his secretary, who ran over picked it up and took it to my office. Now how cool was that? I loved the fact that he was listening, that he cared and that he actually mobilized so fast . . . all symbolic, to me, of how important I was to him as a customer and how hard he would work on my account, which he did.
So gifts do not have to be big, nor do they even have to cost anything at all. They can come in the form of timely information or introductions or a tip that might help someone’s kid raise his batting average. The point is that they should connect with an important and/ or passionate place in your client’s mind and heart.
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