Time For Customer Appreciation

The winter holiday season is a time when people tend to express appreciation more than any other time of the year.  For the most part people seem to be more aware of family and friends and what those relationships mean to them. gift box1

For the professional sales person, this is also a great time to show appreciation to current customers and potential customers.  Because everyone is bearing gifts during this time of the year, you want to make your appreciation stand out from all of the other sales people out there who are just going through the motions

Therefore, you want to make your appreciation unique.  One way to do this is to take into account what your customer or prospect likes to do.  Do they have a hobby?  Are they planning a vacation?  If you really want to make an impact with your appreciation gift, make it personal to them.

Another consideration is the delivery.  If you can, deliver your appreciation gift personally.  If it is not possible to deliver it personally, consider using FedEx or Priority Mail.  For a few extra bucks you can make a lasting impression.

Of course everyone has the economy top of mind.  You don’t have to get expensive appreciation gifts to give memorable ones.  The fact that you gave an appreciation gift and you made it personal will go much farther than an expensive give given with no thought.

The thought behind the gift is the main thing.  Give your appreciation gifts with the attitude that you want to genuinely do something for your prospect or customer.  The by product of giving is you build a closer relationship with you r prospect or customer.  If you give with the intent of you are going to get something in return you need to adjust your thinking.

Enjoy the holiday season and use this special time of the year to show appreciation.

Be Adaptable In Communicating With Prospects

5,965 could be a large number for some things and a small number for other things. The number is just a number and the significance is relative to the subject matter. For the subject matter I’m speaking of. 5,965 is a large number. This is the number of text messages my youngest son Tyler had last month. It’s a good thing I have unlimited text messaging for his account! I said to myself, how could someone text that much in one month? In a 30 day period Tyler had to text on the average almost 200 text messages a day. Pretty impressive number isn’t’ it? This new way of communicating is actually fascinating. Both my sons would rather text than call. They’re both in college and very busy doing college stuff and the preferred method of communicating for them is texting.

For me texting does not come as naturally as it does for them. It seems it takes me a long time to scratch out a sentence on the phone. Maybe my fingers are too large or the key pad is too small. Either way, for me it just seems to take a long time to send even a three word text. I’m waiting for the voice recognition text technology to become widely available. But if I’m going to be in communication with my sons, I’d better get used to the idea texting.

Prospects and customers have a way they prefer to communicate too. If you are insistent on communicating the way you want to communicate and not the way they want to communicate, you are going to have communication breakdowns. It would be wise to check with your customers and prospects and ask what the preferred method of communication is. Some may prefer email, some telephone, some virtual meetings, and yes, some even texting.

Being adaptable to customer’s and prospect’s needs is what selling is all about. If you can’t be adaptable to communicate in the manner in which customers and prospects prefer, are you really the one they should partner with in a business relationship?

Be adaptable! For me, I’ve got to start exercising my thumbs. I want to get my fair share of the 5,965.

Yes! We Can Do That.

We live in a time where customer service just seems to be lacking. You go into a restaurant and it seems in some cases as if you have ruined their day by showing up. You call a company and get customer service and you’re made to feel as if you are anything but a customer. It’s almost as if you have to apologize for giving some of these companies your money. What’s up with that! There are some companies that are giving excellent customer service and respond, care, and show appreciation for every customer. However, it seems that as a whole, this thing about customer service exists more on the plaques and walls then it does in the actions and minds of the employees.

As a sales representative of your company, consider it is your responsibility to ensure that the internal reality of your organization matches the external claims you are making to your prospects. If operations is not performing at the level you are representing it performs, you need to do something about that. You can’t idly stand by and say that’s not my job. If you do, you soon won’t have a job because no one will buy from you.

When I was in Memphis working for a large transportation service provider, my boss created a unique culture around customer service. His name was Bob. He started a campaign called “Yes! We can do that.” Bob created the campaign to increase our focus on customer service. If a customer made a request, we would honor the request and respond “Yes! We can do that!” It was a tremendous success! We had jackets that had the slogan on it, flyers, and banners. The entire business unit was aware of those magic five words and it was amazing. It was amazing how the customers responded too. You might think at first blush customers would seed to take advantage of a situation. But just the opposite occurred. Customer were so excited about the campaign and wanted to see it continue, they were careful not to abuse the situation. Most importantly it caused our entire organization to reflect on why we were in business and who was the most important part of our success, our customers.

So why not start a campaign of your own? Focus on the customer. Let them know you appreciate their business. Taking good care of current customers is the best way to obtain new customers.

What about your organization? Do you have the “Yes! We can do that.” mentality?