Gifts improve relationships - and not just the one with your spouse!
So the question is: how much is your client or partner worth in terms of revenue and referrals? And how much can you spend on someone without the accounting department imploding?
Firstly, consider the amount of business you are doing with the gift’s receiver. How much revenue is this relationship generating?
You might evaluate the client value by the numbers of zeros they represent in your income statement -just make the accountants count them. The more zeros, the higher the value of the client -so a fancy card might not do the persuasion job. If your eyes start crossing by counting zeros, then your client is worth at least a Godiva 24 pc Ultimate Dessert Truffle gift basket, one of those with golden bows, just to say thank you!
Also, consider: how often do you do business together?
If the answer is only once a year, then you might consider a once-a-year gift, such as a gourmet food basket. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of gifting more often during the year. Courting your client with more than one gift keeps your name top-of-mind and improves your chances of future business -which might lead to a long term relationship. The gifts you send simply have to show that they mean more to you than just a transaction.
For example, if you are a realtor, every house you sell is a substantial paycheck. It is likely that the same client will knock on your door in the future looking for a house by the lake for the family summers. Cultivating that relationship year after year will ensure that you will be conducting the transaction and not your competition!
After you have evaluated how much business you are doing with someone, it is time to think about referrals. The relationship becomes more valuable if the client can recommend you to his or her network - or better, if they are willing to do it. The gift can be the difference between them avoiding your request for help and them actively referring you.
The next questions is: how much is their referral going to generate in revenue?
Even if your client is referring business to you that doesn't always close, then the gifts value should at least reflect your recognition of how much you appreciate the attempt -such as the $175 Montblanc Meisterstuck Leather Collection Card Holder.
If the attempt was successful and it brought you more business, you have found the ideal client and hit the jackpot. You not only do business with this company all year long but they have also brought you more clients -and more zeroes to your income statement. This business relationship is worth cultivating!
Remember their birthday or the business anniversary, for example. The Chelsea Clock Boardroom Clock is a great way to express gratitude and it offers an elegant gifting option for a valuable business relationship. Surprise them with it when they least expect it.
Instead of spamming your client with emails and phone calls, consider gifting them more than once a year. If they are worth $1600 a year to you, for example, you can send them three gifts of $75 throughout the year -keeping yourself in front of them all year long. You get the idea! Seeing your company’s name attached to a pretty package will increase the likelihood of a successful business relationship.
Now that you have evaluated your clients’ worth, get ready to gift. Your accounting team hasn’t imploded yet and your budget might still be tight, but showing your appreciation through gifting can only benefit you.
After all, gifts improve relationships and not just the ones with your spouse -but don’t forget your wedding anniversary!
By Gaia Zol