By Andrew Field
In our previous blog post on overcoming repeat sales problems, we showed how gifting your prospects lets you stand out and prompts them to act. Today we’re breaking down another important way to use gifting: perfecting the art of appreciation to improve the customer experience.
While appreciating your prospects doesn’t pose the same hurdles as getting their attention in the first place, it still requires a well-thought-out approach. As you know, the sales cycle never truly ends – even once you’ve closed the deal.
Great Customer Experience Drives Customer Advocacy
Customers have the power, and that isn’t a bad thing. But this means nothing is more important than word-of-mouth advocacy. A colossal 92 percent of customers trust recommendations over all other types of advertising.
And, with word-of-mouth marketing being the primary factor for up to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions, it makes sense that companies that foster relationships are companies that win. So, while your competition practices their sales pitch, you could be building real relationships with customers through meaningful gestures like gifting.
Whether you’re thanking someone for moving your deal forward or recognizing a milestone with an existing customer, Intelligent GiftingTM makes the experience one to talk about.
Let’s look at a few different instances where you can use Intelligent Gifting to demonstrate your appreciation and improve the overall customer experience.
Gifting Thanks Prospects for Setting an Appointment
Everyone’s been there – you had an initial meeting with a decision maker and he’s genuinely interested. But, when it comes time to schedule a follow-up meeting, he directs you to his assistant. This is where warm deals can go cold. If you’re having a hard time getting him to commit to a date, don’t just sit back and hope. Take action.
At this point it’s the assistant who holds the booking power. Send her a small gift along with a personal note. For gifting instances like this, office items like travel mugs, modern stationary, or gadget accessories are great options.
When it comes to writing the note, you’ll want to thank her for her time and say you look forward to working out a date for your second meeting. This may be your best shot at nailing a follow-up and closing the deal, so make it thoughtful.
Use Gifts to Reward a High-Value Customer
When it comes to sending a gift, it’s always good to ask yourself what the current value of each customer relationship is. The more valuable the customer, the greater your gifting investment can be.
This is where it’s important to remember the difference between promotional products and gifts. While promotional products can be wonderful in the right context, this isn’t it. We’re talking about appreciation. That means it’s all about them, not you. It may be easy to walk over to the supply closet and grab an extra company coffee mug, but you’re better than that. Consider the fact that a true customer advocate spends twice as much as regular customers – and skip the mug.
Instead, send something that reflects the investment the customer has made in your company.
Use Social Selling to Improve Your Gifting Strategy
This is when social selling becomes crucial. What’s really going to blow your customer away is a well-thought-out gift that matches their lifestyle. The answer to what you should send won’t always be obvious. You have to get creative.
Perhaps you have one customer who is always sharing their playlist on social media. Consider sending the music lover a sleek Bluetooth speaker. Or, perhaps, most of their Twitter feed is full of updates on their triathlon training. Send some high-end gear or set them up for massage therapy when the race is done. Make sure your personalized note underscores why you chose these gifts. This is the type of personalization that carries a powerful human touch.
As the sales industry moves away from the sales pitch approach of yesterday, giving becomes a huge part of winning customer loyalty. Intelligent Gifting is a simple way to establish yourself as a leader, build a better customer experience, and capitalize on customer advocacy.
Want more ideas to get you started? Check out our Idea Book for tips on how to use gifting to say thank you and increase customer loyalty.
Andrew Field is founder and President of Printing for Less (PFL), a Marketing Technology company providing software solutions that improve marketing effectiveness, as well as printing, mailing, and fulfillment services.