It’s often said that when you give a little, you get a little, and that’s certainly true in the world of sales. If you’re like many other salespeople this holiday season, you’ve probably been mulling over gift ideas for your favorite clients. But what’s the secret to turning this seasonal gesture into more business for you?
In today’s episode of Above the Noise, our VP of Marketing and Creative Santa Claus Josh Stike offers three tips that will not only help make your clients feel appreciated now, but also yield returns for you in the new year.
The big question this season is, will you be on your client’s naughty list or on their nice list? In the spirit of the giving season, we’re talking about client gifts—why they’re important, how to use them effectively, and what the best types of gifts are.
Hopefully you’ve already sent out gifts to your clients this year, but if you haven’t—or, if you’re watching this in June and wondering what’s up with the red suit, just look at the posted date—sending gifts of appreciation to your clients is the best way to engage what is called the “norm of reciprocity,” or the “reciprocity effect.” Reciprocity is an actual behavior trait that we have, that says you are more likely to be compelled to do something nice when someone does something nice for you. So, if you’re looking for a way to ask for referrals from clients, ask for a favor, or just stay top of mind with a favorable impression of your brand, send something nice to your list.
Using them effectively, however, is where so many of us struggle. Believe it or not, there’s actually a little bit of science behind the art of gift-giving. If you’re sending a thank-you or a holiday gift to your clients this year, make sure you follow up with them right away and subtly suggest ways they can reciprocate. Experts actually say that the biggest factor behind the urge to reciprocate is time—the longer the time between the initial exchange, the less pressure we feel to return the gesture. So, make sure that you’re following up this year with a phone call or an email after those gifts hit home, so that you can capture that moment of good feelings.
And, if you’re sending cards this year, or sending items of appreciation throughout the year, any time (around these other life events, like birthdays), make sure to personalize your gift. One study found that when a stranger sent 600 Christmas cards with a picture of their own family to 600 other strangers, 200 people actually responded, because it was personalized with a family photo and a handwritten note. So, while we don’t suggest sending a photo to 600 strangers, make sure that when you do send your notes, you personalize them, and that your gifts are relevant to your clients’ lives.
Another great tip for you throughout the year—you can pull this off at any point—is to keep track of your clients’ interests and then record them in your CRM. You’re their real estate agent, so whether you’re helping them buy or sell a home, you know what they like and what they need. If they need a big yard with a fence, you may note that they love dogs. If they’re looking for a pool with a large patio for grilling, you probably can surmise that they love entertaining. Use these pieces of small data to really make a human connection with your clients at these critical times for building relationships.
And remember: to make it on to my nice list, be sure to subscribe to ReminderMedia. Click that bell to get new videos every week, to help you rise Above the Noise and stand out from your competition. Comment below what you’re sending your clients this holiday season. And, most importantly, take action on this today.