As a pro poised for tremendous success, you know what to do after meeting with your next great prospect. After all, sending a thank you note is Sales 101. Research continues to show that customers spend more if they’re thanked regularly. Taking your client appreciation process to a higher level should be a major part of your business strategy. Surprise and delight…impress and impact. Think out of the box!

Social media expert and author of the book The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk, says, “Only the companies that can figure out how to mind their manners in a very old-fashioned way—and do it authentically—are going to have a prayer of competing.” Vaynerchuk goes on to say that while he cares a great deal about the bottom line, he cares about his customers even more, and that’s always been his competitive advantage.

Showing just how much you care for your clients can be fun, creative and rewarding. Read on for inspiration and ideas to take your “thank you” gestures to the next level:

Send a Brief Report
Relate this information back to your meeting; it reinforces your dedication to helping your client with the issue at hand. Create a thread that addresses key questions: What’s the problem? What does it have to do with you? What research is out there? What happens next? Talk in terms of solutions, both general and specific, and position yourself as the expert who will provide those solutions.

Author A Short Case Study

There are all kinds of ways to present case studies. Consider creating a list of pertinent articles, a collection of key data points related to your client’s issue(s) or interesting quotes from industry experts. Be original! The idea behind this strategy is to build a case with your prospect for investing in what you, the expert, has to offer.

Propose a timeline

Clients often don’t realize the backtiming needed to consider before a project actually launches. Weeks of initial planning, approval from committees, teams, management and others, followed by more detailed planning and perhaps more approval, all need to be factored into a final delivery date. Your prospects will appreciate your savvy in understanding this by keeping them on track and planning ahead.

A distinctive gift

There’s nothing like a really thoughtful gift to touch the heart of your client (who is also a human being!) and to create a positive, memorable connection. Think handmade, vintage, or locally sourced gift. Be specific and personal. Big clients can receive hundreds of thank you gifts each year. Make yours stand out.

Finally, keep that catchy childhood rhyme in the back of your mind: “Make new friends, but keep the old. Those are silver, these are gold.”

One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is investing most of its marketing effort energy in attracting new prospects and brushing off past customers. Your current and past clients are the foundation of your business. Without them, your business would not exist. It also costs far more to acquire a new client than it costs to generate business from an existing client. So take the time to regularly show ALL of your customers and prospects just how much you value them. And have fun doing it!

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