Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 6/6/18 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
Make an effort to show your clients you appreciate them. A $5 Starbucks gift card can go a long way AND may earn you some referrals that turn into more revenue.
Let’s face it. Nothing says “I care about you” more than a nice hot (or cold) cup of Starbucks coffee.
For years, I would meet up with friends, charity organizers and family over coffee to catch up and build better relationships – but never with clients.
Then, a client from New York “one-upped” me, and sent me and my then-fiance a huge bouquet of flowers from bouqs.com.
It felt amazing.
I had never received flowers as a guy, but the fact that a client sent them to thank me for my service meant a lot.
I had also never sent anything to clients before – mainly because they are scattered across the globe – but after receiving the flowers, I was on a mission to return the favor.
I decided it was time to put my theory of blessing people with Starbucks to the test by sending all my U.S.-based clients Starbucks gift cards and handwritten "thank you” letters after they became a client.
Adding this strategy to my sales arsenal has helped me land many deals and get more sales.
Here’s how that experience years ago helped me learn a valuable lesson about not just getting more clients – but showing people that we valued their business.
Before any of this had crossed my mind, business had been tough for about six months.
I was getting random clients and occasionally had referrals, but they weren't the greatest quality and they liked to milk me for every minute.
Even outside the project scope.
So, after six months of barely being able to fully book my time and my assistant’s time, I decided to invest a little bit of money into my clients to see if I could get some better quality referrals and more business and, ultimately, get more sales.
It's very simple – it builds relationships.
I had never given anything back to my clients, but when I walked into Starbucks and purchased $70 in $5 gift cards, I had a feeling that people would appreciate it.
That feeling was right.
In the first week, I sent out 10 handwritten (basically, copy & paste in my head) letters and included five business cards with each and the $5 Starbucks gift card. (Total cost = $6.)
Within 7 days, I gained my first referral client, who turned into about $1,200 of sales. (Pretty nice for a $6 investment.)
About 2 weeks after that, I gained another amazing referral.
To my great fortune, she ended up being a talent developer from New York who referred several more clients to me, which turned into tens of thousands of dollars worth of business.
Some of whom had been on massive networks like CNN, ABC, Fox, and a bunch of other networks.
All because I built great relationships with my clients using excellent customer service and this simple method.
When you write a letter, it's important to ask for referrals.
What Should You Write?
People always told me "the world belongs to those who ask."
I completely agree with it.
Here’s a look at exactly what I did all those years ago to set my business up for myself.
And I wrote something along these lines:
"[Client Name], I just wanted to personally write you this letter to thank you for your business and let you know that it has been a pleasure working with you. As a token of my appreciation, here's a $5 Starbucks gift card to fuel your late nights and early mornings! I also sent a few business cards and would greatly appreciate any referrals! To Your Success, [Your Name]"
It's simple, to the point and shows that you personally put time into thanking them.
Regardless of your current business state, show your clients you care.
Now, we have developed an elaborate system of “delighting” clients that includes periodic handwritten thank you notes, birthday and anniversary gifts, and random acts of kindness that go a long way toward nurturing relationships, gathering referrals and increasing revenue.
Try starting small with your own customer nurturing. Send your clients a simple handwritten letter with business cards and a nice gift card to build a better relationship, increase your business’ reputation and, ultimately, get more clients.