Christmas is not far away. This is the perfect time to reflect back on the year that’s almost gone and thank everyone who helped make 2016 successful for you and your business.
Here’s what I recommend you do so that the people who are important to you feel appreciated:
1. Call as many clients/customers as you can personally. No email, no card, just call. Tell them how much you appreciate their business and wish them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Ask about their plans for the holiday season. Tell them about your plans. Tell them how you look forward to working with them next year. If appropriate, suggest catching up for coffee or a bite to eat in the new year.
Big Question: Is this the time for a sales pitch? Big Answer: Definitely not!
2. If you’re going to send a card, write a personal message thanking them in addition to whatever your printed message says and sign it personally.
Thank you for what?
For the work your clients/customers gave you this year, for their support, their loyalty, their interest, their patience, their understanding, their ideas, their suggestions, their comments, their time, their compliments, their insights, their perspectives ― and anything else you’re thankful for.
Seems like a no-brainer, but most businesses forget that their clients constitute 100% of all their sales and 100% of all their profit.
Saying thank you personally will make your clients appreciate you even more and think twice before they stop doing business with you and not have to think twice if they’re going to refer someone to you.
In my courses, I tell people that reaching out personally to say thank you to clients in December gives you a head start on your relationships with them in January. Simply saying thank you will create a friendly conversation and grease the wheels for future business opportunities.
I also tell people that it’s a bit rich to be calling clients in January because you want their business going forward, but you didn’t call them in December to say thank you for the business they gave you during the year. That’s just the way I see it.
Don’t forget to thank the people who have referred business your way. And take them out for a bite to eat in January. You want their referrals to continue.
Saying “thank you” is not just for clients, customers and referral sources. Who else should you give thanks to? Check your calendar for meetings you had this year…
- Who made a nice introduction for you that lead to some good business?
- Did someone help you make a sale?
- Who got you that speaking gig?
- Who did you have coffee with?
- Who did you have breakfast/lunch with?
- Whose place of work did you visit?
- Who came to visit you?
- Who gave you that useful piece of information?
- Who opened a door for you?
- Who got you those tickets?
- Who encouraged you, inspired you, challenged you?
- Did someone solve a problem for you?
- Who impacted your career? Your life?
- Is there an employee or co-worker who did a great job or helped you finish a project?
Remember your mentors.
- Who gave you their time, their experience and their wisdom for free?
- Did someone recommend a book or resource to you?
Are you on LinkedIn?
- Who recommended you?
- Who posted something good about you/your business?
- Who ‘liked’, ‘shared’, ‘commented’ on your post?
- Go through all your connections and you’ll likely find more people to thank.
Revisit conferences, workshops, seminars and other business-related events you attended during the year.
- Who were the hosts that made you feel welcome and introduced you around?
- Was there a speaker that made a big impact on you?
Thank the people you already thanked. Search your email sent folder for messages you sent that include the words “thank you” and “thanks”.
Saying thank you in business is powerful, thoughtful, memorable, inexpensive and easy to do. When you tell someone that you’re grateful for what they have done for you they feel appreciated and they feel valued and respected. They’ll love you for that!
And, did I say that giving thanks is good for business. You bet it is! When a client feels appreciated and valued and respected they are more likely to return, more likely to buy and more likely to recommend and refer.
Get yourself organised and make a list of all the people who have been important to you this year and then, come the first week in December, start making those thank-you calls. No question. Tis the season for it.
Remember, no emails, no cards, just calls.
Until next time.