Holiday Weekend Experiment
It can be especially tough to meet with clients the days leading up to a holiday weekend. It’s hard to even get their attention. Something that always gets attention is appreciation.
Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB
Now that travel is a thing again, airlines, or at least the one I use regularly, is going out of their way to welcome passengers back. If you are a “Medallion Status” flyer, they always make a point of greeting you by name when you check in and thank you for your Medallion status, whatever your level happens to be. When you leave the airplane, not only is there a flight attendant with a big smile, but the captain stands in the doorway of the cockpit and says, “Thank you for flying with us today.” There may be more than 200 people on the plane and each one receives a personal thank-you from the captain. How cool is that?
These are two simple words, which are incredibly easy to say, but they convey powerful meaning. The recipient always feels good hearing them. In my experience, they are the two most powerful words you can use: “Thank you.”
Are you willing to try an experiment? As we head into the holiday weekend, pick 10-20 of your customers; pick up the phone or go see them. No email. The purpose of the call or visit is to say, “Thank you. I appreciate your business.” For extra credit, you could recognize their “status” with your company. “Thank you for being an annual contract advertiser with us for the last five years. We appreciate your business and the opportunity to help your business grow.”
There should be no sales pitch – no package. Don’t even perform even an information-gathering Customer Needs Analysis. Just give them a simple “Thank you.”
It would be great if you would send me an email with the results of your appreciation experiment. My prediction, based on experience, is that you will brighten the day of everyone you call. That alone should be a reason to do it. Beyond that, you will set yourself apart as the person with whom they do business who says “thank you” and appreciates their business. I'm also going to predict that between 25% and 50% of them will say something like, “I’m so glad you called; I was just thinking we need to….” Those calls will likely result in increased business, or at the very least give you an opportunity to meet face to face again.
It’s great to get in the habit of thanking your customers because, unfortunately, the norm is that we get so busy, we take them for granted – and sometimes when it’s too late. In addition to regular phone calls, I find the “thank you” card, written personally, works well. I save the ones I get. Don’t you?
I look forward to hearing about your appreciation experiment soon.
Thank you for reading!
Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.