The best gifts in life are freeWritten by Tom Richard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The road back home to my family was long after I lost a speech competition that I really wanted to win. I had hoped I would be able to burst through the door and proudly display my trophy to my wife and two kids, but it was not going to happen this time. I was coming home empty handed.
As I walked through the door, my six-year-old son presented me with a handmade trophy. Made of cardboard, my son had written “Best Daddy Trophy” in big yellow letters. As he presented me the handmade gift, he said, “I wanted to make sure you had a trophy, Daddy.”
This gift remains one of my most cherished items and is proudly displayed on my desk. It was a different kind of gift; it was a gift from the heart.
Gifts, and the act of giving gifts, remain one of the best ways to reach out to those who do business with us and to those with whom we want to do business. This fact is undeniable – yet rarely practiced – in the course of everyday business.
Let’s examine the reasons we fail to give gifts as a regular part of our everyday business through the eyes of an innocent six-year-old
Perceived Challenge: Not enough time for gift giving
We approach gift giving as if it is something that requires a lot of time – it doesn’t. If you add all of the little blocks of time that you waste throughout your day, you would have several hours per week that are not being used because, individually, they aren’t enough time to start a new project. Recognize that this is still valuable time that can be used to increase the volume of “touches” you have with those who can say yes to you. Instead of wasting ten minutes before an important meeting, reach into your drawer and “gift someone.
Perceived Challenge: Gifts are expensive
A gift is valuable when it comes from the heart. Although creating a cardboard “Best Customer Trophy” is not a wise option, consider why my own gift was so valuable. Making that trophy took time, creativity, and energy. These three valuable components made the gift valuable – not to mention the fact that my son thought enough of me to put his time, creativity, and energy into making a gift.
You, too, have these three components inside of those wasted ten-minute blocks of time that, until now, have not been used to improve and increase your business. Use that time to “gift” your customers. For instance, the adult version of my son’s cardboard trophy is a handwritten card. The art of the handwritten card has power because you are telling your customer or prospect that you value them enough to take time out of your day to write them a message.
Your customers will be flattered that you took time out of your busy day to thank them for engaging in a recent conversation; that you are glad they continue to be your customer; or, that you are grateful for the opportunity to earn their business in much the same way that I was delighted to receive my cardboard trophy.
These handwritten gifts are inexpensive and are more valuable than most gifts you can send. The beauty is that you can send these gifts often. By doing so you will find you hold a coveted place in the receiver’s mind
As you create and protect this space in the forefront of their mind, you will receive all of the benefits that come with this esteemed position. Perhaps the easiest to understand is that you’ll receive the phone call when it comes time for them to make a purchase. Now that is something you can burst through the door with and show your family
For easy gift ideas and tactics go to www.boltfromtheblue.com and enter the word CARDBOARD in the blueprint box
Tom Richard is a Toledo-based sales and marketing consultant, keynote speaker and owner of Bolt from the Blue direct response advertising. For more information, visit www.BoltFromTheBlue.com or call (419) 441-1005.
Tags: Sales training