When it comes to customer appreciation, we tend to focus on going all-out once we’ve completed a sale and that client is on our books. The truth is that although customer appreciation is key for client retention and fostering loyalty, there are lessons we can implement to improve prospecting and increase the chances of converting leads in the first place.
Customer appreciation doesn’t have to be limited to the post-sale phase. There’s scope to improve prospecting strategies and increase sales by adopting some tried and tested techniques during the pre-sale stage too.
If you’re looking to identify prospects, to maximize the chances of converting following lead generation, and to keep hold of customers, here are some fabulous customer appreciation ideas you can capitalize on.
Customer appreciation ideas you can employ during the pre-sale stage
Identifying prospects is just one of the challenges facing businesses looking to expand their client base and beat the competition. Once you’ve got a prospect in mind, the next step is to try and convince them to choose you.
While customer appreciation is usually thought of as a ploy to keep customers on side and reward loyalty, there’s nothing wrong with showing your prospects that you care about them. We all appreciate a bit of love from time to time, and who doesn’t want to feel special on a rainy Tuesday afternoon?
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of ideas you can use to enhance your prospecting strategy and increase your chances of turning a lead into a long-standing customer.
We all love random treats. There are few people in this world who would turn down a freebie or not warm to a brand that offered them a gift. Businesses often reward loyalty with perks and pick-me-ups, but this is not a strategy that should be confined solely to existing clients.
If you’ve got a prospect lined up, why not show them how serious you are about wanting them to take that next step by sending them a small token of your appreciation? This could be something as simple as a free coffee on a miserable Monday morning, for example. Gifting a cup of coffee might not seem like a groundbreaking tactic, but it could separate you from the crowd, enhance your brand reputation, and give that lead the extra push to move to the next stage.
With modern technology, it’s also never been easier to turn ideas into a reality. You can email gift cards, or even order through apps to take advantage of rapid delivery. Amazon has a Gift Cards for Business program where you can order in bulk or send electronically.
When choosing gifts for a high-value lead, it pays to put some thought into your selection. The item you select should be relevant to them, and most importantly, it should help you achieve your objective. Use a small gift to make your prospect feel special, choose something that has meaning, and don’t bombard people with branded pens, keyrings, or sticky notes.
Yes, they’re useful, but they’re not going to do anything to help your cause. As you learned from our recent blog post, ‘For Your B2B Startup’s Sake, Stop Making These 6 Common Sales Mistakes,’ nobody likes people who talk about themselves all the time. There’s also a chance that your prospect has already been sent branded stuff by a rival. This is your chance to shine.
2-Let them enjoy a moment in the spotlight
You only have to look at social media, read blogs, or listen to an industry-focused podcast to see that more and more businesses are featuring real-life customers in their marketing campaigns. If you’re keen to boost sales, you don’t have to wait for a customer to sign on the dotted line to give them a moment in the limelight.
There’s no reason why you can’t feature prospects or offer prospects the chance to enjoy 15 minutes of fame to make them feel special. You can carry out interviews and use them to promote webinars, you could feature them wearing your products on Instagram or Facebook, or you could create a blog post centered on their story, or you could interview them on your new podcast.
If your prospective customer has an idea of the level of attention you’re willing to give them, there’s a good chance that this will enhance your outbound sales process.
3-Prioritize listening over talking
If you’ve got a sales pitch ready, and you’re focused on appointment setting and lead generation, it’s natural to meet a prospective client and want to start telling them all about how fantastic your business is. It’s good to talk, but communication is a two-way street.
By all means, showcase your product or service and let that person know how you could benefit them, but don’t underestimate the importance of listening. You might feel that you have plenty to say, but you may also find that a prospect has questions, ideas, or opinions they’d also like to share.
By listening, you can gather information about what they want, you can build a stronger relationship, and you can demonstrate that you’ve got a genuine interest in them.
And what is the best way to show that you have been listening? In your follow up email to your initial conversation, do not include a single pitch or reference to your product or service. Take one business challenge or problem that they mentioned, find a relevant, current article related to that challenge from a reputable publication (think Forbes, Entrepreneur, SalesHacker, etc.), and let them know you have been thinking about that challenge. For example:
I know we have a follow up scheduled for next week, but I saw this article and thought of you: “Best HR Outsourcing for Small Businesses in 2019." Reminded me of our conversation and how along with sales development, you were also strategizing on how you were structuring your HR team moving forward.
Wanted to share in case you missed it - hope there are some nuggets of valuable info in there for you.
Have a great day and talk with you soon.
4-Go above and beyond
Many businesses are so desperate to keep their clients that they go the extra mile and far exceed the customer’s expectations. This is a brilliant move because it’s easier to sell to existing clients than new customers, but it doesn’t have to be limited to loyal customers.
If you’re looking to identify prospects and increase the chances of attracting new customers, you can benefit from going above and beyond. Something as simple as offering more information and assistance than is required when a prospect has a question, for example, can make all the difference.
If you’re dealing with a question, think about what kinds of information, links, resources, and case studies would be beneficial and pass that on to your prospect. This demonstrates a willingness to devote time to pleasing customers and an ability to deal with questions swiftly and effectively.
It is great to over-deliver, but it is worth including a cautionary note here. Always make sure that you can actually follow through on promises before you make them. A loyal customer may forgive a mistake, but a prospect that doesn’t know your brand well probably won’t give you a second chance.
5-Celebrate with your prospective clients
One of the best ways to make any customer feel special is sending them treats and personalized offers to celebrate special occasions. We’ve all smiled when receiving a birthday email. If you’re looking to charm prospects and show them that you care, you don’t have to wait for that person to order from you to get involved with special occasions.
Sending a personalized note is an excellent way to impress key prospects and set the ball rolling. Even more impressive would be a handwritten note. Just as we mentioned in our tips for appointment setting, you can reach out using multiple methods including using Wupp to send a handwritten note to your highly-engaged prospects (they write them for you!).
Customer appreciation is a phrase we often associate with post-sale processes. In reality, there are several strategies that can be adapted and adopted to make waves once a prospect has been identified. If you’re willing to impress (and have set aside a modest budget to do so), there’s nothing wrong with showing prospective clients you care. Even the simplest gestures could improve your chances of turning prospects into customers.