Valentine’s Day provides a perfect opportunity to apply Dale Carnegie’s 2nd Human Relations principle, ‘Give honest, sincere appreciation.’ This pioneer of positive relationships once said, “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.”
Here are three ways to show your clients some love all year long.
- Follow-up and take interest. Surprisingly, experts say that nearly half of sales people don’t bother to make a single follow-up call! Nurturing new and existing clientele is critical to growing one’s business since the relationship with the customer is at the center of everything. If you’ve neglected to follow-up in the past, apply Dale Carnegie’s 4th principle, ‘Become genuinely interested in other people,’ by connecting with customers to hear their feedback. Simply pick up the phone or send a short email. Start with a greeting and enthusiastically express your interest in hearing how your product or service is working for them.
If you hear constructive criticism, thank your customer for their time and honesty, and assure them that you’ll share this info with the appropriate parties to make necessary corrections, or resolve any outstanding issues. For those customers with rave reviews, ask if they’re willing to share their testimonials on your company website, social media outlets or your professional networking sites such as LinkedIn where appropriate.
- Reap the rewards of referrals. Many marketers and sales professionals underestimate the power of a referral, however there is no better source of new business than the referral of a satisfied customer. It’s also the most cost-effective way to generate more business. When you hear that someone is extremely satisfied with their purchase, ask them to share their specific application of your product or service. For example, if the software you sell enabled a client’s team to more effectively manage projects across a large organization, this nugget of information is key for future prospects. Also, there is a high probability that this person knows someone who could also benefit from implementing your software, so ask for a referral.
If you don’t already offer any referral incentives, consider creating a program through which clients who refer you or your products to others receive perks such as special offers, free samples to try or even free products. This type of program rewards customers for their loyalty and goes well above and beyond a simple, ‘Thank you.’
- Send a sincere note of thanks. Dale Carnegie said that the words ‘think’ and ‘thank’ ought to be inscribed in our hearts. Valentine’s Day or not, the art of handwriting thank you notes seems to be slowly becoming extinct. This is why people truly appreciate the few they receive so much more than a canned greeting or automatically-generated email. Consider writing thank you notes to your top customers—and to anyone who may have referred you to others, on a monthly or quarterly basis.