Trash the chocolate. Here's 4 ways to woo your sphere this year.
Always be closing. Do you agree?
When I was an active real estate broker, we were always thinking of creative ways to reach out to our sphere. Your sphere were the people that had expressed interest in buying a home with you, had previously purchased a home with you, your professional friends, and some family members (basically anyone who was a past or potential client).
We sent roses on Valentine’s Day, we sent Christmas cards, we dropped off beach swag (we lived in a coastal Atlantic town), we invited past and current clients to appreciation breakfasts, in their honor, that featured live guitar music, we dropped off pumpkins at their doorstep in the fall, and one time we even gave them a whole springtime set of bulbs and planters!
The list of shenanigans we thought up to find a reason to meaningfully connect with our clients went on and on.
Every time we did this, without fail, a client that had previously gone radio silent would reach out to me in thanks, I would receive a buyer referral, or it would lead to a listing that same week!
Lesson: never, ever underestimate the power staying top of mind and telling people how much they mean to you.
In today’s noisy, hyper-competitive business world, it really does matter that people are giving you their time, attention, and hard-earned cash, and that time, attention, and hard-earned cash should make you feel very grateful.
Valentine’s Day was an ultimate excuse for real estate agents to send our clients a homemade valentine or roses or some other kitschy gift.
This Valentine’s Day, forget about the chocolate and try these 4 tried-and-true ways show your clients the love all year long:
Snail Mail. Handwritten cards never go out of style. In an age of always and forever connected, putting pen to paper may sound old fashioned, but believe me, it is oh so smart!
Tip: Make sure you are collecting mailing addresses from your customers if you sell services instead of products. Include an ask for an address in the checkout process. In my experience, it is helpful to be upfront about why you are asking for a mailing address (in this case, for client love letters). As an incentive, offer a bonus and send it to them in the mail.
Elevate your swag. Can we all agree getting enough keychains, bottle openers, pens, and cell phone cases with company x’s logo all over it is getting to be just too much? In the age of Marie Kondo (that Netflix special is so good, right?), let’s stop assuming the next gal loves your company as much as you do, and save that keychain a funeral at your local landfill.
Next time you have a reason to purchase swag, make it meaningful. Create something, or have somebody create something for you, with your clients' interests in mind. Crazy thought: an item like a keychain does not need to be emblazoned with your logo, your clients will appreciate the gift much more this way.
If you are dead set on using your logo, think of an unusual way to do so.
A few years back at Milspo Project’s Embark conference in Norfolk, Virginia, the ladies at Madskills (a military spouse-owned company) had a local bakery make sugar cookies. Each cookie was then individually packaged with their company info attached, and their logo was beautifully hand-piped onto the cookie. Smart and delicious!
Host an event in your clients’ honor. I mentioned our real estate appreciation breakfasts earlier. It was a catered event, with live music, artist-designed menus, invites, and name tags, and a client gift waiting at each person’s seat.
The breakfast was not only an opportunity for the agents to thank their clients, but it was also another opportunity for the owner of the company to reiterate our company values and talk about upcoming initiatives with them.
Another similar idea that worked for us was a fancy pig roast.
There was a very special real estate listing we wanted to get sell quickly at our firm, so we turned a brand new and beautifully designed home (it was a million dollar listing), into the venue for an invite-only party. We had a red carpet, and step and repeat. It was a huge hit, and it spread all over social media very quickly.
Tip: If hosting an event seems like it is too much for your marketing budget, reach out to local vendors who may want to get some publicity and see if they are willing to donate their products and services in exchange for marketing.
Get intimate, and never underestimate surprises. I don’t mean in a sexy way. Adopt a posture of listening, and always be finding ways to get to know your client throughout the year.
After graduating from an online business program, the creator of the live course (a marketing genius I also happen to be obsessed with), surprised us with nine curated books in the mail. He partnered with his editor to send them to us; they were all books he had read and enjoyed.
As an avid reader myself, and someone who shared the same values as this business leader and the other alumni, this gift was EVERYTHING! The box also included a personalized note. Can you say #fangirl?
Talk about spicing up an average Tuesday for this bookworm!
Whether you are new to the business, or an expert in your space, you can never show your customers too much love. Feeling appreciated is really important, and you don’t want to miss a chance to make someone feel special.
What is the most creative way you have told a client you care? Let us know by commenting below this post.
For ideas like these, and many more creative ways to grow your business in 2019, join our inner circle of military spouse business owners as a Milspo Project member.