How to say thank you - and win new business while you're at it
So, you've won a new client, done a great job for them and everyone's happy. How do you thank them for their business (you do say thank you, don't you?)? There's the age-old bottle of bubbly at Christmas, or you could call them in person after a job or sale has been completed to say thanks (although in my experience this just feels more like an unwanted sales call). Well, we've been mulling this over at Ditto. Recently, we've started sending thank you cards out with every job, with a hand-written note to say thanks for the business. There's an image of the cards below - we decided to use a postcard-type layout with a gorgeous image on the front and space for a note on the back. The attractive image means the note may end up on a pin board/fridge/ office wall, meaning we stay in our clients' minds even longer ;-) It's been incredibly well received! People are telling us that they love the personal touch, and that it helps to strengthen relationships - 'it makes you feel as though you really matter and that our relationship is more important than just a formal business to business relationship' was one comment. Yes, writing a note for each and every job we do can take up a bit of time - but if it makes my clients feel more valued (and makes them more likely to use me again), then it's time well spent. So how do you turn a sincere 'thank you' into a sales opportunity without over-egging it? We get an awful lot of business from recommendation. It's a lovely way to win work, as clients come to you full of confidence that you've already done great work for someone they know - and let's face it, you don't have to try so hard to win new business if it comes to your door without having to go and look for it. Recommendations are brilliant for business. It's amazing how many marketing books out there that make a right old meal of getting referrals, but to be honest, it's quite simple - just ask. I'll admit it's not always appropriate, but if someone is genuinely thrilled with your excellent service/product, they'll be very happy to share you with their contacts. Everyone loves to recommend suppliers who they know do a great job, so why on earth wouldn't you encourage it? When writing your thank you note, say that you'd love to hear from anyone else who would value your services. That's all it takes! You may not get an immediate rush of new sales, but you will be on your way to building stronger, sustainable relationships with your existing clients while planting a seed in their mind to send new ones your way, too. If you have any ideas on how to say thank you, please do share them - I'd love to hear from you!