Sam Zell is a billionaire who made his fortune in real estate investing. During his last year of law school while still in his mid-twenties he made over $250K from his investments.
After graduation, Sam began working at a law firm that started the new associates on contracts for various clients. When he got his first assignment he walked right into his boss’s office and told him that doing this would be a waste of the firm’s time. He realized he would be bored and unfulfilled if he continued to work there. Sam was about to quit when the firm offered to support him in his real estate venture as he got going.
The firm offered Sam the same deal they offered the younger associates: 50% of any business they brought in at the time. Sam did very well and brought in an incredible number of new clients. Because of this unexpected success, the firm lowed their offering to 35% and then again to 10%.
Every Christmas the firm would give associates a bonus. Sam received $200. After working so hard and bringing in so much new business it felt like a slap in the face. He was demoralized and discouraged. He wanted to quit. It took him months of talking himself off that cliff to finally realize he had worth.
Do you want your business to be seen, heard, and remembered?
You need to add this one exercise to your marketing plan: show appreciation to your clients, employees and key referral sources.
Research shows that employees rate appreciation and acknowledgment higher than salary on employee satisfaction surveys. Clients and anyone who takes the time refer you also like to be appreciated.
Learning how to cultivate and strengthen your relationships with clients, employees, and referral sources is a great strategy to grow your business exponentially.
Use this proven list of marketing strategies to show appreciation to clients, employees, and referral sources.
- Write a hand-written note. They are more permanent, and people tend to keep them. They often call and thank the sender for their note, thus cementing you in memory.
- Learn their interests and keep a record of them in your CRM. Invite clients as your guest to upcoming events that you know they would be interested in.
- Make introductions to people you know that could be prospective clients or referral sources for them. Show your generosity by going out of your way to give a little bit extra.
- Make your appreciation public but never gratuitous. Learn to be on the lookout for the things that your employees do that are exceptional and then tell the world they live in.
- Write little notes of appreciation that are specific to the reasons you appreciate them.
- Start a culture of appreciation. Light the fuse in meetings. Ask someone to pick one person that they appreciate and discuss why. Next, the chosen person picks another and this continues around the room. This puts everyone on their toes and builds positive morale within their teams.
- Referrals often come from happy clients, so it is imperative that you know exactly what your client values in the service you provide. Go to your CRM again and note the most important things that will make each client happy. You’ll find they fall into just a few categories.
- Note the people who refer you. Thank them first for taking the time to refer you and let them know how your meeting or contact progressed and whether it was a good fit.
- Sit down with your referral sources over lunch and discover their interests and what will help them grow their client base. Make a list of one thing per quarter that you can do for them.
Adam Grant, author of Give and Take and well-known Wharton professor states, “In the majority of all the world’s cultures, including that of the United States, the majority of people endorse giving as their single guiding principle.”
Appreciation is an attribute of giving. The only requirement for appreciation from you is awareness, alertness, and to practice learning how to appreciate others. It’s portable and as you get better at it, you will reap the rewards that will far exceed anything you could possibly pay for.