He highlighted a few exerts from the book “Giftology” on giving gifts randomly in business. For example, sending a gift to a prospect after you lost the sale can send a message to the client that you are not a bad looser. Makes them think that if you are such a class act when you loose, how would you be if you actually won the deal. He also suggested sending something personal like an engraved knife with the customer’s brand so that every time the knife is used, they will remember who gave it to them (I am not sure about how knives as gifts are perceived by some people and cultures, so you may want to think about this one before sending).
I like the idea of sending a non-expected gift with the customer’s name. I personally experienced this a few months ago when I met Shawn Huelin (he is a MSP) at a conference.
We met and started to talk about the usual industry challenges and opportunities, then before leaving, he asked to take a selfie with me and I did. A few days later, I received a card with the selfie photo on the cover and a message “It was a pleasure meeting you and hope we will chat again soon”. It also came with a gift box that included some brownies.
I must say that the brownies were really good and it was indeed a pleasant surprise. I will certainly remember Shawn Huelin. Soon after, I reached out to Shawn to personally thank him. He explained to me that he uses an online “gift service” for his clients. He sends them a gift after he meets them or after he closes a deal or during special holidays. He uses gifting to build personal relationships with his clients and suppliers. He said that in a World where so much is done virtually, sending a gift is a great way to connect with people on a personal level.
It seems like Shawn truly embraces gift-giving in a random but thoughtful manner, just as Randal Wark was explaining. He went on to say that he mostly send food because as he puts it “who doesn’t like food”. The fact that he knew that I liked brownies was also a surprise, but then again, who doesn’t like brownies :o).
After listening to Shawn and how he was generating positive results from random acts of gift-giving, I thought, why aren’t more VARs and MSPs doing this? It seems like a simple and cost-effective way to offer a personalized B2B gift. I am not 100% sure, but I think the card is about $1.50 and the gifts start around $10. This is also a way to upload your actual signature and personalized note.
I asked Shawn if he could hook up the channel with the same service and get them to offer a special deal… Learn more about this personalized card and gift giving service that Shawn uses.
Why not try it this Holiday Season or in the new year as a way to leverage gift-giving to build stronger personal relationships with your clients? Vendors may also want to get into this gift-giving game as they could use it after meeting prospects or welcoming a new partner or as a congratulation for closing a first deal or even for completing some sales training. Be creative in leveraging gift-giving to help you build stronger personal relationships!