The trend of hacking your business is costing you money! Spending countless hours prospecting and thousands of dollars in marketing your business is depleting your resources. Grinding to get business isn’t the only way to grow. In fact, it’s a harder way.
Appreciation is the easiest yet most underutilized principle in business.
Everyone expects to be thanked when they’ve made a purchase, but true appreciation lies in the unexpected thank you. It’s the surprise personal note in the mail or the small gift for a referral that keeps you top of mind.
“The Easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.” Deepak Chorpa
Building relationships with stakeholders is a long term game. It’s not a strategy that’ll feed your business overnight. Yet, like compound interest, touch points grow into connections. Connections form relationships that will double, triple, and quadruple in meaning over time.
Before you know it, allies and clients will market your business, provide referrals, create word of mouth buzz, testimonials etc. They’ll send business your way without being asked because they care about you.
The U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported:
2% of sales are made on the first call
3% are made on the second call
5% on the third call
10% on the fourth
80% of all sales are made between the 5th-12th call
The same report showed that less than 25% of sales professionals make three or more follow up calls. This means over 75% of sales reps aren’t giving prospects what the need to say yes, connection! Prospects want to connect before they buy. Yet three-fourth of sales reps don’t see the value in spending more time with prospects.
What if we viewed prospecting in a different light? Instead of the traditional ABCs of sales (Always Be Closing) mindset, we start with the ABCs of relationship building (Always Be Connecting)?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Creating a competitive edge for your business doesn’t have to involve discount prices, promotional items, and exaggerated promises. All it takes is authenticity, great customer experience, and appreciation. Uplifting others is a priceless skill few people master. Conquer it and you won’t need discounts or promotional offers to generate leads. Your ideal client will gladly pay full price for your services.
Offer value to your connections and you will establish credibility. Shave years off of gaining credibility and you can move to the front of the pack.
“50% of businesses fail in their first 5 years and 85% of those businesses fail due to cash flow problems”. Georgia McIntyre, What Percentage of Small Businesses Fail?
When business owners neglect connecting with stakeholders, the result is a never ending grind to get customers. One minute business is abundant and money is rolling in and the next, you’re back to hustling for more clients. Feeding the marketing beast depletes your resources!
What if getting off the rollercoaster was as simple as reaching out to old clients once a quarter or twice a year? It could be a birthday card, home anniversary gift, something from you to acknowledge them.
Acknowledgment keeps you top of mind.
Appreciation builds loyalty, connection, and relationships. When we nurture stakeholders, your business grows with less reliance on prospecting.
It’s time to reevaluate poplar rules on lead generation and sales. When everyone plays by the same rules, there’s little creativity. The only way to differentiate yourself without crushing your bank account is to think differently.
Including travel gift cards in your appreciation tool kit is an innovative way to stay top of mind. You can send a spa gift card to a referral source, or a golf card to a client. The genius behind using travel gift cards is you can purchase them on a shoe string budget and tailor the gift to the client/ occasion. If you rather spend your time nurturing relationships instead of chasing prospects then appreciation marketing is your answer.
When demonstrated effectively and on a personal level, it will grow your business.
White, Jonathan P. Success Through Appreciation Proven method to grow any business through recognition and appreciation. JoJo Publishing, 2013
McIntyre, Georgia. What Percentage of Small Businesses Fail? (And Other Similar Stats You Need to Know) Fundera Ledger. updated August 29, 2017