Flowers, chocolates and paper hearts… oh sweet hallmark holiday. Valentine’s day is upon us and while it certainly isn’t my favorite holiday it’s a good time to reflect on those that we love.
As much as it is important to show your honey-boo, your bestie galentine and your grandma that you love them, you need to be showing your clients some love to.
And I am not just talking about Valentine’s day. I am talking about EVERY DAY.
In fact, the reason Valentine’s day isn’t my favey-fave is that I think you should show people you love them everyday. I know, I know. Feel free to roll your eyes, but it’s the truth.
Soooo, to help you show the love I have created a list of 14 thoughtful ways to show your clients some love (all year long) that are better than a box of conversation hearts.
1. Take care of yourself
Yep, it starts with you. I’m sure you’ve heard the analogy of putting the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others, well, you need to do the same thing when taking care of your clients.
If you aren’t showing up at your best, clients will feel that. If you are stressed and anxious your client likely may feel stressed and anxious. Think of it, how do you feel when you deal with an agitated person? So, if you are agitated, how will your clients feel?
Because of that it is important to take care of yourself so that you can show up in the best way for your clients.
Be the person who takes the time to get their head (and heart) right before dealing with clients so you can project positivity and calmness, and love, to your clients. It will make such a difference.
Figure out what this “self-care” is for you. Maybe it’s a quick meditation before you start your day, maybe it is exercise, maybe it’s planning your calendar in advance, maybe a bubble bath, or simply remembering to eat lunch. Whatever works for you make it a priority.
It’s simple, really. If you take care of yourself, you can better take care of your clients.
Go on and make self care your competitive advantage.
2. Set a standard
Showing love to your clients is something that needs to be intentional. It likely won’t happen by accident. Sure you may exchange pleasantries and that will feel nice, but it will never be memorable or create raving fans. People can tell when something is done intentionally.
So I encourage you to be intentional and set a standard for how you want to show up for your clients and how you want them to feel.
Start by brainstorming some of the best customer service experiences you’ve had. What wowed you? How did you feel? Jot down some notes.
Next, use these ideas and write out exactly how you want your clients to feel when they interact with you. A sentence or two is enough, but make this your standard.
Look at it every day. By doing this you will become more intentional and it will bring you back when the day gets stressful or busy. It will help you refocus and make sure you are showing up for your clients in the best ways.
3. Follow up
If you’ve downloaded my guide Six Skills for Six Figure Sales you know that follow up is HUGE. I believe that follow up is so, so important to showing your clients love. Follow up is the art of not assuming. Never assume, just follow up and then follow up again.
Think you’ve answered all your clients’ questions? Follow up anyway.
Sent an email a week ago and no response? Follow up with a phone call.
Don’t have any updates for your client? Follow up and let them know there are no updates yet.
Sold something to a client six months ago? Follow up and see how they are.
I hope you get the idea. No matter what always follow up. When you follow up with clients you are showing them love in the best way, you are showing them that you care.
4. Follow through
Do what you say you are going to do when you said you would do it. Simple.
Yet, not a lot of people follow though, which is why when you do follow through you can make a client for life. If you say you will call someone back in an hour, do it. If you promise something within a week, make it happen.
I absolutely love it when someone tells me something and it happens when they said it would.
An easy way to follow through for clients is by never promising something you can’t do no matter how good it sounds in the moment. Under promise, over deliver it the motto.
Show your clients love by always following through.
5. Be timely
I’m the type of person who feels like I always need to be a few minutes early. Maybe your cool with being right on time. I am okay with that, but what I can’t stand is people being late.
Like it or not, being on time matters. In fact, it matters a whole lot. Being on time makes your client feel valued and it helps you build trust
Don’t believe me, just think of the last time you had to wait around for someone for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes or more. How did you feel?
Show your clients love by always being on time to meetings or scheduled phone calls.
Also, as important as showing up on time, returning phone calls and emails in a timely matter is also super important to showing your client some love.
I always try to return calls and emails within 24 hours but when that person is a client I’ve tightened up that number. My goal is to return client calls and emails within a few hours to at least the same day minimum.
If it is something that needs a lot of my attention and I will at least let them know I got their call/email and give them a time frame of when I will be able to get back to them.
It’s these little things that add up. Be mindful and be timely and you will have happy clients.
6. Always offer a solution
Truly caring for and showing love to your client goes deeper than just offering the products you are selling. Sure it is great when the product or service you offer is the right solution for your client, but what about when they aren’t?
I say find a solution anyway, no matter what.
This requires a little more creativity, and sometimes humility.
Dig in to find out what your client really needs, ask a lot of questions. Nancy Drew it up. Pay attention not just to what they say they need, but how the act and what goes unsaid.
Is your product or service truly the right fit for them? Not quite? Maybe they need a modification of what you are offering, or something else entirely. Get creative. Look to offer alternative solutions, even if they aren’t yours. Never leave your client hanging with a “sorry can’t help you there” or “we don’t offer that.”
Maybe you won’t get the sale or close the deal but I promise the honesty, the love and the kindness you put out will come back to you.
7. Get personal
People buy from people that they like and can relate to. If you are able to develop a special rapport and connection with your clients they will be clients for life.
I absolutely love it in business when someone takes the time to go beyond the “how have you been?” to “how is you family doing, your son is in 2nd grade now right?” When someone takes the effort to remember something personal it goes such a long way in building a great connection and relationship.
Pay attention to the personal details. Likewise, keep track of the important days in their lives (birthdays, work anniversaries, launches, etc.) and the smaller events too (son’s football game, family vacation, etc.). Put those details in your calendar or in your CRM and weave them into conversations.
Also, remember, personal connection is a two-way street. Don’t be afraid to open up a little and share some personal details about yourself as well. When a client asks “how was your weekend?” don’t just give a generic response.
Share a little. Did your dog win the local wiener dog race? Did you just finish a new juicy crime novel? What about that funny and embarrassing thing your kids said to the cashier at the grocery store yesterday? Share it. These little details will make you memorable and build that personal connection.
8. Send cards on unusual holidays
Each December you get inundated with piles and piles of holiday cards. So does everyone else. They are great and you should still send those, but I want to encourage you to send cards on the less popular holidays.
St. Patrick’s Day, Labor Day, Uh-em ,Valentine’s Day. When yours is the only card they receive for whatever random holiday you choose, you will stand out and be remembered.
It is a great way to show your clients you are thinking about them!
You can even go a step further and connect with your clients on those strange National whatever Days or Weeks. For example, I was once representing a pizza chain and National Pizza Day rolled around. I shot my client a quick text” Happy National Pizza Day, just thinking of you and hope all is well!” They loved it!
Need help with ideas? National Day Calendar is a great resource.
Get creative in finding ways to show your clients some love.
9. Spotlight Clients
Do you have some clients doing some amazing things? You should tell the world about it! Whether it is on your website or blog, newsletter or social media, taking the time to spotlight a client is such an effective way to show them that you care.
Celebrate their achievements and spotlight their business.
A new grand opening, a spot on the top companies to watch, a new product launch, whatever it is make sure you are supporting them by highlighting and sharing the good they are doing.
10. Support them on social media
Everybody likes to be liked…especially where others can see it.
Show a little love to your clients by following, liking or commenting on their social media. This shows care and support them and fills their feeds with a little love.
Take a few minutes and follow your clients and/or their businesses on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
I made it a point to follow clients early on but found that it was hard to keep up when my news feed felt like it was all just cute dog videos and memes. That was until I found out how to create Facebook lists. I created a Facebook list for all my clients, I then scheduled a few minutes each day, or every other day to go to the list and like posts, share and comment. Go in and try it! I bet you’ll be surprised at the love you get back!
When you give love you get love.
11. Send a handwritten note
This one is a BIG one for me. I love sending handwritten notes and thank yous and I always get such a great response from them. It’s so quick and easy to send an email but receiving a card via snail mail is such a treat.
Sending a handwritten note card not only makes your client feel valued, you’ll also stand out big time.
Think about it. Most people don’t get many handwritten cards these days. When’s the last time you got one, not including the one from your Grandma?
It’s a hassle…you have to buy a card, write it out, get their address, buy stamps, find a mailbox, and on top of it you are likely to get a paper-cut. I get it. But take a clue from you Grandma and do it anyway.
This one thing will really be memorable and will certainly make your client feel loved and appreciated.
12. Send them referrals
Asking for referrals is sometimes hard and awkward. Take that burden off your clients and refer without them asking.
Send business their way. Look for opportunities to refer them and their services in your network. Chances are they will reciprocate. Referrals are a great way to show your clients some love.
13. Give them a gift
Who doesn’t love getting a thoughtful gift? Gifts are a great way to make people feel special and appreciated. A client gift could be a perfect way to wrap up a closed deal or transaction, or something to delight them out of the blue.
To make the gift more special, think of something personal. If you are a residential realtor maybe it’s a little watercolor print of their new home, Etsy is a dream for that sort of stuff. Maybe it’s a book or a gift card for a local restaurant they mentioned they wanted to try.
As a commercial real estate broker I love gifting little signs like these.
Get creative and put some thought into it.
14. Go above and beyond
I am talking about the unforgettable, unexpected and the irresistible. The Zappos, Ritz Carlton and Chick-fil-A kind of client experience.
I am talking about wowing your clients.
To illustrate my point, let’s consider Joshie the Giraffe.
A family had taken a trip to the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, upon returning home from the trip the family realized their son had lost his beloved Joshie the Giraffe! They called the hotel and were able to find him.
Instead of just boxing up the stuffed toy and returning it, the hotel allowed the giraffe to have “an extended vacation” and after he was carefully returned with binder of photos documenting his stay. Photos by the pool, in the spa, driving a golf cart. They also included some Ritz Carlton souvenirs. Can you imagine the boy’s delight? Talk about an incredible customer service moment.
What ways can you go above and beyond to delight and surprise your clients? Can you take a negative situation and turn it into something magical?
So, are you ready to start showing your clients some love? I hope these ideas have inspired you to show your clients how much you care and appreciate them, not just today, but all year long! Make showing your clients love your competitive advantage.