As life gradually opens to offer some simple pleasures, like indoor dining or outdoor group activities, I’m reminded of gatherings with clients, team members or suppliers to celebrate special wins, extraordinary accomplishments or remarkable teamwork.
Showing appreciation, celebrating successes and staying connected are core for us at Impagination. Our clients deliver high-value, high-touch services. The past year has eliminated many of the opportunities to be “high-touch”, but we’ve found ways for our clients to stay connected to their best clients.
It’s all about investing in the “Return on Relationship”, or “RoR”. This is critical in our highly connected world. We often encounter more people than ever using social media and other digital platforms. This has given us a broader base for networking and building new relationships in discrete stages, beyond geographic or time zone constraints. And it pays off – clients and stakeholders are our best ambassadors. It’s key that they know what makes our product or service unique; that we equip them to make right-fit referrals and introductions; and that we celebrate with them, reward them, and show appreciation for the relationship.
For me, showing appreciation started at an early age. I loved handmaking greeting cards – encouraged by my artistic grandmother, who gave me the cardboard from my grandfather’s dry-cleaned shirts and let me use her make-up pencils, lipstick and nail polish as crayons and paints. In addition to the thrill of making the greetings, the reaction from recipients inspired me to continue.
In the early days of my business, I eagerly embraced this tradition. Each year, we designed a unique handmade greeting, accompanying each one with a heartfelt handwritten note of appreciation specifically for the recipient. Many were saved and displayed year after year. Many were reinserted into the envelope, then passed to someone else to experience the awesome reveal. This demonstrates return on relationship!
We found that building a reputation for our greetings, aka “theatre in the mail”, was just one way to attract and retain top clients and talent. In this blog we look at other practical tips for showing appreciation to our clients, business partners and colleagues in a way that cultivates genuine and long-lasting relationships.
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Laural Carr, Founder of Impagination Inc., is an award-winning marketer and creator of the BizBackdrop™, Impact Formula™ and Persona Maker™ Approach. She is a Kolbe™ Certified Consultant and is passionate about helping smart savvy businesses find their next best client and boost new business fast.
Impagination Inc. builds smart, targeted strategies to differentiate your services and streamline business development efforts to focus on easily finding more clients like your best clients. Our secret sauce is how we uniquely tailor the strategy and the message to be easy to execute and customized for the persona of the people who drive the business. www.impaginationinc.com