Thanksgiving weekend in Canada offers an opportunity for us to take the time to reflect on life and be thankful. About a year and a half ago, I embarked on an adventure that has been transformational in nature. I made the choice to seek new knowledge and apply my life experience to be of better service to people around me. This has offered me a glimpse of all that is good in people and I know there is so much more goodness left to discover. Fast forward to today—I am delighted to report that I now understand why the mind is such a powerful tool. It can be harnessed to create wonderful experiences in your life. I am utterly grateful for this journey of self-discovery that has been not only fulfilling but life-changing. And I have miles to go…
As busy people in the world of business, we move from one day to another at breakneck speed. Everything is so transient and we have no choice but to keep pace or get left behind. How can you win more business? How can you make more sales? How will you secure customer loyalty? How will you keep your employees engaged and motivated? How will your channel partners, vendors and associates give you their best?
I believe that just like in our personal lives, where giving is more important than receiving, in business too, you have to really reach out and GIVE in order to receive.
G – Gratitude: Think about how often and in how many different ways you can show gratitude to the people and organizations you interact with in business. An annual Customer Appreciation Day or a Staff Appreciation Day are good and can be very memorable too. However, you don’t need to create big, expensive and action-packed events to show gratitude and appreciation. A pat on the back, a handshake, a phone call, an email, a coffee, or even just a simple “Thank You” can have far-reaching effects. While it is true that as an employer, vendor or partner, there are certain expectations that we must fulfil and we are mindful of meeting those. But if you exceed those expectations and go beyond because you want to, that’s when your gratitude really starts to show. That’s when the parties you are grateful for can see that they are not taken for granted.
Give a loyal customer a free gift without compelling them to make a purchase each time. Hand out a “Thank You” certificate to a staff member for a job well done. Empower your channel partners to drive more sales. Award a long-standing vendor with a “Trust Seal” to show you are grateful that they are dependable and trustworthy. These are small gestures of gratitude but they go a long way.
I – Innovation: As B2B marketers, we know and have heard enough about the importance of innovation in the marketplace. We strive for excellence and industry leadership thorough innovation. Let’s remember that innovation doesn’t always have to mean that one ground-breaking, earth-shattering idea. It can be a series of simple, quick, innovations that make someone else’s life easier and better. Technology allows us to do that today.
For example, instead of asking customers to sign up for your rewards program when they make a purchase, why not do it for them? You can set up your CRM systems to ensure that when a customer makes their first purchase, their order confirmation enables them to becomes a rewards club member by just checking a box. They have the option to exit if and when they want to, but if the “rewards” you give them are exciting enough then they will not want to go. Simple innovation, fascinating results! Social media allows us to be very innovative and do things we couldn’t before. Revisit this case study on Social Marketing Innovation.
V – Value: It’s the one big victory you want – being able to add value. Your customers need to see value in your products and services that help solve genuine problems for them. Your employees want to see enriched value in their lives from being employed by your company. Channel partners want to gain value from their partnership that allows their business to grow. This concept of Value Creation can be quite mysterious. The only way to deliver the value that is expected from you is by taking the time and making a conscious effort to understand what the people that matter are seeking. What keeps them up at night? What changes do they want to see that allow them to do business faster, better, easier? What are you doing differently from other players in the market to bring about strong and increasing return on investment? Value becomes apparent when you matter and make a difference to your audience. Read these tips on How to Increase Customer Engagement.
E – Experience: As Maya Angelou famously said, “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Well then, that should be easy, right? If you make someone feel good, they will not forget. That is the very basis of Customer Experience Optimization (CXO). It is what Relationship Marketing is grounded in. “Feeling good” comes from feeling satisfied, from feeling cared for, from relief when a problem is solved, from the joy of using a product or service that brings convenience, from return on investment and cost-effectiveness that previously wasn’t there, and so on and so forth. Here’s a refresher on the 5 Essential Ingredients of B2B Relationship Marketing.
It’s never too late to start when it comes to showing appreciation. It’s never too late to GIVE. Who are the people, where are the places, what are the situations you are thankful for? How do you show your gratitude? What can you GIVE your target audience today that is new and different and more valuable than anything you have given them before?
Share your thoughts. You can also email or call me, Louis Foong, at (905) 709-3827.