Friday, November 18, 2011

How Do You Show Your Appreciation?

Traditionally the holiday season is a time of thanksgiving, commemorating the birth of Jesus and celebrating the miracle of Hanukkah. This time of year has also become synonymous with gift-giving to family, friends and business associates.

At a recent Lunch n’ Learn session, hosted by Lori Williams of Your Legal Resource, the topic of the program was on ways to show appreciation to your customers and clients. If you weren’t at the lunch, you missed a lot of valuable suggestions for showing gratitude to your business associates not only at the holidays but for year-round gifting as well. Read her blog post on the roundtable discussion at

Linda Anger, President of The Write Concept, ( ) told the group she makes it a point to learn as much as she can about her client or referral partner. “I get to know their likes, interests, taste in music, then customize a small gift such as a book or concert tickets to match their personality.” Since writing is her business, she takes pleasure in attaching a personalized, handwritten note along with the gift, thanking them for their business.

Here are some of the other suggestions for thoughtful gifts of appreciation:
  • Donations to a charity in the name of the person. Two suggestions are or
  • Bottle of wine from a local winery or beer from local brewery with your custom label on it

  • Gift card to Starbucks or other coffee or tea place

  • Gift card to restaurants

  • Deliver or send popcorn, bagels or coffee cakes, etc. to their office

  • Subscriptions to magazines

  • For many years, I’ve made it a point to meet with my clients and as many of my associates as I can between Thanksgiving and the year’s end and I bring them a little gift-wrapped package of homemade cookies. During the meetings I have in the summer months, I bring fresh or dried herbs or spices from my garden attached to a recipe card using that ingredient.

    How do you show appreciation to your clients and business associates at this time of year and all year round?

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    What About After the Tradeshow?

    Part 6 of 6
    What about after the trade show is over? The key to maximizing the experience is in the follow-up. How you do it is up to you. I’ve sent and received hand-written notes, emails, and letters.

    I’ve made phone calls telling the person I enjoyed our conversation so much that I wanted to continue it over coffee. Again, every trade show expert and successful participant will tell you, follow-up is the key in achieving after the show sales and success.

    Below is a sample follow-up letter:

    Dear John,

    Thank you . . . for the opportunity to talk with you at the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce Business Expo yesterday. I know your time is valuable and I promise to never waste it. If I can help you or any of your clients in the area of credit repair, please do not hesitate to call on me to be of assistance to you.

    ABC Credit Solutions has the resources it takes to get results when it comes to fixing errors on the credit report. We do not claim to delete all negative credit information from the credit history. We can correct misinformation that, once removed, will assist in improving credit rating. In most cases, we can clear the discrepancies within a few days. Unlike our competitors, there is no monthly fee for the credit recovery service and the client does not pay until the service is complete.

    I look forward to the opportunity to work with you in the future. If you have any questions or concerns regarding credit recovery, please feel free to call me at (123) 456-7890.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Only One Chance For First Impression at Expos

    Part 5 of 6
    You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Same holds true when you are at the trade show. You only have a few seconds to attract someone to your booth. The following tips may seem obvious, but from my experience at the expos, they are often overlooked.

  • The people who are staffing your space should dress as they would for any other business situation. Their clothes and footwear should be appropriate, no jeans or tennis shoes, and be neat and wrinkle-free.

  • Staff should be approachable and friendly. Standing with arms crossed with a scowl on their face won’t make visitors feel welcome and will give the impression that you don’t even want to be there.

  • The purpose of being at the trade show is to gather leads and interact with the visitors to the event. That means that the staff isn’t on the cell phone, texting, “tweeting”, eating, conversing with other staff, or doing anything else but greeting visitors.

  • They should greet the visitor with a smile and a good solid handshake. Maintaining consistent eye contact shows you are interested in the visitor and what they have to say.

  • This isn’t a selling opportunity so staff should not sell your products or services to the attendees. Their job is to simply answer questions from the visitor and determine if they are a potential customer. You could have a card or form in the display that the visitor could fill out requesting a sales person to contact them after the show or the staff person could make note of the level of interest of the visitor on the back of one of their business cards.

  • Don’t let staff crowd your exhibit. Have them stand just outside its boundary or a bit in the aisle so as not to block the display.

    Next post: Show’s over. Now what do you do as follow-up?

  • Monday, November 7, 2011

    More Tips For Your Display at the Expo

    Part 4 of 6
    More tips to remember when building your display for a trade show or business expo:

  • Offering candy in a big bowl, in assorted kinds and colors, is another way to attract people to your display. While they are standing there picking out their favorites, you have a window of time to start a conversation.

  • Offer a show discount. Everyone loves a bargain. A third or half off the cost of the product or service is a good deal! Make it a limited time offer to insure a quicker response.

  • Prior to the event, let everyone in your current database know that you will be at the show. You can include an invitation for them to visit you at the event in your e-newsletter, on FaceBook, or in a separate emailing. Attach a free pass to the event if it is available. You can also let them know that you will be offering a special discount on your product or service at the show.

  • Make sure you talk to the show organizers a week before the event, even if you’ve done the show before. It’s always good to know what to expect or to confirm any needs you might have, such as a location with an electric outlet.

  • Ask the show organizers if there will be a raffle or door prize give-away to which you could contribute. It’s always a good thing to have your company name announced over the loud speaker for all to hear.

    Next Post: Trade Show Etiquette