The Art Of Appreciation In Your Business

The Art Of Appreciation In Your Business

November 17th, 2021 // 10:36 am @

The Art Of Appreciation In Your Business

I truly believe there is no force more powerful in all the world than appreciation and gratitude.  There is no healthier feeling and act than being thankful.  And that extends to your business as well.

Appreciation buys you the ability to set the terms and guidelines you want in your business interactions with your customers.  Because you respect and appreciate them, they will return the favor.  Your office is closed on Friday, they’ll understand.  You take an extra day to ship your products, they’ll adjust.

The trick to all of this is to never feel or act entitled to a customer’s loyalty or money ‘just because’ and instead be grateful for it even though you are earning it by what you do, how you do it, and more importantly who you are.

Customers, patients, clients, and everyone else know when they are undervalued, ignored, unacknowledged, and taken for granted.  They also know when someone genuinely cares, has a mission to serve, and values their patronage.

All of this applies to your team, as well.

Just because you pay them… it’s not good enough.  Paying with gratitude.  Leading with appreciation.  Having a culture of recognition.  It’s all vital to keep positive proactive energy that fuels the team’s performance.

Of course, there are actual ways to achieve this.  Just warm and fuzzy good intentions won’t cut it.

Here are my three favorite ways to execute the art and strategy of ‘appreciation’ – plus the approach we recommend for our Doctors.

The core components are:

The Sales Experience

Rewarding Good Behavior

Seasonal Relationship Building

Most of these are obvious but I’ll quickly outline them for you and then give you the one thing that requires zero dollars of investment and has the greatest return.  If you do this, you’ll never have to ‘worry’ about your business future and potential ever again.

Inside of your sales experience, you want to think of the most positive reinforcement for your prospects’ (that you want to turn into customers) behavior.

I always say everyone waits until people have given them money before they start ‘appreciating’ them with any type of praise or gifts.  Bad idea – start early and often.

If you know the value of a customer to you then you can figure out what makes the most sense to invest on the front end that the prospect won’t expect and also moves the sale forward by encouraging them to take whatever next steps you are asking them to take.

You then move them forward through the sales experience process in the same way with little tokens, gifts, surprises along the way.  This builds a deeper connection through the act of giving.

Think about what they get from you at the first point of contact, then when they take the first big step (whether there is money attached to it or not), then as they prepare to close the initial sale, and finally become your ‘customer.’

Here is the example I give to our practices and encourage them to follow exactly…

Gift when they ‘show-up’ and take the first positive action before you ask for money.

Gift when they pay after the first major financial transaction.

Gift when they complete anything in their pathway to health or their appliance delivery.

Don’t miss the ‘start’ and the ‘finish’… not just one or the other.  That is a significant modification from what most people do.

The second place is when there is some positive action such as a referral, a review, or a testimonial.  Notice that none of these actions involve the transfer of money.  Your business should have ways for customers to interact without buying something.  The more you reward and acknowledge that type of customer engagement, the more it will occur.

Finally, you have seasonal relationship building.  It has become fairly cookie-cutter of late.  You might switch out different holidays every year or find something unique to your industry (such as National Cookie Day).

Our target is quarterly though we hit a few holidays in a row in the final stretch of the year.

It’s about being thoughtful and it’s about showing up.  Trust me, it is more than anyone else will ever do.

Now, if you are like my doctors, you can’t send thousands of gifts every holiday to every patient or customers on the books.  However, you can narrow it down to your new customers for a year, or select their referring patients, or pick the 80/20 rule.  There are ways to do it for every business and customer dynamic.

This is real relationship building… connecting outside of the normal transaction points, showing you are thinking of them, and value them as part of your business.

Finally…what no gift will replace is the good old fashion ‘thank you’ every day all the time no matter what.  If you truly appreciate their loyalty then tell them because people just love to be appreciated and it’s the thing they get the least from everywhere else in their life.  You know this because you experience it all the time.  Businesses that treat customers like an inconvenience instead of their purpose.

If you make it about the business, transactions, and money – so will they.  If you make it about something more, about them, it will create a momentum in your business that money can’t buy.

And that my friend is how you live the art of appreciation in your business.

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