When you hear the words “client appreciation” – what does it conjure up in your mind? Perhaps you see images of fancy printed invitations, mailings, RSVP coordination, a large hotel banquet room with impressive dinners, and an even more impressive invoice you get to pay. These can be worth the effort. Perhaps you should table that thought for a moment, however.
Client appreciation doesn’t have to be expressed in an expensive event. Many clients are social introverts, especially when it comes to money. If they’re willing to attend an event at all, they may prefer anonymity and simplicity. Meanwhile, every day they fetch their mail. What are they shuffling through? Advertisements, credit card solicitations, charitable donation requests, and bills are the usual recipe.
Your client may have had a difficult day. They’re disappointed with someone or something. Or they’re just terrifically tired and longing to be a couch potato. Maybe they’ve had a fantastic day and all the junk mail is putting a damper on it. Then as they shuffle through all the mail, they see a hand-written greeting card envelope from you. They set all the other pieces aside and quickly tear open your card.
You’ve written simply: “Hi Pat, I was thinking about you today. I wanted to be sure to let you know how much I appreciate the many ways you care about your family. No wonder they love you so much! It’s a pleasure to know you.”
A card like the above takes just a few brief moments to do. Here’s a code word to get you started making this a weekly habit: 3M. Put 3M on your calendar every Monday. It stands for Monday Merry Mail. You can start by picking just one client to mail to each Monday. You’ll increase the number when you experience the benefits first hand. The purpose is to express honest appreciation that you believe will bring a touch of joy to your client’s day.
You ask nothing in return, nor should you expect anything in return. Don’t enclose your business card. Keep it about pure positive expression. You will receive a good feeling just taking the time to experience the appreciation you have found about that person. Maybe they’re grumpy and annoying in many respects, but this exercise has reminded you of something you do appreciate. That little positive has uplifted your day.
Meanwhile, be ready for the additional benefits that sometimes show up, even though you did this with no expectation of return. For example, you discover this client seems happier with you, making for more pleasant meetings. In 12 years, there’s never been a referral and now there are three. Or your client calls to thank you and mentions that you should look at an account they’ve been thinking of turning over to your care.
Use 3M for Monday Merry Mail and you will discover a more positive outlook for your whole week. You may even discover that Monday becomes your favorite day of the week!