I went on Amazon to purchase a gift card for a friend who helped me out on a project and it reminded me of what I used to do in my business.
My approach was pretty simple. Whenever someone referred me a new account, I sent them a gift card. It normally wasn’t all that much, something like $25.00 or so.
Even though it wasn’t all that much, saying thanks in that way sends a powerful message that you are grateful for them thinking enough of you to refer someone your way. When I sent a card, I used to include a brief note telling them how much I appreciated the gesture.
I used this approach a lot with Realtors, as they were always sending me business. I also used this quite a bit whenever a housecleaning customer referred me. They were always thrilled that they got a little thank you back in return.
Many times people would give me a call to thank me for thanking them! It’s kind of funny if you think about it. I was a big fan of using gift cards in many different circumstances. I also would purchase them for many of my customers as a way of just saying “thanks for your business”.
You can make this approach more effective if you happen to know a little about what your customer likes. For instance we had this one account, and I knew for a fact the manager liked going to Red Lobster. So we would always get him a Red Lobster gift card. I just give this person what they liked. Pretty simple.
Gift cards are also a great tool that you can use to thank your employees. I would regularly buy gift cards for employee of the month, for birthday gifts and holiday cards. Gift cards are nice because odds are you know your staff enough to know what they like, and you can pick the card that fits them the best.
If you have not used this approach before, you may want to consider it going forward. The act of giving gift cards not only says “THANKS” to those that get the card, it also promotes MORE REFERRALS coming you way down the road. And with employees, it lets them know they are APPRECIATED. Both are invaluable.