Saturday, November 22, 2008

Small Gifts of Appreciation Go a Long Way in Sales

This past week I was out working as usual when I realized I was driving on fumes. Not wanting to run out of gas, I stopped at a new gas station for the first time. It was really cold, and I was pumping I looked up to find a sign that offered a "free cup of coffee" with any purchase of a tank of gas or diesel.

This sounded great and after I filled up my tank I headed inside to take them up on the offer. The lady inside was unusually nice, and directed me over to the coffee station. I gladly filled up my cup of coffee and waived goodbye as I headed back to my vehicle.

Being that I was involved in a beverage business that sold to C-stores years ago, I knew that cup of coffee probably only cost them a nickel or so. To be truthful, it really wasn't that great of a cup of coffee, either. This didn't seem to matter to me, because after filling up my vehicle twice a week for more weeks than I care to remember - this was the first time that someone was giving me a small gift of appreciation for my patronage. I'm positive I will be back, especially on some of these cold days that reside in the future.

This also reminded me once again of how far small gifts of appreciation go in sales. When someone takes the time to give you a referral or a customer gives you a first order, a small gift of appreciation is certainly in order. A couple boxes of doughnuts, a lunch, or $25 gift certificate is hardly anything for what you get in return.

Keep these gifts small, however, so they will not be understood as a bribe or someone trying to buy their business. This activity is all about appreciation - from a grateful person who knows where their success comes from. Many times in sales when we do something worthwhile without expecting any sort of benefit in return, the rewards we reap are far greater than we could ever expect.


Brad Trnavsky - Sales Management 2.0 said...

Great pot Will... It's funny how such a small token of appreciation can lead to customer loyalty. Customer service is a lost art these days with everyone focused on the bottom line. If you are looking for a good book on the topic I recommend "The Starbucks Way". It was a great book about how a small coffee shop got BIG by doing things right.

From the Author: Will Fultz said...

No doubt - Thanks for the comment and I'll try to check out the book.

dyi_success said...

Great stuff!! Very thorough and insightful. Let's not forget the sales team on this topic, also.

As a Sales Manager here in North Carolina, I want to share something in the motivation category. This website (and many others) are filled with great ideas and thoughts, I wanted to be able to share these with the employees at my company.

So when it’s time to recognize someone for their performance, I take one of these quotes from my (long) list, and instead of giving them a standard old plaque (never again!), I put the quote on a DYI – Design Your Inspiration from Successories. They are very handsomely framed and the photo choices are very good. It’s made employee recognition much more meaningful AND appreciated. The website is Thanks again. Anne

Jobs in Islamabad said...

Nice idea and good gifts. I like it. I'll try such type of ideas Thanks for sharing.

Ecommerce said...

You should always show that you value your customers in any way that you can. Let them feel that you care for them and their business. Do all possible professional moves to persuade them to have a long-term relationship with your company. Understanding your customers, even though it may be hard, goes long way.

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