Your clients as your sales force


REFERRALS without asking

Learn an elegant method of getting referrals from your best clients. And turn them into your personal sales force.

When done thoughtfully and strategically, gifting has the amazing potential to spark your company's growth.

Homeowners will often send us photos of themselves in front of the painting of their home, posing proudly in front of one of their prized possessions hanging on their wall. Inevitably, someone comes over to visit and sees the painting on the wall, with the your name written on the painting, and suddenly, your name becomes a part of the conversation in a big way that's casual and noninvasive.

Those conversations would never take place without that painting, and they don't require your logo to spark an interest in your company.

Strategic, thoughtful gifting provides that opportunity. If you have a great service, treat your clients like gold, and give them a painting of their home as a gift, they're going to show their friends, family and circle of influence, you'll have a recipe for inspiring opportunities where your name, products, and services are brought up naturally.

The paintings that we create for our clients initiate those conversations. When someone asks, "Wow, where did you get that painting?", your company becomes part of the dialogue. I like to think of it as an innate referral.

It's why a powerful investment strategy is to take 5 percent of profits and reinvest them back into your key relationships. If the profitability of a client is $100,000, then we'd consider reinvesting $5000 back into that relationship, to help ensure that he or she is a $100,000 client the next year.

When you give someone something that he or she will love daily, that's 365 positive impressions per year for the price of one gift. The return is priceless.  In fact, it's not unusual for receivers of our house portraits to comment on a portrait we sent out 10 years ago!

Instead of the recipient thinking, "Wow, thank you so much for the five dollar koozie that I will never use," you can give a gift that makes them think, "I love the painting of my house! It's so thoughtful, I admire it every day!" It's a thoughtful pattern that inspires people to share your thoughtful intentions with everyone they come in contact with. 

It's easy to fall into the trap of wanting a quick hit, embracing the mentality that it really doesn't matter what you give as long as you're giving. Few people take time to evaluate the difference between positive impressions and negative impressions and what you can mean for their company over the long haul.

Put yourself in your recipient's shoes. Would you want the cheap koozie? Probably not. You'd rather have one nice thing than ten trinkets that only junk up their house and eventually end up in a bag destined for the thrift store.



This article is from the book "Gift-ology" by John Ruhlin