Client surprises include articles you read that immediately remind you of something you and your customer spoke about the last time you met.
Client surprises are bonus coaching sessions, free of charge, as a reward for hard work, well done. Client surprises are invitations to closed-door meetings, seminars, webinars that only you would know about.
Client surprises are provocative. They showcase that you have been doing your homework, thinking about your customers, learning about your industry, growing your own acumen.
You are leading by example. You are differentiating yourself as a lifelong learner. You are indicating what the quality of their customer experience might look like, should they decide to engage in doing business with you.
Client surprises are something entirely different from fruit baskets, branded give-aways, hand-written thank you notes and birthday wishes.
Client surprises establish the enduring business value of your leadership.
Client surprises invite your current and prospective customers into your own journey as a contemporary, high-caliber business professional.
You both will always be on the edge of the next mutual co-discovery that improves business outcomes. You will learn together as you develop a solid, collaborative working relationship.
Client surprises broaden the scope of your customers’ radar screens. These nuggets of knowledge and insight make them better than they were before they met you.
Client surprises are gentle nudges that move your customers one millimeter outside of their current comfort levels. They weren’t able to move themselves – until they met you.
Incorporating a strategy of client surprises into your business development strategy injects humanity into your sales process. It’s not another blast of marketing automation messages announcing free this or that, click here, sign up here, and end up on our leads list.
Incorporating a strategy of client surprises into your BD process means you have taken the time to think about specific clients’ needs. These customers have differentiated themselves to you, as well. They are like-minded. You both are worth each other’s time and thoughtfulness. It’s a two-way street.
A strategy of client surprises makes you take a long, hard look at all the names and emails in your CRM and decide which of these folks you would like to spend some quality time with. When you take that approach, you identify opportunities in what had before only seemed like numbers, unqualified leads, at the top of your sales funnel.
There are real live people behind those names and emails. Just like you are a real live person, too.
Client surprises force you to rethink who you, yourself, are as a Businessperson of Worth. When you humanize your strategy and stop running your business as a numbers shop, your true value begins to shine through.
What client surprises do you have in store for your like-minded customers?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC is a management strategist and team-building leadership coach. She helps companies, teams, startups and small businesses who wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. She and her clients co-create Playbooks, resulting in more productive, profitable and healthy organizations. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
Photo courtesy of Dmytro Zinkevvych on 123rf.com.