How Much Do You Really Appreciate Your Clients?
In life, we all have our unique gifts. One of the things I’m really good at is gift giving. I absolutely L-O-V-E it! Last weekend was my birthday and it sparked a lot of conversation around gifts. I heard and shared my favorite stories around gift giving. I also heard about the anxiety and stress (which I can’t relate to at all) gift giving brings.
The holiday season is quickly approaching and many virtual assistants (and businesses of all kinds) will not give out any type of gift. This blows my mind! Yes, you are providing a service and being compensated for it appropriately. However, that’s not the point of gift giving. Gifting is not a “this then that” scenario.
Much like gifts I give to family and friends, I’m not trying to repay them for anything or sharing the same last name. I’m also not buying their friendship or love. What I am conveying is that I’m thankful they are part of my life. It’s a pleasure to give them a gift to make them feel special and show how much I value and appreciate our friendship.
I give gifts to both my past and present year clients. Why? It is a thank you for the special part they play in my life. Whether past or present they have contributed to the success of my business. They have helped me build and grow a completely virtual company where I travel the world while assisting others. I couldn’t be in business without them and I think that deserves some thanks!
When I am asked how I do what I do I share my book, Become A Successful Virtual Assistant, because it lists out all the steps. What I notice is that many virtual assistants don’t follow all the steps. You can’t reap all the benefits without doing all the work. A gifting strategy is an essential part of the process.
Why is it great and trendy to practice gratitude but not to act on it? Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. The quality and readiness do nothing for your clients. Being ready to show appreciation is not acting out appreciation. You can be ready for a race but you can’t cross the finish line until you act on your readiness.
The difference between good and great VAs is always a short distance and uncovered in the details. However, the rates you can command and the lifestyle you can lead are miles apart.
One of the ways I can instantly tell which virtual assistant I place is going to be a game changer is by the way they thank me for placing them. Let me be clear. I don’t require or expect thanks. My clients pay me a premium fee to place them with the right VA and I don’t need anything more than that. Is it nice to get an email of thanks? Of course! Do I always get them? No. In fact, they are rare.
Now let’s be clear what I’m NOT being thanked for.
- I found a client that is the perfect fit for them and they did nothing.
- I pre-qualified the client on their behalf.
- I paid for their background check to be done.
- I helped them get a signed contract (often a very lucrative contract).
- I didn’t take a dime or charge a single fee to them.
The VA may have a referral program but I find it strange that they don’t have a thank you life policy. My life policy on thanks is to give it regularly. In fact, it’s something I’ve instilled in my children so much that my daughter once thanked a vending machine! If someone handed me a $20k contract, yeah, I think I would say, “thank you!” at the very least.
Let me further clarify, I think most VAs (and business owners in general) don’t realize that by not having a gifting strategy, or simply put, a thank you plan you are essentially telling your clients you don’t appreciate them. Is that message you want to convey?
I’ve ordered this year’s gifts and am having my own VA work on the packaging. To say I am already getting excited for the day they will start arriving is an understatement! It’s also a fun game I play with myself. How can I beat the gifts I gave from the previous year? It’s not easy and we’ll see if I make good on it three years in a row.
I appreciate my clients very much and I won’t ever miss the opportunity to let them know.
I’d love to hear how you thank your clients? If you don’t send gifts, why not?
If you are considering beginning a gifting strategy, I highly suggest you check out John Ruhlin’s book Giftology.
She has gained international recognition and has been featured in CareerBuilder, The Muse, Spark Hire, Thinkific & Woman’s World.