Gifts are crucial marketing tools. They can help your customers remember you throughout the year.
Marketing consultant Jodi Rudick suggests five occasions when business gifts can help solidify relationships with your customers and build your business. Jodi Rudick is the author of 101 Marketing Essentials Every Camp Needs to Know.
- After the sale: Saying thank-you does more than complete the sale. It helps build the relationship.
- After receiving referrals: The biggest compliment a sales person can receive is a referral. Send a thank-you immediately after receiving a referral.
- Anniversaries: Celebrate the day you signed your first contract with a customer, making it a special date to salute each year.
- Birthdays: Send your customers some birthday cheer, but not just a card. Be creative — send an entire party kit, complete with customized cakes, candles, hat, etc. All the excitement can make them feel special.
- Holidays: Thinking beyond the traditional can make you stand out. Send a card or a gift on Halloween. Send a decorative jar of candles for Valentine’s Day, then each month send a refill along with product information, or an article that would interest the customer.
Many people simply do not know how to behave in an office environment, in dormitories, or, broadly speaking, in any shared space. The “Dutch House Rules” is an informal set of rules for propriety in shared spaces.
- If you open it, close it.
- If you turn it on, turn it off.
- If you borrow it, return it.
- If you don’t know how to use it, leave it alone.
- If you break it, fix it.
- If you can’t fix it, report it.
- If you make a mess, clean it up.
- If you move it, put it back.
- If it doesn’t concern you, keep it that way.
Corporate life survives more on what is not said than on what is clearly stated. Many of the rules of behavior that govern corporate life remain unspoken. To succeed, you will need to learn appropriate and polite ways to relate to others in the business world.
The common observable mistakes that drive colleagues mad are outrageous habits such lack of discretion, replying-to-all on emails and pursuing personal affairs on company’s times. Common too are uncooperative and obstructive behaviors such as abusing the perks, stationary, and other benefits provided in good-faith, or discourteous use of communal resources such as the microwave and coffee machines.
Here are some less obvious behaviors that can drive your colleagues crazy:
- Do you have the habit of trying to chat up your colleague the minute she walks into the office in the morning? Offer her a 15-minute courtesy zone.
- Do you have the habit of walking into a colleague’s office, seat yourself, and insist on a conversation? First, determine if the colleague is free and offer to come back at the opportune time
- Do you have the habit of going over someone’s head? Do not carbon copy a colleague’s boss when you remind your colleague to respond to a previous request. Your “subtle” way of prodding him constitutes an irksome behavior.
Courtesy, politeness, and service are necessary to build successful professional and personal relationships in the workplace. Social skills and thoughtful consideration are necessary to transact business with suppliers, customers, peers, and management.
Recommended Reading on Professional Office Etiquette