There once was a successful business owner who had a healthy pipeline of referrals of ideal clients, boundless cash flow, and endless joy in their flourishing business. This business owner was so grateful for these ideal client referrals, and their gratitude was overflowing. They could not wait to serve every client and provide them with an amazing experience. This might sound like a fairy tale, but it’s real life—and this can be a reality for you and your business.
Want to learn the key to attracting referrals and having your phone ring with ideal clients? The secret is simple and time-tested, but somewhere in the digital age it has gotten lost. Here I will share with you why gratitude matters in your business and how it can help you thrive—not just survive—in this busy six-second world.
Gratitude is the Key
“It is not your customers’ job to remember you. It is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.” – Patricia Fripp
If you’re wondering what value gratitude can bring to your business, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want to get quality referrals from your top clients that bring you joy when you serve them?
- Do you want to spend less time converting referrals to new clients
If you answered yes to both, you’ll want to keep reading.
Did you know that acquiring new customers can cost six to seven times more than retaining existing customers? The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent, compared to just five to 20 percent when selling to a new prospect. A 2 percent increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10 percent. All of this indirectly and directly affects the ROI of your business and bottom line.
Where you spend your energy matters. I like to tell clients that Facebook likes don’t necessarily put Benjamins in your bank account. Through coaching business owners, I’ve found that many of them tend to look for new clients while ignoring their existing clients who already trust them. They are chasing every shiny object, while their best customer will bring them their next customer.
Standing Out in a Noisy World
How are you staying unforgettable with past clients? Are you willing to put in the work and play the long game to set your business up to survive? Follow the steps that follow to start growing your business with gratitude.
Ask yourself, “Who is my ideal client?” You must have a crystal-clear vision for who your perfect client is and who brings you the most joy to work with. Most business owners will say everyone is their ideal client, but this is a weak and diluted mindset.
Identify your top relationships in your business. Notice that I didn’t say clients. You have relationships in your business that might not even be paying clients. Some of your raving fans are right in front of you, and they might be an amazing referral source. Rank these relationships using the following criteria:
- A relationships: People who know exactly what you do and who your ideal client is. They would walk through fire to refer you to that client. Some may not even be clients.
- B relationships: People who know what you do and would refer you if it were easy. They will refer you over time if you stay top of mind, and some may not be clients.
- C relationships: People who will only refer you if the opportunity falls in their laps, and they might be willing to hand out your business card.
- Y (why) relationships: People who see no value in your services and are constantly asking you to show your value.
The goal is to celebrate your A and B relationships consistently and devote the majority of your time and effort toward them, making your relationship list more valuable each year.
What is your plan over the next twelve months to stay top of mind and nurture your top relationships? Remember, it is your job to stay top of mind, not their job to remember you. Have a written plan for consistent follow-up—this will win every time over a random thank-you note or one-time fruit basket. Determine who is going to implement the plan and what system you’ll use. All your touchpoints throughout the year need to be mapped out so you can have consistent results.
Who will be responsible for owning your gratitude strategy? If you won’t have the time to do it, delegate this task to someone who does. A note of gratitude that’s never mailed has zero impact. Figure out what you can do to make sure you’re showing your top clients gratitude without having to think too much about it.
For example, I have been working with ReminderMedia and sending out American Lifestyle magazine for over three years now. This has been a game changer to have a first-class publication mailed to my top relationships. Communicating with my relationships and adding value with this magazine is priceless. Did you know that 68 percent of clients will stop using your business because they feel like you don’t care about them beyond the transaction? Think about how you are wowing your clients so that they don’t forget about you.
Benjamin Franklin said, “People don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.” Having a twelve-month gratitude strategy in place can help ensure your strategy gets implemented, even when you get busy with business. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Send a birthday card and small gift (if this is legal in your business)
- Send a “grateful for you” card in the mail
- Share a personally-branded print/digital publication
- Make gratitude calls—it’s the cheapest and easiest way to reach out to clients
*For a script, email email@example.com and I will email one to you
- Send a seasonal card or an unexpected note
Every minute you delay, you are losing the opportunity to connect with real human beings. Your customers and relationships are craving your attention, the majority of your customers want to refer you, and they want to hear from you. They want your business to flourish. Take the time to wow your client beyond the transaction, and implement gratitude in your marketing plan today to watch your business grow.
Create lists for your A and B relationships, and implement a twelve-month gratitude strategy for following up with them using the ideas above.
Kim Angeli Bio: Kim Angeli is an out-of-the-box thinker and unique entrepreneur with a diverse background. Kim is known globally as the creator of The Grateful Box®, The Grateful Method, Grumpy to Grateful, and Nextdoor Business Mastery Programs. As the CEO and founder of Grateful Box, she is passionate about teaching business owners how to transform their businesses using gratitude to create raving fans.