It’s Important to Define Your Top Clients. Here’s Why.

Here's Why It's Important To Define Your Top Clients

I recently visited one of my local clients to help plan their marketing strategy for the upcoming year. As I learned more about some of their current marketing tactics, I learned about some premium promotional products they bought a few years ago.

Their storage closet was full of really nice wine gift sets they bought two years ago. I asked what their intentions were for those products and I was told those premium items are reserved for the top clients. As I dug deeper, I found out they had only given away about 10-15 of these items. They were saving these for their “best clients.”

Because this company had not defined who their “best clients” were, they were not utilizing these “thank you” gifts efficiently. Every company has top clients, even if the top clients don’t spend as much as you would like them to spend.

It is important to specifically define your top clients based on your current sales. For example, the top 20% of your clients shall receive this premium gift at the end of the year. Or maybe you want to define your top clients as those who spend over a certain dollar amount each year. Either way is correct and will vary depending on your business model.

Thanking your top clients is a great way to strengthen loyalty and help promote additional business from those clients. Showing your appreciation is a vital part of building your business. Depending on your clientele, you can choose from many different types of “thank you” gifts that are branded with your company logo. These branded gifts help strengthen both your loyalty and your branding.

Suggestions To Thank Your Top Clients

  • Give them a premium gift after spending a predefined amount of money with your company. You don’t have to wait for Christmas or the end of the year to thank them. By gifting them a useful promotional item early in the relationship, you help solidify the relationship and begin building loyalty earlier than waiting until the end of the year.
  • Give gifts that are useful to your clients. Know what your clients will use. Are they the country club type of crowd or are they blue collar workers? Knowing your clients will help you buy the gifts they are most likely to use. The more they use the items you give them, the more your brand is strengthened each time they use them. Most likely you have several “classes” of clients, so it may be necessary to have multiple gifts on hand.
  • Include “Thank You” gifts in your budget. It is important that these gifts be integrated into your marketing plan and budget so they don’t fall by the wayside (and collect dust in the closet). By budgeting these items, you will ensure that you will have the funds to follow through with your marketing plan. Make sure you also plan the method of delivery. If you have to ship the items to your customers, you must factor the shipping costs into your budget.
  • Change out your gifts frequently. Keep your stock of gifts fresh by altering your purchases. It doesn’t benefit you to give the same gift to a client if they received it from a previous purchase or the previous year. Watch current trends so your clients continue to be excited by the gifts they receive.
  • Make sure your gifts have a high perceived value. Your gifts can’t look cheap; otherwise,  you risk insulting your clients with a cheap “thank you” gift. There are many products that seem much more valuable than they actually cost, particularly when they are bought in bulk. I’ve had to counsel many clients and persuade them not to buy koozies as thank you gifts. The lower cost promotional products have their place in marketing, but not as “thank you” gifts.
  • Know what your competitors are doing so you can do it better. Chances are most of your competitors are not utilizing the power of thanking their clients with premium promotional products. However, you will often find your top competitors ARE doing this. Investigate to find out what they are giving and top them with a better gift or a more useful gift.
  • Make sure the items are branded with your company logo. Too often I see companies giving away gift cards from other businesses as “thank you” gifts. Your clients will quickly forget that your company gave them the gift because these types of gifts are non-personalized and quickly consumed by the clients. Branding is key to strengthen your company image with your clients so they will continually be reminded of you each time they use their gift. If you want to give away gift cards as part of “thank you” gift package, you should get them co-branded with your company logo. Contact us for more details about this process.

Don’t let your premium branded gifts sit in your closet and gather dust. If you have already invested the money on these great items, they aren’t helping you create a return on your investment unless you are utilizing them properly. Promotional products, when used effectively, are investments, not expenses. Ensure you have a defined thank you gift program in place will grow loyalty with your customers and create a strong foundation for your business.

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