Allison Urban is a designer and user experience expert at Mail Chimp—a site you may have already used to design and distribute email campaigns. In a presentation by Urban in July 2013, she explained that Mail Chimp’s main goal for their user interface is to connect with clients—for the sake of connection, not just to grow a client-base.
“Use every opportunity to create a genuine connection to your customers,” Allison states. “Give without expectation of reciprocation . . . if we focus on profit over user experience—customers will see right through us—they’re smart.” And she’s right. We live in an age where we, as consumers, are constantly being schmoozed by salespeople: pop up ads, telemarketers, billboards, daily coupons, infomercials, the list goes on and on. It is common practice for a company to “give” you things, so that you will use their service, or buy their product, and let’s face it: that’s not really giving at all, it’s selling.
With the holidays just around the corner—it’s time to think about what giving really means. We all know, deep down to our moral core, that giving is most generous when no expectation is attached. Note: this is why giving your wife an egg beater for her birthday rarely yields happy results. You didn’t get that egg beater for her enjoyment—you got it so she would make your favorite cakes. What’s worse is…she knows it. Good luck getting any dessert after that fatal faux paux.
When you give for giving’s sake, the interaction will be significantly more meaningful to your clients; they won’t feel pressure to return the favor, which is step 1 to any healthy relationship. Give gifts that will delight your clients, help them get to know you better, and make them feel appreciated as a person—not just a client—take Allison Urban’s advice:
- Consider your audience
- Make it useable
- Make it pleasurable
- Make it meaningful
We recommend real estate agents offer clients Magnetic Calendars and other small tokens just to show appreciation. These small, but thoughtful gifts, are useful to every homeowner; they make the perfect yearly, just-because gift your community will love. It’s easy to give new contacts a glimpse into your personality by creating a custom magnetic topper—it can be as funky or professional as you like. While you may think giving an item with your name and business information seems like giving with expectation, it’s not. The key is your attitude. Give freely and avoid pressure statements like “call me today”—keep it simple with a “Happy Holidays” or “Great to meet you.”
Let’s face it: all anybody really wants is a pleasant and genuine connection with another human being without feeling weighted down. Give for the sake of giving, don’t expect returns and you will be pleasantly surprised how many friends you make in the process.
What are your favorite gifts for giving to clients?