I was invited to facilitate a conversation for a local entrepreneurs group next month on the topic of my choice. No particular parameters; just something that would be fun for me to talk about.
I chose relationship marketing (with an emphasis on the relationship part).
The Gift of Happiness has always been about helping people reach out to one another with gratitude, encouragement, support and celebration, because it makes both the giver and receiver feel good. But do this regularly in your business and there are additional practical benefits, like higher sales, customer loyalty, and word-of-mouth referrals. Not to mention an increase in employee morale, creativity, performance, and retention.
People like being appreciated, respected, and attended to as human beings, and there are great ways to do this that don't take huge amounts of extra time or money. Mostly it takes a shift in mindset: thinking not so much about how you want your customers to support you, but what you can do to support them. Offering bonus gifts with no expectations or strings attached, but just to show you care.
You can send personalized thank you cards, "nice to meet you" cards, and cards of support, encouragement, and celebration. You can collect a stash of small gifts to offer people who are having a rough day, or have done something to brighten yours. If you have a physical location, you can add something to enhance visitors' experiences, no purchase necessary.
These things may sound so small, but they matter. A recent New York Times article shared research about thank you notes, that we tend to underestimate their positive impact, and overestimate how much our words will be scrutinized. I expect the same is true for these other acts of human kindness as well.
If you'd like to explore realistic ways to incorporate relationship marketing into your organization, let's talk! Join my newly-launched Gift of Happiness for Business Facebook group, or contact me directly.
If you don't have a business, remember that the no-strings-attached giving approach works to strengthen relationships with co-workers, neighbors, and family members too. Give it a try with someone new, and let me know how it feels!