This is the world of sales. We busily seek out and have the privilege to work with great customers. We develop rapport and diligently serve our customers in meaningful ways. Life marches pretty fast -- especially in the world of sales, where you are juggling a million things at once. Salespeople know it is easier to keep a client than to acquire a new one. However, do you have a customer appreciation and retention program plan in place for your business that is timed, thought through, personal and meaningful? If you don’t have a plan, it won’t happen. Here are several ideas you can incorporate into a yearly customer appreciation program to make sure you are reaching out to customers on a regular basis with a wide variety of ways that say, “Thank you for the business.”
 
1. Throw a customer appreciation party.
2. Give your customers a lead.
3. Introduce your customers to someone they should know to help further their business.
4. Provide them with an endorsement on LinkedIn.
5. Send them a handwritten note of thanks and appreciation.
6. Send to them an article you read about them or a competitor in the Business Record or Business Record Daily.
7. Be on top of their big announcements and send a gift as a token of congratulations. (Use Google Alerts.)
8. Recommend to them someone you think would be an excellent addition to their workforce.
9. Bring them new, out-of-the-box, strategic ideas.
10. If you make a mistake, apologize RIGHT AWAY and make up for the mistake twofold. Be a “superhero.”
11. Schedule monthly lunches at your office to introduce different customers to each other.
12. Schedule a meeting with your customers to get their opinion on a new product that you are thinking of introducing.
13. Treat them to one of Des Moines’ local sports, arts or entertainment events.
14. Take them for coffee, lunch or dinner at one of the area’s dynamic restaurants.
15. Become their friend on Facebook and see what is going on in their life that you can relate to.
 
Do you have some ideas that have worked for your company that we can add to the list? Contact me at katherineharrington@bpcdm.com.

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Katherine Harrington
Senior Account Executive, Business Record
@KatherineMaryK