This Valentine’s Day I invite you to think not just about your loved ones, but also about who you are grateful and appreciative for in a broader sense. It’s easy to think about a partner, family, or special friend when Valentine’s Day rolls around – but what about all of those people who support and contribute to your financial services practice? I imagine you are also grateful for your clients, your team, and your professional referral sources – how about showing your appreciation for them as well this Valentine’s Day?
For strategic partners or clients who send you a referral, I highly recommend sending a handwritten thank you card. You can also consider including an additional token of your appreciation, such as a Peet’s coffee card or something similar. While your expression of gratitude doesn’t have to be expensive, it could support your center of influence in sending additional referrals your way because your gratitude in and of itself might feel good to them. (For more on how to support a vibrant referral attraction process, read this blog.)
On the other hand, letting their gesture go unnoticed might make the referral source feel like it either didn’t matter to you, or perhaps that you don’t need additional business. The next time the opportunity to refer someone to you comes up, they might send the referral in a different direction. Have you ever done a favor that went unrecognized, then another opportunity came along to do another favor for the person but you thought twice about it? The same thing can happen with referral sources.
If it’s a top referral (such as an ideal client was referred to you), you have the opportunity to take the gesture a step further and take the person out to lunch to thank them in person, and show a bigger expression of your appreciation which can often turn into additional referrals. Other ideas to go along with a thank you note for a top referral include a small gift or a special get-together such as a round of golf.
My favorite ways to show appreciation is a gift on their birthday, whether a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers, a plant, or bottle of wine. This does require a bit of customization, but I find that people respond very well to the extra thought put into it.
I encourage you to think beyond referrals to the other people who support your practice – your team. Who are those employees that support your business and help you achieve what you’re wanting to achieve in your financial services practice? When people feel appreciated and more connected on a team level, their loyalty to the organization grows. Employee appreciation also supports job satisfaction, enjoyment of their role, and feeling valued.
Now that I’ve shared some of my go-to ways to show appreciation, I invite you to spend some time thinking through how you will show gratitude to those who support or contribute to your practice in some way. Just like in your marketing plan where you track events you want to be consistent with, you can create an appreciation plan and calendar opportunities to show your appreciation to clients, professional referral sources, as well as your team.
If you’d like support in this area or any additional areas to help your financial services practice thrive, email me today: firstname.lastname@example.org