Have you often wished for a bigger budget for promotional items and gifts? You’re in the same situation as many small business owners, but that doesn’t mean you can’t say “thank you” in many imaginative, inexpensive ways.
Your tokens of appreciation don’t need to be lavish. And clients don’t expect (or want) a constant barrage of mugs, magnetic business cards, imprinted pens, and calendars.
Take the time to snail mail a thank-you note or letter each time you get a referral from a customer. Send little notes at random times just to stay in touch, letting them know they are appreciated. These days, an occasional brief phone call when you don’t want anything but to say “thanks” is novel enough to be appreciated.
When you find an article on the Internet that reinforces a client’s point of view, send her/him the link. If you find a newspaper or magazine article that s/he might like, take time to clip it and mail it, along with a short note.
You show appreciation when you place a link from your site to theirs, refer them to a third party, or mention their expertise in a forum or newsgroup.
And most importantly, regularly use one of the most important phrases in every language, “Thank you.”