Have you been "leaving money on the table" by not thanking your clients properly when your decorative painting job is complete?
Most professional decorative painters agonize at one time or another whether they should give their clients a thank you gift. Some feel that since they are the professional artisan, that their clients should be giving them gifts for all their hard work. No question, it's a good feeling when you receive an unexpected gift from your client. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
However, in order to build goodwill with your clients and have them referring others to you, it's important that you leave a positive lasting impression that goes beyond the finish you left on their walls. While their visitors will be raving over their new wall finish, your client will be saying how wonderful you are to work with and that you even left a thoughtful gift for them. You want to leave an ongoing sense that, not only are you a great decorative painter, but that you genuinely appreciate your clients. That will generate the referrals you're looking for.
Some decorative painters only send thank you gifts for projects over a certain dollar value (such as a $10,000 contract, for instance) and simply leave thank you notes for clients under this amount. While others feel that a small token of goodwill is vital to showing appreciation for the contract at completion. Typically most decorative painters will show their appreciation at least once a year by acknowledging their clients during the holiday season with a small token of their appreciation.
Giving thank you gifts can sometimes be tricky because if you spend too much money the client can get offended. They may think you factored the thank you gift into their estimate. Similarly, if you spend too little you come off looking cheap. Let the keyword here be a "thoughtful" gift that appears you were thinking of the client's personality and needs. However, your ultimate guide will obviously be your own budget.
There are countless types of gifts you could give to your client. Much will depend upon your own individual style and your client's personality. Food is always a good choice. A small gift basket of wine and cheese or a plate of freshly-baked cookies is usually welcome in any home. A box of gourmet chocolates will be welcomed by clients with a sweet tooth.
For a nice original gift idea, you can use your creative talents to paint small accessory items such as a picture frame or a set of coasters to match the décor and paint finish of the finished room. If you're short on time, a plant or freshly cut flowers are also a nice touch to add to the completed room.
Gift certificates can also be used either alone or tucked inside a gift. Although some painters feel that this is blatant advertising, this isn't necessarily the case as long as the gift certificate will be valued by the client. Gift certificates can be setup so that they're used towards a small accessory piece such as a lamp in the finished room or even another room in the house.
This leads us to other promotional advertising gifts that can be used such as mugs or pens with your company name and logo. These can be combined with other gift ideas such as filling a promotional mug with chocolates. Another trendy idea is to give chocolate bars wrapped with a photo of a faux finish and your company name and logo. You can bet the elegant wrappers will be kept long after the chocolate has been consumed.
So as you can see, by giving your clients a little something to remember you by not only do you create goodwill, but you leave a positive impression that will generate business for years to come.
by Sylvia Jaumann: