Clients come from many directions, many places. I have found that maintaining a high work ethic, even when it’s not required, goes a long way in this virtual world … and the clients that return with additional project work seem to feel that way, too.
Once a project has been delivered (often referred to as a “deliverable”), I like to follow-up with some form of thanks. I take the time to send them:
- Three business cards – one for their office, one for their home office and one to give away.
- A handwritten thank you card. Since I am very non-traditional, I purchase funky blank note cards … anything that I like. Inside I always thank them for their business, explain why I’ve given them 3 business cards, and not to forget me or my services!
- A ballpoint pen. Got a great deal from DiscountMugs.com
- A CD with my basic website compiled into an HTML e-book.
- A bookmark. Sometime ago, I made some bookmarks for family and friends – and they loved them. I have a few different backs – some have calendars, some have “Why hiring a VA is great business” reasons, some have famous quotes from top folks in business. On the front there is all my contact info and logo.
- For those “big” clients, I like to also include a thank you gift which also includes some sort of Vermont product. This could be maple syrup, maple candies, Cabot cheese, Lake Champlain Chocolates, a Vermont magnet, note card or postcard set, etc. I have a stash of maps of Vermont that I have gotten from the Chamber of Commerce and include one – who knows maybe somebody actually would like to visit the state. Considering 50% of VT money comes from tourism … I’m just doing my part. I still have a lot of friends at Vermont Teddy Bear, any big client gets some sort of BearGram, PajamaGram or plant from Calyx & Corolla.
Basketville is in southern Vermont, so once or twice a year, I head down for a shopping spree to put these goodies into a nice gift basket to be sent out.
I try to limit my cost for the average client to $12 per basket (excluding shipping). With the large clients, I have no problem sending them a bear or PJ’s, as the discount I get is really deep … and comes out around $35 with shipping.
If anyone else out there does this sort of thing, I would encourage you to support your local economies and choose some local products – food items, crafts, items from the Chamber of Commerce, etc. to include in your gift.
Sending something personally done, even a simple handwritten note card, tells your client that you are appreciative for their business. More than one of my clients has told me that my chicken scratches meant more to them than any email they received from another virtual admin or freelancer.
Try it … you won’t be sorry!
About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:
At Out of the Office, we offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.
Image credit: Steven Depolo | CC BY 2.0