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Christmas Gift ?


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Old 11-09-2009, 05:31 AM
tomcat172002
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Default Christmas Gift ?

Hi,

I have a question regarding giving out a Christmas Gift to my customers. A company I used to work for would give out pointsettias as a Christmas to their customers. I thought what a great idea, but last year I ran out of money so I just sent Christmas Cards instead. All of my customers returned the next year. I was thinking about doing it this year I have 20 customers and it would cost me about $200 to $300 dollars to do it. If everyone returned from last year is this and unnecessary expense? What do you guys do or think about it?

Tom
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:55 AM
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That is a very good question, it does make you wonder when you are doing too much or not enough.

Part of me feels, the flowers will really stand out. It might get people talking and they might tell their friends, 'oh do you like the flower? my lawn care company gave them to me, aren't they wonderful? Here is their contact information.'

If you can do something that gets your customers talking, then you can really benefit from it.

You could also bake some home made holiday cookies too and give them out in their own cookie tin.

What's your take on all this?
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:54 AM
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I think that everyone has their limits ... what one company feels would be a small amount to spend on a customer, another company might find that overkill. I think that showing your customers that you care about them is the most important thing to keep in mind.

I believe the real trick is that you KNOW your customers to have a successful campaign.

Lets say you like the idea of the pointsetta and send your customers one, most customers might be very appreciative and sing your praises ... but would you send one to a customer that doesn't celebrate christmas but rather some other faiths traditions. That customer might not be so impressed that you sent them something at christmas.

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Old 11-09-2009, 01:55 PM
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I believe the real trick is that you KNOW your customers to have a successful campaign.
In what way do you suggest a lawn care business owner know their customer?
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:03 PM
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A personalized Christmas card will suffice for most customers.

In some cases, you will find that large gifts are frowned upon by your customers. I used to send gift baskets to the purchasing managers of our larger commercial and government contract clients. The cost of these baskets ran about $75 each. After the second year of doing this, I learned that such gifts can be considered bribes for future work. This is improper for government contracts, especially, and can get your company barred from bidding in subsequent years.

Give wisely:

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Old 11-09-2009, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by StartALawnCareBusiness View Post
A personalized Christmas card will suffice for most customers.

In some cases, you will find that large gifts are frowned upon by your customers. I used to send gift baskets to the purchasing managers of our larger commercial and government contract clients. The cost of these baskets ran about $75 each. After the second year of doing this, I learned that such gifts can be considered bribes for future work. This is improper for government contracts, especially, and can get your company barred from bidding in subsequent years.

Give wisely:

Keith
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Very good point. I know what we do around xmas time is the wife bakes of a bunch of cookies and such and we put them into a tin and give out to our regular clients and the reat of them get cards and a discount card for thier next invoice.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:16 AM
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In what way do you suggest a lawn care business owner know their customer?
I've commented numerous times about taking a small amount of time and chatting to your customers and what I have gained from a quick chat (a referral, a snow blower, winter contract). I also have a very good sense as to many of my clients habits, beliefs, and even their dogs names just from quick short chats. If a customer of mine is a daily patron at the local coffee shop with their buddies, then maybe a gift card for a couple of cups is a great gift .... not to mention that it would stir a bit of conversation when they brag to their buddies that the lawn guy paid for the coffee that day.

Keith brings up a good point about larger commercial accounts and government accounts which I totally agree with, which still reflects that one has to KNOW the client to determine whether a gift is warranted or needed! Would you send a Christmas gift or card to a client that you know is Jewish, Buddist or any other faith that doesn't celebrate Christmas?


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Old 11-10-2009, 10:23 AM
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I know what we do around xmas time is the wife bakes of a bunch of cookies and such and we put them into a tin and give out to our regular clients and the reat of them get cards and a discount card for thier next invoice.
It does make you wonder if you are planning on baking some cookies for customers, what % of them should you make them for? Potentially the top 10% of them?
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:20 PM
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I really like the input from this thread. I think knowing your customers is important. Last year I retained all of them so I didn't have to spend $400 for gifts. Since all of my accounts are residential I don't have to worry about company policies. This year what I am going to do is look at some of the customers who I just did leafblowing for or Mulch in the spring. I will drop off pointsettias for them. The usual customers I can just send a Christmas card to them. I don't want my customers to expect a Christmas gift from me but I want to keep them happy as well. What do you guys think?
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:38 AM
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I like it. I think it's a creative extension of you and your business. You should experiment with all this.

Keep us posted on the feedback you get.
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