Client Gifts: Best Practices for Maximum ImpactOct 17, 2019
When it comes to forming lasting relationships with your clients and referral partners, there are two key things to remember. First, you want to make sure that they’re often reminded of you throughout their day-to-day lives: even if they haven’t worked with you in a number of months. Secondly, your partner or client should feel as if you genuinely care about their personal lives and needs.
These two goals can be established if you maintain consistent communication with your partners and past clients, but gift-giving is an often overlooked strategy that can further strengthen your partnerships. If loan officers can tactfully learn the best times to give appropriate gifts throughout the loan process, Tim Braheem explains that it’s far more likely that they’ll receive more referrals and business down the road.
Why is Giving Gifts Important?
If you’re new to the mortgage business, or if you’ve simply never thought about sending gifts to your clients, you might be wondering why Braheem focuses so much on this specific topic. The items you freely give away to those you have worked with aren’t supposed to be expensive or lavish or exceptionally unique; in fact, most mortgage loan officers send presents that they know will be used often by the client. For example, one may simply send a cozy blanket, or a portable cell phone charger. So, what’s the significance of small items like these?
Braheem, along with the other group members of the Leadership 360 Program, strongly agree that the gifts they send to their clients are carefully selected based on what is most likely to add value to their clients’ lives. A loan officer working in Minnesota, for instance, may give a client an ice scraper for their car and a pair of soft mittens. No matter how many times a gift may be used, the client will always be reminded of the kind person who gave it to them.
When to Send Gifts
The first time you should send a gift should be right after the client’s loan is approved. Braheem recommends sending a basket of perishable goodies, such as fresh fruit or bakery treats, to the client’s workplace. This is an incredibly smart tactic for a couple of reasons:
- Your client will be happy to learn that the loan was approved, and surprising them with the news at their workplace will be an added delight.
- Sending a basket full of food will encourage your client to share it with others in their workplace, which should naturally steer the conversation over to who sent the gift. If you add a few of your business cards to the basket, you’ll be well on your way to earning more business!
- If possible, try to deliver the gift to your client yourself. You’ll be able to introduce yourself to your client’s friends, make a positive impression on the community there, and spread the word about your business.
The next time you should select a milestone gift for your client should occur after closing. These gifts should be valuable, long-lasting, and able to be used repeatedly. In the video, Braheem recalls being given a jar opener on one occasion, and he still thinks of the person who gave it to him whenever he uses it. Items like jar openers, address labels, chip clips, and blankets can remind your clients of you long after they’ve settled into their new home.
Top 3 Practices
Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine what types of items your clients will actually find useful and valuable. If you’re not sure what you should get for a client or referral partner, marketer and writer Meg Prater suggests keeping these 3 helpful strategies in mind:
- Be sure to personalize. It may be easier to simply send out the same gift to all of your clients, but it won’t be valuable to you or to them in the long run. You want your clients to remember you as being helpful and attentive to their needs, so make an effort to learn about their hobbies and likes to get them something they’ll love.
- Spend within reason. Sending a referral partner an expensive item might make them feel as if they owe you something in return, or they may simply feel uncomfortable accepting a lavish gift. It’s best to keep it simple and casual.
- Remember your clients throughout the year. Oftentimes, the holidays can sneak up on people and leave them scrambling to buy presents for everyone in their lives. Instead of being stressed out by the prospect of doing holiday shopping for your partners and clients, make an effort to regularly send gifts periodically throughout the year instead.
For more business and life tips from Tim Braheem, check out our other personal development blogs by clicking here!