Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners how they thank people who refer clients to them. This is what they said.
• I offer a discount on their next organizing service. Also, I thank them profusely, said Crystal Dreisbach, owner of Sparkleize, a Durham-based professional organizing service.
• I like to personalize the gratitude as much as possible, said Steve Hand, executive director of Business Network International N.C. Triangle Region, a word-of-mouth marketing program. To thank two thriving business owners that were very generous to our organization, I contracted the local Errand Girl service as a way to thank them. It is an honor to make the introduction as well as thanking them appropriately.
• I send them a gift card to a business that also refers me (coffee shop, restaurant, bar), offer them a break on their next photo session or refer them business if a referral comes to mind, said Kevin Seifert, president of Kevin Seifert Photography, a corporate, event and portrait photo services business in Durham. Nothing beats referral business like a reciprocal referral.
• I always like to send a good old-fashioned handwritten thank you card, said Michelle Ketchum, owner and broker of Acorn + Oak Property Management, a Durham company that manages residential properties and assists renters. In such a fast-paced world, it shows you took a minute out of your busy day to express your gratitude in a personalized way. Plus, its always nice to receive something other than a bill in the mail.
• I either take them to lunch, buy coffee or (give them a) free product, said Ivye Wright Arnold, an independent distributor and state director for direct sales company Real Time Pain Relief.