'The little things, there's nothing bigger'

OrganisersITR Events
Image-sales-column-jan-new-resized.jpg

Rob Adams, new business sales executive at ITR Events, on the importance of small, genuine gestures in business and life.

 

The title of this piece is a quote from one of my favourite films, Vanilla Sky. Now, Vanilla Sky has nothing at all to do with sales (unless you count the subliminal Scientology recruitment messages hidden within), but the profound quote from the end of, arguably, Tom Cruise’s best film is a great mantra from which to create successful business relationships and to greatly improve sales.

 

Where do special, memorable experiences come from in B2B land? Is it price? Is it timely delivery? Or is it knowing that the human you’ve been interacting with at the other end has put their all into ensuring your service was second to none?

 

It’s often the unheralded human things that have the greatest impact on a relationship between companies and the individuals within them. I’ve witnessed very healthy business relationships last for decades, built upon an initial, seemingly small gesture made many years before.

 

Just one small gesture can influence a recipient so much that the thought of using another company for the same product or service would not enter his or her head, even in taut times between both parties. Genuine gestures that are useful, informative and entertaining can create something called ‘preferential attachment’ between customer and supplier. Most of the really successful companies in the world (you all know them) endorse methods for their employees to adopt processes that help curate a preferential attachment culture. A winning culture.

 

The really special companies systemise these processes to ensure that preferential attachment is routinely accomplished, rather than just wished for.

 

After all, why stop at one small gesture when 10 or more per client can create a fan base instead of a client base?

 

I’m sure that most of you reading this gave out Christmas gifts last month to your key clients and have felt really good when you received those ‘Thanks so much’ emails from them in return. But why wait until times like Christmas to make both your client and yourself feel this way? Why not do it once a week or once a month? Overkill? Who tires of receiving truly useful information, or things that give them recognition and value?

 

In terms of types of gesture, I’ve seen plenty of evidence to show that the lost art of human, un-digital interaction has been superseded in the mainstream by the ease and prevalence of email, PDF and social media interactions. This has made personable, tactile, meaningful and homespun interactions that much more rare (and therefore special) than they have been for a number of years – especially in the world of business.

 

In equal measure, the wily and the truly genuine ‘go-giving’ people in business know this exactly.

 

The wily exploit it and the genuine carry on doing what they’ve always done.

 

The exciting part of growing a business by using the little things to create steadfast relationships is this: The vast majority of people do not attempt to create special relationships with clients at all. Only a tiny minority do so. However, within this minority, the vast majority of people do not do it correctly and take shortcuts (e.g. social media messages, the odd email), usually because of that old foe, temptation.

 

Those that are in the minority of the minority are the individuals and companies that create a breadth of world-class client relationships by the offering of useful, informative, entertaining, tactile, meaningful and maybe even homespun gestures. And these are the individuals and companies that we all ache to emulate; these are the individuals and companies we all admire. A giving mentality is almost always present in them. There is no magic sauce, no hidden secret.

 

Here’s a tiny example of the kind of thing that these individuals and companies routinely do: When was the last time that you received a handwritten letter? Maybe it was from your grandparent? It probably made you feel warm inside, I don’t doubt. And this is the thing – something that paupers and millionaires have in common – the warm feeling that one gets from opening and reading a handwritten letter that exalts thanks and praise. The same is true for both the CEO and the cleaner at the dream client that you would love to work with. Or the client you already do work with.

 

Do it. Do the little things, there’s nothing bigger.

ROB ADAMS
Posted by ROB ADAMS
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) have entered into a reciprocity agreement following a meeting between their members last month.

Future releases interim results

Group revenue is up for media platform Future plc, which has released its financial results for the six-month period ending 31 March 2017.

ITE Group publishes interim results

ITE Group, the international exhibitions group, has announced interim results and the results of a strategy and business review.

Others on EN

Show or tell?

Show or tell?

Roopi Woodall, marketing manager at the QEII Centre, asks if the art of conversation on social media is dead – and how to engage with audiences if that’s the case.
You get what you ask for

You get what you ask for

Sue Berry, managing director at TimelessTime Ltd, discusses the importance of people metrics and measurable objectives.
The Anti Cyber Attack Checklist

The Anti Cyber Attack Checklist

Following the global cyber attack on 12 May, event tech supplier RefTech has compiled a checklist for individuals and companies to follow to help them reduce the risk of future attacks.

EN Awards Highlights

silverstream.tv

Most Read Stories

Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.
Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry, director of Easyfairs UK addresses the science behind operations and the profile of our audiences.

Latest News

Industry reacts to Manchester Arena attack

Industry reacts to Manchester Arena attack

Following the explosion at Manchester Arena yesterday evening, which killed 22 and injured 59, associations and venues in the events industry have released statements.
AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) have entered into a reciprocity agreement following a meeting between their members last month.
BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

Lego event BRICKLIVE has announced a new partnership with toy megastore chain Toys R Us, which will be hosting a pop-up at the show.

Latest Features

Students: Pests or guests?

Students: Pests or guests?

It’s a question all organisers have to address – what should my show’s relationship with students look like?
Flying the nest

Flying the nest

Ever thought about going freelance? Do you have what it takes to go solo? Three event professionals tell EN their stories of building their own businesses.
Spreading the word

Spreading the word

With Global Exhibitions Day just a couple of months away, EN asks what three global exhibition associations are doing to celebrate this year.

Latest Galleries

Grand Designs Live 2017

Grand Designs Live 2017

The 13th edition of Media 10’s Grand Designs Live returned to ExCeL London from 29 April to 7 May, featuring more than 500 exhibitors across six key sections. Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud one again hosted the nine-day exhibition.
Insomnia60

Insomnia60

Over 50,000 video game fans from across the country descended on Birmingham’s NEC on 14-17 April for Insomnia60, the UK’s largest gaming festival.
A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

Some of the industry’s leading event organisers were treated to an exclusive preview of Somerset House’s largest and most versatile indoor event space at an open house event on 19-20 April.