Happy Valentines! – What does it teach us about business?

I was in my local supermarket last week (yes, I know, TAB is a glamorous lifestyle) and had to weave between cards and gifts promising eternal love in roses and chocolates - it got me thinking.  For those people that know me, I know……a divorced man talking about Valentine’s Day…. surely there must be someone better qualified? Well, here goes….

February 14th – That’s the day. I think about my loved one on that day because I’m told that I should? Like my customers/clients, shouldn’t I think of them every day rather than just once a year? Shouldn’t I make them feel special every day?

Valentine’s only for a new relationship? – It seems to be true. Early on you think you need to make more of an effort. A chance to impress, an opportunity to shine. The temptation is to do the same with customers. How often do we forget that customer who has been with us for years? But she is the one that knows and trusts us, she is the one who recommends and refers us……so let’s make sure she gets a gift too.

Say it with flowers…. I can’t go wrong! – Really? Am I sure that they like flowers? Have I actually asked them? What would my customers value if I were to send them something? Do I know my customers well enough to know what they love and what they value?

I bought chocolates last year and she loved those, so should I just give the same? – What does that say? Should I do the same with my clients? It worked once so will always work……maybe I should mix it up a bit and show them that I have imagination and I try to keep our business relationship fresh?

Simply spending is enough? – When it comes to customers that’s dangerous on many levels – spend too much and my margin disappears, spend too little and it looks like a token.

As I drove home I thought about what the cute teddy bears and red candles had taught me about my relationship with my customers: I should think about them all year round and not just once when someone tells me I should; I should value them all no matter how long I have known them; I should reward them with something they actually value (even if that is just a simple thankyou) and that gift should be well thought out proving I really am a trusted partner (someone they know and they should be happy to recommend to others).

And yes……. I did forget to get a Valentine’s gift……damn!