THE EXIT PLANNING BLOG
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How A Solid Gifting Strategy Can Improve Your Professional Relationships
by Colleen Kowalski on October 20, 2021
As we approach the holiday season, the stress of giving the perfect gift looms over all our heads. As a business professional, you not only have to find the perfect gifts for your family and friends but for your professional contacts as well. How do you ensure that the recipient of your gift enjoys it? We guarantee that a notepad with your company logo on it is not going to cut it.
An impactful gifting strategy can strengthen professional relationships, lead to more educated prospective clients, and build your brand.
Gifting as a Business Strategy
Incorporating a strong gifting strategy into your prospecting, customer appreciation, and marketing campaigns is one of the most effective ways to strengthen a customer’s loyalty to your brand. According to Forbes, “83% of Americans have a positive response to receiving packages and 90% of prospects say they’d be willing to engage with salespeople early in the buyer’s journey. Gifting with prospects can increase your chances of establishing a trusting relationship.”
In order to successfully integrate a gifting strategy into your business operations, you must first ask yourself three things:
- What do my customers need from their business partners?
- What do my customers want from their business partners?
- How can I provide value to my customers?
A good business gift is not just the nearest office supply plastered with your company logo. Think of gifts you have received from business professionals in the past. Which gifts did you enjoy? Which did you immediately toss in your “donations” pile? And most importantly, which gifts made you feel more connected and engaged with the business that sent them?
An Educated Prospect is a Better Prospect
One problem many professionals face when prospecting is the prospect’s lack of education around the need for your product, service, or expertise. As an exit planning advisor, your potential clients may not see the need for exit planning. Since they are simply not ready to retire, sell their business, or transition it to the next generation owner. However, with some education, these owners are eager to begin the exit planning conversation to prepare for their future, post-business.
According to Forbes, “One study found that tangible materials leave a deeper footprint in the brain, enhancing memory and brand association. Furthermore, 94% of top executives believe gifts facilitate a deeper personal connection and are important to business success.”
With this information in mind, we recommend an educational resource be given as a gift to your potential exit planning clients. Our personal favorite item to gift to clients and professional advisors in our network is Walking to Destiny: 11 Actions an Owner Must Take to Rapidly Grow Value & Unlock Wealth. We gift this book with a personalized bookmark that explains the value of exit planning for our individual clients and provides them with information to learn more about value acceleration.
How to Utilize Book Gifting in Your Practice
According to an article published by Forbes, “Over 80% of C-suite executives believe that business gifts generate measurable positive ROI in addition to intangible benefits. Gifts humanize the business.” Follow these steps to ensure your book gifting strategy is successful!
- Determine what books are of value for your prospects. If you have written your own book, this would be the ideal gift.
- Design a branded bookmark to accompany the book. As this is not the main gift, it is okay to incorporate your logo on this item. Include a thank you message to show your appreciation for the prospect.
- Place the bookmark at your favorite part of the book. Include a handwritten note on the bookmark that asks the prospect about their opinion on the section and to contact you to discuss it further.
- Create a nurturing campaign with these prospects and reach out to them a month after the book was sent to see if they have any questions about the contents.
Build Your Exit Planning Practice
A qualified exit planning advisor incorporates an owner’s business, financial, and personal needs into their conversations. To be successful in growing your exit planning practice, you must highlight your holistic process and understand how to connect with owners. Customer Think shares, “Gifting is a long-term solution to relationship building for businesses, as most customers feel connected to companies that reciprocate – which becomes crucial for prolonging customer lifetime value and, therefore, bringing in more revenue for the business.”
Learn more about how gifting strategies and customer relationship building can positively impact your business through our newest EPI Academy program: Practice Launch Lite. Practice Launch Lite is a virtual workshop with EPI leadership. Utilizing a real-life consulting and exit planning firm, Aspire Management, the program aims to show advisors how to implement exit planning into their practices.
Launching November 1, Practice Launch Lite helps exit planning advisors create action plans to implement exit planning services into an existing or standalone firm. Join Scott Snider, President of the Exit Planning Institute, as he shows advisors how to navigate and use the CEPA Platform offered by EPI. Scott shares ideas on how to create awareness and drive new business. Learn how being a part of EPI can generate new business for you when properly utilized.
EPI Season of Deals
Exit Planning Institute has decided to switch things up this year! As a way to show our appreciation for our Certified Exit Planning Advisors, business owners, and professional advisors, we are extending our traditional Black Friday deals into a Season of Deals!
Check out two of our six Season of Deals packages:
Walking to Destiny Gifting Package
The more educated an owner is about exit planning, the more likely they are to begin incorporating exit strategy into their business plan. Gifting books to your potential owner clients is a great way to educate these owners on exit planning and value growth. According to a survey of advisors on LinkedIn, 15% said sharing books was a great way to educate owners. Gift Walking to Destiny to your prospective clients and start the exit planning conversation early.
Enjoy $350 off a case of Walking to Destiny! You’ll receive 28 copies for only $266! That’s less than $10 per book!Get the Deal!
CEPA Mastery Bundle
Earning the CEPA Credential is the first step in mastering exit planning. Save $2,000 when you bundle your CEPA program with a CEPA Exam Prep course and two EPI Academy programs. The Marketing for the Professional Advisor Masterclass and Practice Launch Lite.
Certified Exit Planning Advisor Credentialing Program + CEPA Exam Prep Course:
- Through the CEPA credential, you will gain the knowledge needed to advance your exit planning practice, protect the value in your business, and engage more effectively with business owners.
- The CEPA Exam Prep Course was developed to give you further opportunities for preparation specific to the CEPA Exam. It also gives you additional touchpoints live with your CEPA Faculty. This course is broken into three weekly sessions prior to the start of your CEPA program. These sessions are in addition to the Pre-CEPA Onboarding Call that is offered to all attendees at no extra cost.
Marketing for The Professional Advisor Masterclass:
- This five-part, on-demand, interactive masterclass arms you with clear techniques and strategic implementations to improve marketing and sales performance.
Practice Launch Lite:
- A virtual workshop with EPI leadership. Utilizing real-life consulting and exit planning firm, Aspire Management, to show advisors how to implement exit planning into their practices.