Let me start by saying that I hate tchotchkes. They’re usually a waste of money (and plastic).
However, in the battle for prospects’ attention, brokerages need to start thinking creatively about gifts and giveaways. Your agents are competing with countless other agents and distractions, with the added challenge of a long buying/selling cycle.
Giving prospects a special gift—something that stands out from the crowd—can grab their attention and build trust. It’s not something that you have to do every month (or even every year), but from time to time, remind them how awesome your brokerage is with a unique gift.
If you’re ready to try something new, here are a few creative ideas:
Everyday, useful items—Some of the best gifts are small ones that people will use every day: wine/bottle openers, journals, w coasters, candles. Above all, think tasteful branding. If you want prospects to actually use the item, avoid using large logos or pictures. Ask yourself the question, “Would I want to use this item?” The note you send with the gift should be enough branding.
Local items—Try sending prospects an item that defines your city or state. Remind them why it’s so great to live in the area. For example, in Seattle (where Imprev is located), we’re well-known for our artisan coffee and smoked salmon. Include a hand-written note with the history or reasoning behind your gift.
Themes—Themed gifts are always a hit. For higher-value prospects or clients, send them a nice basket filled with items that they can share with their family or office:
- Movie night—Artisan popcorn (try red or black), candy, and a Redbox gift certificate.
- Rainy day—Hot chocolate or tea, mug, candle, and a gift certificate for iTunes or other music source.
- Grill night—Meat flipper, hot pads, assorted seasonings, and marinade.
For more creative gift ideas, check out:
- Etsy—You’ll find lots of unique gifts with handmade charm.
- Canary Marketing—This company does a great job of curating not-so-average, interesting items.
- Poppin—A colorful, fun site with customizable office items.
Of course, you always need to follow up with prospects after giving them a fantastic gift. Making face-to-face (or voice-to-voice) contact exponentially increases the gift’s effectiveness. And of course always include a business card and personal note with the gift.
What has been your experience with prospect gifts (giving or receiving)? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what works and what doesn’t (and whether you hate tchotchkes as much as I do).