As the final installment of this three-part discussion of gift-giving for the traditional season of giving gifts, and coinciding with the end of the year, here’s the last part. We’ve looked at ways to consider the client in giving them additional, non-paid-for items as part of the overall job or otherwise enhancing their experience by including a better grade or finish without passing along the additional charge to do so.
We’ve also looked at ways we can leave the clients a functional and safe addition to their project that we knew they would use and benefit from having that was not part of the initial scope and included solely as our gift to them.
In either case, they should derive satisfaction from using the additional or upgraded items and remember us and how we helped them each time they see or use that item or items in their home. When visitors enter their home and comment on those features, they may thank them for noticing, or they might recount as a positive memory how we worked with and helped them.
When an opportunity arises for them to suggest to a friend, family member, or just someone with whom they are having such a discussion, they should remember fondly the work we did for them and mention our relationship with them and the way we helped them solve issues they had.
We then discussed ways that we can help our strategic partners – those other trades and professionals that we engage and team up with to offer a more comprehensive solution to our clients. Depending on our training and field of experience, there are many aspects to evaluating the client’s needs and creating an acceptable solution for what they require or are seeking. We might not have the training or expertise to evaluate the clients functional needs, what typically happens in the aging process (to account for it), what physical changes are appropriate in the living space, how such physical changes need to be approached and what might be involved in creating them, and generally how to relate to the client effectively.
This is why we engage occupational and physical therapists, assistive technology professionals, mobility specialists, interior designers, architects, general contractors, handymen, electricians, plumbers, kitchen and bath specialists, and so many other professionals to be involved with us in assessing the client’s needs, in the initial design and consideration of the project, and in the construction. Implementation, and execution phases of the project.
We mentioned helping to promote their abilities and services by talking them up when we get the chance and by leaving online mentions and referrals for them. This needs to be more than just a casual, when-we-think-of-it approach to a regular part of our marketing. We promote our own businesses, but when we help to promote the services of someone we highly regard and rely upon to help us in serving our clients, we also are promoting ourselves. The more work potentially that our strategic partners get, the more they are going to be growing and even better respected in the marketplace than they are now. Clients that may not contact us initially may go through our partners, and we still get to be involved in meeting and working with them to provide solutions. It’s a potential win all the way around.
So, where do we find opportunities to promote our professional friends? The top social sites for this purpose are LinkedIn, Facebook, Alignable, and Google My Business. Several people have yet to take advantage of these sites, but that can be a New Year’s Resolution for 2020 – sign up (they’re all free to join and maintain and you really don’t need the premium membership, at least not initially), enter your basic profile information, start making contacts, and look for ways to endorse or recommend people in your network while requesting the same of them.
On any of those four major sites just mentioned, we can do a search to find someone who might be a member. Then we can go to their profile and like it, follow them, leave a five-star rating, add comments, or endorse them for specific skills- depending on the site and what it provides as far as our interaction with it. If we can’t find someone we wan to endorse, we should ask them for their link by telling them that we want to connect and that we want to leave them a positive comment or recommendation. Then we can go from there. If they are not a member of a specific site that we find valuable for interacting with the public and other professionals, we should send them an invite.
Anytime we visit someone’s online profile – on their website or on any of these social profiles (including YouTube. Instagram, Pinterest, or other business sites we know they like to use), we should not leave without enhancing their online history. This is a way we can give free gifts to those we work with in the aging in place marketplace. Let’s commit to visiting the sites of a few strategic partners on a regular basis and leaving positive feedback for them. It costs us nothing to do (except a little time) and potentially pays large dividends for them and ultimately us.