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Maintain Your Client/Vendor Relationships
After my first full year in Dr. Vinyl I started bringing what I called appreciation trays to my customers at Christmas time. They were just homemade cookies & cheese and cracker trays spread out on a festive platter, but they were a little different than the store bought boxes of things other vendors brought in. I went the homemade route because it was less expensive. I hoped no one would notice I didn’t have the more expensive store bought versions. To my surprise the homemade cookies were a huge hit because they weren’t store bought. The salesmen and managers actually stood in line for their turn at the cheese log and slicer. I included a simple thank you note with my business card and the sentiments “Thanks for a great year!” inside. The trays never outlasted my time on their lots on those days. Each year the managers and salesmen would ask what week the Christmas Trays were coming. I was totally amazed. My best customer over the years opened up other lots in the area and the managers there always wanted to make sure the trays would be coming to their lots as well as the original beginning dealership. The trays showed up EVERY year … at ALL their dealerships.
One year the owner of those lots bought a dealership in the middle of the year. I was called in to work all the cars on the lot. I knew it would take a while to get caught up on that much inventory, but I was surprised when the owner said ” I just don’t think I can wait until Christmas.” I responded that there were just so many cars on the lot that it was going to take some time to get them all worked. He laughed and said “No, I’m not talking about the cars. I’m talking about the cookie trays.” I was shocked. Needless to say, the “Christmas” trays were delivered the next day, in the middle of July.
Nowadays, the trays show up twice a year at all 4 of his lots, the lots that I, as well as up to 4 of our other techs, have worked every week for the last 18 years. I think the appreciation trays have actually APPRECIATED in value since that first year. Those trays have brought in well over a million dollars over the years. I doubt that all the trays in all those years cost more than a thousand dollars total.
Other techs in our Franchise bring in Homemade Cakes, BBQ Dinners, Gift Baskets, etc. We each have our own take on the traditional end of the year thank you. I would have never guessed that a simple, inexpensive thank you would have brought us so much business over all those years. It might just work for you, too.
Think about it.
The Cookie Tray Dr.Vinyl