Giving Can Strengthen your Relationships

How Giving Can Strengthen your Relationships During and after COVID-19

One thing is certain, we are moving into a rare moment in history. People will be re-evaluating life and the role they play. People whose lives have been upended and are living in fear will turn to those they trust, family, friends, or business relationships. So, what are you doing to ensure that the people around you know that they can trust you, that you are covering their backs, even in these tough times?

The pandemic has hurt our business (with a 100% drop in April, followed by 75% drop in May), but we could not bring ourselves to chase after our customers for money. Neither could we bring ourselves to call them for sales. We knew they were hurting. So, what we did was call every single customer once a month to find out how they were doing and to see if there was something we could do for them. Then we contacted some experts to do webinars that we felt would help our customers to navigate their businesses during this time. We did a webinar with a social media expert, an SEO expert and a finance expert. We also sent out regular newsletters to inspire customers with useful tips. We did an interview with a branding expert.

To ensure that our customers levels of positivity were high, we gave them something to be inspired by every week. We wanted them to see the impact their actions would have on their own businesses. Just how surprised and valued do you think the people you care about would feel to receive a surprise gift right now?

In critical times, it is important to search our inner calm, find our balance, know where we stand and be ready to take action. It is about ensuring that everyone is doing meaningful work, and focusing on the ‘one thing’ you know will help move your business forward. In any business, ‘customers’ are the key reason you are where you are today. So what are you doing to strengthen those relationships? Now is the perfect time for you to stand out from your competition. What can you do to let your customers know you are here for them? What value can you add? What surprise gift could you send them? Gifting should be a part of any business development plan. Letting people know that you care is not that hard. A simple ‘unexpected’ gift will go a very long way.

However, it is not the thought that counts, it is the thoughtful thought that counts. So before you go sending them a basket of hi-carb foods, a calendar, or a pen with your logo on it, think about the gift. What is something truly meaningful that they will love, appreciate and use for years to come?

Gifts are not everyone ´language of love´ but that does not mean that you should not consider giving gifts to the people you care about. People love a surprise, there is no argument there! and nobody will ever forget a meaningful surprise gift. It might not have been your intention, but you will find those customers coming back to you when the time is right.

Choosing a gift can be very frustrating in a world full of ‘stuff’. When you don´t know the receiver very well, it is hard to think of something that is thoughtful enough to be appreciated. Therefore it is important to familiarise yourself with a brand you can trust. There are a few things you can consider when purchasing a gift:

  1. Is it useful? – in a world where people have become more minimalistic, they will only appreciate things that they will use.
  2. Is it meaningful? – does it have a story? in our present world, people want more meaning in their lives - so people love stories, real stories.
  3. Is it purposeful? – once again we are all craving more purpose in our lives. Does this gift give back in some way? Does help a community or a person? Perhaps an artist or a disadvantaged community?
  4. Is it timeless? – we don’t want it to date. Fashion dates and is replaced with more fashion. However, art does not date. We do not want to add to the landmine of waste already existing on our planet, so finding gifts that are not so ‘fashionable’ is usually a good idea.
  5. Is it original? – giving someone something that is found in every store will not make anyone feel special. Personally, I find ‘trendy’ products boring, and inauthentic. Give them something special, something that is authentic.
There is nothing wrong with giving your customers a gift that is not personalised, if it has elements which make it special and thoughtful, such as those mentioned above. Personalised gifts can be expensive. But when money is tight, it makes sense to choose something meaningful, purposeful, useful and timeless, but does not cost the earth. Being thoughtful gives you a competitive edge that cannot be understated, an edge that will take you much further now than it has in the last 100 years of business. In a disconnected world, a simple act of kindness goes a hell of a long way! Koh Living is with you all the way.