By Deb Walton, Chief Gift Officer & Queen of Client Courting
As soon as Tyler Wampler, General Manager of BLC Outdoor Services walks out of a prospect’s office after giving them an estimate, he snaps a quick photo, but not of the building or the company logo. Instead he uses his phone’s camera to send important info to his secret weapon—Indy City Gifts’ Cookie Stackers.
He knows that if he does this, that his prospect will have delicious shortbread cookies in their hands within 24-48 hours. That’s important to Tyler because, even though his company does great work and is competitively priced, they have competitors just like any other business. He knows that by sending the cookies—what he calls “a thank you for taking the time to consider our company” gift—he’s showing those potential customers an example of the customer service they’ll get from BLC Outdoors if they hire the company to remove snow, build retaining walls or repair drainage tiles.
What has surprised him are the many phone calls he’s received thanking HIM for the thank you gift. That feedback lets him know that they are outshining the competition. Beyond the delighted phone calls, it seems to be paying off in new customers. “You can’t sell every job with cookies,” Tyler acknowledges. But by Tyler’s estimates over 50% of their prospects have become customers after receiving the tasty cookie stackers from BLC.
In addition to sending thank you gifts, sometimes Tyler needs advice on dealing with challenging business situations. That’s when he turns to Deb Walton, Chief Gift Officer of Indy City Gifts for help. “She has creative solutions for keeping you in front of your customers,” says Tyler. He cites a gift that was sent out to companies who might need use of BLC’s triaxle dump trucks—a small desktop dump truck with BLC’s logo and some candy to sweeten the deal. He’s been proud to see these gifts in customer’s offices.
Even when things don’t go according to plan, he knows he can count on Deb to help. He shares the story of a nearly $50,000 job that ran into delays because of supply shortages. “We couldn’t live up to our expectations,” he says explaining that BLC prides itself on completing jobs on time. Fortunately, Deb had a solution, the Sorry! gift that has been employed by many companies in sticky situations—even ones not of their own making.
The customer was grateful to know that BLC was working hard to correct the situation and that they cared enough to apologize for a situation that was out of their control. That customer has gone on to recommend BLC to many of their family and friends since then.
But the value of Indy City Gifts to a business doesn’t stop there. Part of the benefit in working with Deb Walton is her personal investment in your company, almost like having another marketing person on your staff. “Deb is very persistent, she’ll follow up by text or email,” says Tyler. “She knows what you need to do to make sure things get done.” That’s why Tyler and BLC Outdoor Services will keep getting those thank you calls—and the business that goes with them.