1 Mistake I See People Make in the Give First Economy

hasseman marketing gift mistake

I believe we are living in a “Give First Economy.”  What I mean by this (and I talk about it more here) is that the best and most successful brands, salespeople, entrepreneurs, etc. provide value up front.  They “give” before they go for the sale. This is great for people who want to “do business right,” because they are poised to do this anyway.  They want to help. But there is one mistake that I see people make all of the time around this “give first” economy.  They want to say “thank you,” but they mix it up.

Let me explain. I got a box in the mail the other day from one of our suppliers.  They are a great company, and we do a decent amount of business with them.  The box said it had a gift inside, so I was excited to break it open.  Let’s face it, it’s always nice to get a “thank you gift.”   However, when I opened the package, there was a sales flyer and samples.  Don’t get me wrong.  They were nice samples.  They even had good information on the sales flyer.  It was a quality sales piece…and it got me to open the box.

But it was NOT a thank you gift.  It was a sales pitch.

I immediately felt duped.  I was a disappointed.  I went from being excited to being (mildly) annoyed.

It was not the most egregious mistake in the world.  It’s not like I won’t forgive them.  But I guarantee you it was not what they wanted me to feel (at least I hope not).

So just a quick word of advice for Succeeding in the Give First Economy; don’t mix up appreciation and sales.  If you want to say “thank you,” then just do that.  Show the appreciation.   Be sincere.  Give first. Don’t work in a sales pitch.  You are smart enough to see through that…and so are your customers and prospects.  It takes away from the original intent.  It also decreases the likelihood that I open the next package.

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Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.