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How to GUARANTEE customer evangelism!

It's simple, take time to make things personal.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the master: Aaron, from 800-CEO-READ.

This year I bought some books from these guys, not loads, about 60 or so. Then today I got what is undoubtedly the single best corporate gift I have ever received. Let this be a lesson to everyone:


Aaron contacted Helen, our office manager to find out the specific taste of every one of Missing Link's employees, then went and handpicked books, CD's, DVD's and magazines, basically something for everyone (from metal, to punk, to goth, to house music, to art - I shit you not).

Putting aside the considerable monetary value of this gift, the time spent hand-picking these items is what really amazed me. It is so much more remarkable than the usual crap people send out, it is also extremely special and memorable.

To Aaron, Jack, todds, and the 800-CEO-READ team, you have just guaranteed yourself a very, very long term customer, thanks so much. The Missing Link hooligans salute you.

Bloggers, I've never asked for anything on this page, but do me a favour, spread the word, these guys rock.

To end this post, I want to quote Aaron from his card:

Be safe and well, be angry and raise hell...!

Posted by Rich...! | Permalink


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lets see, you bought 1.5K worth of books and I bet that makes you a big customer but this is a big present. Could it be that your run an influential blog? As an architect, I have returned presents of lesser value to suppliers as being inappropriate.

Posted by: Lloyd Alter | 12 Jan 2005 02:27:07

I will send the link of this post to a friend in a local Malaysian bookshop. Let's see if they are going to celebrate me :) Wow, those guys over at 800-CEO-Read rock!

Posted by: Andreas | 12 Jan 2005 03:09:12

Lloyd, I think any gift is cool, as long as the sender actually took time to think about it.

Corporates sending bottles of Johnnie Walker to all of their suppliers is not one of those cool gifts. It's happened!

On the influential blog thing: They didn't know Rich...! would post about it. I think it was an extremely awesome idea. I think so even more 'cos one of those CD's was mine, and it rocks!

And Aaron, so do you! Thanks!

Posted by: Don | 12 Jan 2005 09:30:58

Whew, glad i didn't send that bottle of Johnnie Walker. Thanks Fella's for the kindness. I guess trying to do something nice is outlawed these days.

Inappropriate??? Maybe, but how many lifeless holdiay cards are sent to clients or customers, sit and collect dust, and get thrown away after Jan 1.

Rich..! and Co. bust ass to provide a great service, and those who are inspiring and work hard deserve to be rewarded. Maybe more people should take the time to let others know what they do is REALLY appreciated, instead of worrying if it would be inappropriate. May that be a mission for all in 2005. Tomorrow hug one of your customers or co-workers, and please.... someone at the Link hug D'ave 'cos that picture is just hot!

Posted by: aaron | 12 Jan 2005 19:00:18

Great job guys, a perfect example of true business relationship building.

Rich...! regularly promotes the concept of business personalisation (no, not custom gifts.. but rather getting past corporate speak, formalities and red tape).

Businesses are about people (and only about them), more than enough reason to appreciate and feel warm about acts like these. So what if Aaron & co did this with the intent of getting more sales from The Link (which I doubt is the ONLY reason anyway) - They did it (and put a lot of effort into it), and deserve a pat on the back for that.

Innapropriate? Hah, then every extra mile that every dedicated person has ever walked for a client is "innapropriate". Lloyd, thanks for letting us know, I'll then not waste money sending you anything, even if I did think you were influential!

Posted by: Martin | 12 Jan 2005 19:51:42

Lloyd, thing is, we're not an influential blog. You also discuss gifts of lesser value, the issue here is not the money, but rather the time and effort. I get corporate gifts from many clients but most are thoughtless.

I did work for a company for three years, every year they gave me a very expensive bottle of scotch, every year I shook my head in disbelief - I don't drink, almost everyone knows that, they certainly did.

This was an awesome, personalised gift, and my team has definatley recieved it in the spirit in which it was given. Will it give the 800-CEO-READ boys an edge when I'm buying books? You know it! More power to them for that...!

Posted by: Rich...! | 12 Jan 2005 22:05:26

OK you win. It is a great gift and I wish I got it instead of the Johnnie Walker. And you are not buying on behalf of clients, you are buying books, so the usual professional concerns do not apply. I will keep out of the Johnnie myself and order a few books instead.

Posted by: Lloyd Alter | 12 Jan 2005 23:14:47

My real intentions are weaseling my way into that fine Links limo. Hopefully by the time actually make it to JoBurg, Rich...!will have that Link Jet to cruise around in. Forgive me for not knowing how to link to the pictures of each. Anyone want to clue me in on how to do that?????

Posted by: aaron | 13 Jan 2005 00:15:39

According to rumours, the limo rocks: so says Heidi Klum (who apparently was invited for a brown cow recently - it's a non-alcoholic ride).

Aaron, to create a link, use standard HTML syntax, like here.

Posted by: Martin | 13 Jan 2005 11:50:09

Hi I found these great USB flash drives on http://www.corporate-gifts-co.com/acatalog/usbflashdrives.html check it out!

Posted by: Lawrence Cheney | 4 Mar 2005 16:11:21

Wize words indeed, a lesson for us all :)

Posted by: mark rush | 27 Jan 2006 14:28:23