Valentine's day selling

Every restaurant’s fully booked tonight and all I hear on the radio is soppy love songs.  Thankfully the usually banal chat by the djs is a bit better today.  I’m in Cape Town and on my drive to work this morning, both Kfm and 5fm had a kind of anti-valentine’s theme going.  Every woman on, said that they didn’t like Valentine’s day because it meant men had an excuse not to be romantic any other times of the year and felt gestures today are staged.  And the male djs wasted no time in saying he wouldn’t like to be the guy that forgot something today 🙂

This also reminded me of the UK supermarket chain Asda (part of Wal-Mart) selling their 8 pence cards yesterday because they claimed research showed 19 out of 20 women preferred gifts all year round as opposed to just today.

Anyhow, rather than get hung up on another ‘hallmark holiday’, these themes made me think of the time I had to deliver a ‘christmas hamper’ to a reluctant prospect one christmas eve.  It was all a bit embarrassing, as it almost came across as a trick (which of course it was) and yet we hadn’t even begun a business relationship.  The idea was we always gave prospect’s this treatment (we didn’t).

Yet giving gifts in business can be a great idea.  Other cultures I know from friends give gifts.  One of my cutomer’s used to rib me about always being in S Africa when it was freezing in London, so I once took the client one of my fave bottles of wine from here, and he loved it.  It only cost me a few quid, but the fact that I thought about it, brought it back all that way and explained all about it was a super gesture.  For the record, he is Mark Kelly, who likes Chianti, so I got him a bottle of Beyerskloof Pinotage.  Yum.  If he signs an order soon, he’ll be treated to a Pinot next 😉

The moral is I guess, a little gesture out of the blue, with thought clearly evident, can go a long way.

(And for those of you interested, I’ve saved you the trouble; here’s why it all began…)

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