One of the great sales directors with whom I worked many years ago gave me a simple tip: “If you buy a client a cup of coffee, never, ever, ever ask for a receipt.”
You see, asking for a receipt means you are going to claim the charge as a business expense. What’s the big deal? Well, it gives the subtle impression that, even after all the thousands of dollars the client has spent with you or your company, you do not value the relationship enough to buy him a cup of coffee.
Yes, it’s a small thing. But little things can add up to a boatload of good – or bad – feeling. If you don’t ask for a receipt when you treat your client to a drink or dinner, you give the impression that you care about him on a personal level.
Don’t worry. You can still write it off as a business expense. In most cases, you’ll get a receipt without asking. If you don’t, you’ll have a credit card statement you can use to prove the expense.
The point is, forget about yourself. Your clients are important. If you’re not willing to spend a few bucks to buy them a cup of coffee from time to time, how much do you value those relationships?[Ed. Note: David Cross is Senior Internet Consultant for Agora Inc. There’s a lot you may not know about building an Internet business. David has the answers – and he’ll be sharing them with an exclusive group of business builders at ETR’s 5 Days in July conference. If you have the slightest interest in creating a fully functioning Internet business in one week, sign up for our hotlist right here.]