As a busy person it’s so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day business in chasing our tail that we forget to maintain, practice and employ the simple basics of life and human interaction that are so fundamentally important to each and every one of us. The simple task of saying ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’. Isn't it remarkable how such simple words are so easily forgotten, but when used can carry so much more meaning than if forgotten.
As parents and business owners we realise that these simple basics are fundamentally important to our business and our growing children. If they are not maintained, it could have a detrimental effect on all of us in the future. If we don’t set a good example to our children about practising and maintaining these fundamental basic life skills of minding our P’s and Q’s then they will never be learned or employed, and will be forgotten.
Business should be a mirror of basic life, unfortunately that is not always the norm. However this lets us remember some of the basic facets of business. People buy people first; they only do business with people they like and fundamentally it’s all about give and take, and through the process we are remunerated for all these actions, and then the cycle continues.
Here’s the Big Question:
When was the last time you said ‘Thank You’ to your clients and or your suppliers, for their efforts, business, help and support in the day-to-day operation of your business? I appreciate that everyone responds differently to receiving gestures of gratitude and how you may want to that say thank you may be difficult from one customer / supplier to the next. Especially in this climate where organisations want to be seen as whiter than white and have strict guidelines and policies against employees receiving gifts or any form of recognition.
3 Simple Acts of Gratitude
1. Low Key Gestures:
Simple low key gestures can be just as effective as formal reward programmes and when gestures are subtle and more informal they often come across as being more genuine and wholesome than any marketing department has ever developed. When an occasion presents itself to reward a client for a referral or for just being a good customer, simple things that reflect their personal interests or a sense of shared good like a box of donuts for the team shows that you genuinely care about them and take an interest in their well-being. Every one of us on this planet wants to be recognised and made in some way feel important or appreciated for the work we do. A simple gesture of human kindness in a box of donuts or tin of sweets will always be appreciated and will always be remembered.
In today’s technological age it is quite rare to receive a hand written note. So many of us rely on email, text or social media as our sole form of communication that when we make the time sit down to write a hand written letter or just a simple note, it will definitely be remembered. It shows that you do appreciate their effort and that you have taken the time and effort yourself to personally write to them acknowledging that.
3. Pick up the Phone:
Again we rely so much on email as our main route of communication that the simple task of picking the phone up and making the call to say thank you is more than enough to show that you care and appreciate their business. From this, you can then catch up with their news and events. This strengthens the relationship and will make them feel more inclined to get you involved in more business or introduce you to others who may also need your services because you are at the front of their mind.
Why Should I Bother?
The sole purpose of saying thank you is to make your clients and or suppliers feel important and appreciated, but like all good habits it needs to be practised and maintained for it to be effective. You need to be consistent with it and make sure that you build it into your ongoing business processes. Business is all about people and thanking them for the work they do. Highlighting the effort they provide will improve the way people feel about you and your organisation and will create a positive impact not only on you and your team but also on your business as a whole.
Remember business is all about giving; whether it is time, effort, support, advice or new business, you do so unconditionally. However when it is reciprocated, acknowledging and thanking people should be a fundamental step in your business process. The more we give, the more we get in return. Just reflect for a moment: did you embark on the giving of gifts this past Christmas on the basis that you wanted to get one in return? Or did do so purely on the premise that you wanted to say thank you to your friends and loved ones for their unconditional support, friendship, love and affection?