With all of the many responsibilities that come with owning or managing a business, many business owners fail to use the one tool that can make a difference in a huge way as it relates to business growth. The tool I am speaking of, doesn’t cost a thing. It’s gratitude. Expressing gratitude in business goes a long way. In the fast paced society we live in, everything seems so rushed many people don’t stop and express gratitude in a meaningful way.
Expressing gratitude means more than just a line on your invoice that says: “thanks for your business.” True gratitude should be expressed in every aspect of your company’s operations and dealings. From the customers who window shop to the customers who purchase the most of whatever you have to sell. It’s important to take the time to offer a heartfelt expression of gratitude to the people who show interest in your company as well as support your company.
Have you ever received a simple thank you as an expression or gift and it made all the difference in the world to you? Although it may have been a simple gesture, it probably came at the right time and you probably thought to yourself, “wasn’t that quite nice of them?” And that’s what creative expressions of gratitude does for your company, it places you and your brand at the top of the list in the minds and hearts of your customers.
Below, I’ve listed 4 steps to help you use gratitude to grow your business.
1. Systematize Your Efforts
In any business it helps to systematize your processes so you save time and money. Systematizing your communications with your customers and business partners is essential as well as systematizing your expressions of gratitude which also falls into the category of following up.
In running a business you must communicate with various groups of people at any given time. You must connect with prospects, clients and referral partners and the list goes on and on. Sending a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter that includes value for your community is a great way to offer creative content to your network as well as express gratitude for the people in your network. It’s important to stay in touch with your customer base on a frequent basis. Remember if you’re not communicating with them, your competition probably is.
2. Follow Up Within 2 -3 Business Days
Being timely in all of your business dealings is just a good business. Gratitude should always be expressed in a timely manner. Although you can never go wrong thanking someone, it can be perceived as unappreciative if it takes you too long to say thanks. If you express gratitude in a timely manner, there will be no way that the receiving party guesses about the authenticity of your appreciation. If you receive a purchase from a customer, send a thank you note within 2 days. If you receive a referral from a partner, follow up with a thank you gift within 2 or 3 business days. Making a practice out of putting limitations on how long it takes you to express gratitude will go a long way in the minds of your clients and partners and in many cases give you an edge over the competition.
3. Know When to Send a Thank You Card or Gift
There are some things that a simple thank you in the form of an electronic card or simple printed card will do. However, there are larger items and efforts that require a thank you gift. If you have a client that has just made a 6 figure investment with your firm, sending a simple thank you card is not commensurate with the investment made. If you have a partner that referred a new client to your firm and that person’s total sale was $100 or less, a simple thank you card or email will suffice. Make sure your level of gratitude expresses the value of the deed or quality of the experience. I am not implying that you have to match dollar for dollar. I’m simply suggesting that you exercise good judgment in showing value in your expression of thanks.
4. Use public gratitude over private gratitude when appropriate
There are many times when showing public expressions of gratitude are better than private expressions of gratitude. As human beings we all have basic needs. One of the basic needs for human beings is acknowledgement. When you take the time to let people know that you appreciate them in public, it improves the impact level by publicly acknowledging how great you think they are. It’s one thing to say thank you in private but it’s a big deal when you take the time to say thank you in public. These days many small business owners utilize websites like Angie’s List and Yelp where their companies have profiles and their customers get to rate them on a star system.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, if your customers take the time to go on-line to give you a public thank you or glowing testimonial, that will create social proof that yours is a company to do business with.
Encourage your clients to show gratitude on-line as it relates to their experience with your company. Making this simple request not only puts your business in a positive light, but it also puts the person who took the time to thank you, in a positive light as well.
As you can see, gratitude goes a long way. Here’s how gratitude benefits you and your business:
- helps you to attract goodness
- shows that you have good business ethics
- demonstrates basic principles of etiquette
- positions you as a class act
- demonstrates you’re willing to go the extra mile
Now it’s time for you to share with me. How has expressing gratitude helped you to grow your business? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.
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Lori A. Manns is an award-winning, marketing, sales coach and business strategist who works with small business owners to help them elevate their brand, get more clients and grow revenue. Lori A. Manns is CEO of Quality Media Consultant Group and founder of the Trailblazer Business Academy™ where advancing entrepreneurs go to learn business growth strategies the soulful way. Lori is also the creator of Sponsorship Sales Secrets System;™ that shows you how to get more sponsors and sales for your business, guaranteed. To purchase consulting services on marketing, advertising or sales and, learn how to increase your revenue and grow your business; please visit the start here page on www.qualitymediaconsultants.com.