• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • Differentiate With The Lost Art Of Gratitude

    No Thank You’s – Then No Thanks! It’s amazing how many people do not know how to say “thank you.” It’s as if they were never taught, the more you appreciate something, the more you’ll get things you can appreciate. It’s like the old adage of “What you focus on, you get”. However, 97% of people never give “thank you” notes or have even sent a “thank you” email. But we want you to say “NO THANKS” to people who can’t say “THANKS”!

    A story of an “image expert”

    Here’s an interesting story. There’s a lady I know who markets herself as an “image expert”. I really liked the information she presented, and she appeared to be quite knowledgeable. So, I went to order a book from her website and NOTHING HAPPENED. I tried, and tried, AND TRIED to buy a book from her website and still NOTHING happened. Most customers would just give up and think “okay, I want to spend my money with you but you don’t want it because you haven’t been professional enough to take care of your website” BUT (there’s that ‘but’ again), I am a technically challenged person and I like to give the benefit of the doubt, so I thought to myself “maybe she just doesn’t know.” So, I CALL HER (now remember – I’m the customer!) and let her know that I could not purchase a book on her website. I explained what I did and lo and behold – she sees what I see – NOTHING HAPPENS! She thanks me quickly and gets off the phone to call her web guru (who is someone who needs a “Texas talkin’ to” because he’s supposed to be a professional at what he does too – sounds real professional, right?). The next day, I tried to purchase the book on the internet again, and finally, I get the book that I worked so hard for.

    I share this story because after all that, she NEVER once wrote me an email or note of thanks or ever called up to say “thank you”…nothing. And get this, SHE’s the image expert. How long would she have gone without business had I not called? She even mentioned that she had not gotten any orders that week and found that “odd”. She gave no thanks at all. What do you think my “image” is of her now?

    Take-home lesson

    Use her huge mistake as a lesson for you…say THANK YOU! It is such a lost art and such a powerful phrase. We all work so hard to differentiate ourselves from the competition. And, you actually can with this simple act of gratitude!

    Here are three simple yet powerful acts:

    1. Write a THANK YOU note!

    Granted, this can be done via email with lots of cute animation & song. However, a handwritten personal note is the most powerful “thank you.” It shows that you value the person, you value what they did, and that you are so genuine in your appreciation that you are willing to expend the time and effort to make a personal gesture. You will stand out in the crowd and be the “purple” cow!

    Action Step: Write one thank you note a day. If you don’t do that now, start with a “thank you email”. However, do just get some simple cards and address and stamp one each day. Carry it with you and find that person to appreciate every day. You will then be the true IMAGE EXPERT and that act of appreciation will make a huge difference to you, personally!

    2. Pick up the phone and say thank you!

    You’re busy, we’re all busy. Pick up the phone and thank the person and explain why what they did was so great; how it made a difference in your life and how you value them. Be sincere (people can smell the predatory “fakeness” a mile away!).

    Action Step: Call one person each week. Make one moment each week as a “you-make-a-difference” moment! Then ask them, “Now how can I help you?”

    3. Recognize people with value!

    I’m not telling you to shower people with gifts, but do remember what you are grateful for and what is important to them. For example, I have a friend who loves the theater. She once worked on a really difficult client for me and made all of us look so good. I appreciated what she did and gave recognition to her efforts (an important, valued recognition), and then gifted her with two theater tickets. She was thrilled because I remembered that she liked the theater! Like the “image” person I was referring to in the story, a show of gratitude might even have been a short email saying “Thanks and here’s a couple of bucks off your next purchase for saving me from losing further dollars.” (However, if the person you want to give appreciation to has to “tell you” what to do, it totally devalues any appreciation you could possibly muster!)

    Action Step: Someone made a difference in your life this month. They made life easier or went out of the way. Recognize it!


    Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm.   She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.


    Maria Elena Duron is a Marketing Coach and Strategist with Know, Like, + Ignite and @mariaduron on Twitter. Would you like practical tips to create and curate content and experiences worthy of being passed person-to-person? -Get exclusive access.

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    12 comments on “Differentiate With The Lost Art Of Gratitude
    1. avatar
      Candice says:

      Hi Maria,

      I enjoyed your post. Thank you for writing it. 🙂

      I noticed that you said the woman thanked you when you called her. So, in regard to the help that you gave, she did thank you, albeit “quickly.” What surprises me is that you didn’t mention receiving any type of thank you email for purchasing the book. Even if it’s just one of those automatically generated kinds, it’s better than nothing.

      • avatar
        Maria Duron says:

        Hello Candice!

        I appreciate your thoughtful response. And, I so appreciate you taking the time to ready and to contemplate it, too. I agree with your comment. I think the phone thank you, for me, cam across as obligatory and not genuine. I understand being “busy”. Unfortunately, that seems to be the “catch-all” excuse for not being courteous, paying attention or valuing someone. I’ve said this for years …”Nobody’s ‘busy” is more or better than anyone elses”. It’s what you value and place priority on.

        So, I’m in such agreement with you! If you want to sell more, be thankful for the sales you have.

        I stop in my tracks when I hear a check-out clerk at a retail establishment or someone at a restaurant sincerely say, with feeling, thank you so much for doing business with us today. Have you ever experienced that sincere thank you?

        Thank you so much, again, Candice!

    2. avatar

      Like you, I really think we’re losing the art of gratitude. It’s not hard to thank people for adding value to your life but fewer people seem to feel the need to do it. I think this is a shame, as gratitude is not only an important social lubricant but it also helps us understand that no success comes without collaboration. You may be interested in this article I wrote about gratitude last year: “20 Social Media Ways to Say Thank You” http://www.inspirationzone.co.uk/inspirationmag-detail-socialmedia.asp?category=social+media&serial=70

      • avatar
        Maria Duron says:

        Hello Ash!

        I appreciate your thoughtful comments!

        I don’t know if it’s people don’t feel the need or that they’re too busy and consumed by they’re “busy-ness” to slow down and value someone doing a little bit extra. I hope people take a moment and recognize another.

        Thank you for sharing your post, too!

    3. avatar
      Lorii Abela says:

      Thank you for sharing this, Maria. I can also relate to you. I also wonder why there’s a lot people out there who don’t know how to express gratitude or say thank you. Well, I want to thank you for sharing those 3 simple acts. 🙂

    4. avatar
      Maria Duron says:

      I love your positive thoughts, David! Yet, I think purchasing “thank you” cards and “sending” them are not the same action. I wish they were — yet intention is not enough…..

    5. avatar

      It really stands out when someone is polite. This is sad to say because it should be the norm. I think these are great personal tips on how to say thank you but I think what should also be remembered is the verbal thank you. If someone holds a door for you, you say thank you, it takes one second but shows that you appreciated it and have manners. How polite you are truly does affect your image.

    6. avatar
      Angelique says:

      Hi Maria

      Great post. You’re so right – I think most people simply are too consumed with their “busy-ness” as you say. TV and social media, besides everyday life, sucks up everyone’s time.

      I admit that I haven’t thanked every fan or follower for liking my Page, following me on Twitter, or subscribing to my YouTube channel – something I’m working on getting better at – but I also feel that the automatic thank-you for those thinks makes it less meaningful. Instead I choose to interact and engage with other Facebook friends, Fan Pages, blog posts and Tweets – which brings value to their posts in terms of Edgerank and SEO.

      As a social media strategist (and I nice person I think) I’ve contacted dozens of website or Facebook Page owners to let them know if a link isn’t working, or if I’ve tried to subscribe to their RSS feed and it doesn’t work (with Google Chrome it’s a common problem)…even letting them know how to fix it…and very few people have even emailed to say thank you for taking the time to let me know.

      For point #2 – telling someone that they did a great job (for example, as chairperson of a meeting, as organizer, for giving great service, for fixing a problem promptly, good at following up or following through to completion) is really overlooked. I try to make a point of not just of THINKING it but TELLING that person too. I’ve done this a number of times (usually via email), and the receiver is usually overwhelmed that someone has noticed…one made me laugh “WOW!
      I can’t thank you enough for sharing this with me, I always just hope that I’m doing OK in my role and this tells me I’m doing so.”

      Melissa, I agree that it is sad that politeness stands out because it isn’t the norm.

      But then again, for those businesses who are polite, grateful and responsive, it gives us an edge over that 80% who are not 🙂


    7. avatar
      Tom says:

      I agree that a thank you gesture is very positive-however, I just want to qualify that-in my opinion, it depends on what you are thanking the person for.

      If you want to thank the person for a job interview that s/he provided you, then I think a typed note (on computer) is best. A handwritten note could totally bomb if you have an illegible handwriting. I understand that an email thank you in this case might not be appropriate, especially if the Hiring Mgr is inundated with emails and doesn’t see yours.

      You can also use that note to additionally clafify any responses you made on the interview that perhaps didn’t come across the way they should have. Great forum for doing so.

      If the “thank you” is for a customer service, then I see nothing wrong with an email or phone call. One really good thing that you can do in addition to the above is to offer to write a commendation email to that person’s supervisor, after offering that to them and getting their permission to do so (some people might actually respectuflly decline thaf offer, but will appreciate the gesture). If they do accept, in the commendation I’d include the fact that this was not solicited by the employee. There are some supervisors out there paranoid enough to think that the employee might ask the client to do that for them (although it’s a big world, and I won’t rule out the possibility that it happens….

      FYI. Thanks-good article.

    8. avatar
      Marcia Adams says:

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks so much for writing this article. I was surprised to read that “97% of people never give “thank you” notes or have even sent a “thank you” email.” I was very skeptical about sending thank you emails. However, I got over that because some corporations are so big that internal mail gets lost. I have found myself doing both – sending a thank you email and following up with a hand-written thank you note.

      What are your thoughts on sending both – email and hand-written thank you notes?


    9. avatar
      Renee says:

      I thought you were going to tell me you got the book for free as a thank you for helping her relalize that the website was not working properly and she was loosing business. Wow what a disappointment. she really droppped the ball on that one.

      As a rule you should always (I mean always!!) send a thank you for every interview and any kindness if someone goes out of their way to help you, or takes time out of their busy day to see you.

      I know I have gotten that 2nd interview because I try to be deatail orientd and send an email Thank You letter within 24 hours of the interview ..and I also send another letter through the mail. It might seem like a lot of effort..but isnt that the point. I shows them your interested and think of everythiing. by the way..they see your name come by thier desk quite a few times that way. couldnt hurt.

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