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”!
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?
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.