Do you suffer from GDD: Gratitude Deficit Disorder? Do you think it’s possible that communicating an attitude of gratitude in your business could actually make you more money? Remember the cardinal rule of business: “Find a need and fill it.”
Despite all our good intentions and actions, we usually receive much more flak than gratitude. We are hungry for genuine appreciation and thanks. We want to know that we matter, are understood and that our efforts are making a difference.
And so do your customers, clients, vendors, employees and coworkers. Thankfulness makes the business world a brighter place. It fills an important human need. And gratitude that is truly genuine helps develop trust as well.
Think back on the past year. It’s been tough for many of us, for many reasons. Those who can find ways to express thanks are likely to see positive results. Between now and the end of the year, how can you communicate your appreciation?
I’m not talking about opportunist holiday BS. I’m talking about honest, unselfish, respectful acknowledgement of another human being. As kids, we are taught to say thank you. Our parents knew that showing simple appreciation was the right thing to do.
So, why is saying “thank you” good for business?
- Because it makes a difference.
- Because it builds better professional relationships.
- Because it opens doors to new opportunities in the future.
- Because it defines your intentions and motives in the business world.
- Because people return to you the attitudes and feelings that you give them.
- Because it lets people know that their business or work matters to you.
- Because people will always remember how you made them feel.
There are many ways that we can, and should, show our gratitude in a business or professional setting. Here are several ways that can be valuable, if they are used with a sincere spirit and attitude:
- Say “thank you.” Simple as that. In person or on the phone, always say it when you can. It will be even more valuable if you are specific as to why you are thankful.
- Type “thank you.” Drop a quick email or business letter. If you can’t tell someone in person, sending a quick note of thanks can be worthwhile. Written proof is permanent and the recipient can read it over and over.
- Write “thank you.” I have a file that has letters and notes I’ve received over the last 30 years. I seldom add to this file without pulling something else out to relive a kind word. Handwritten notes are very personal and powerful.
- Share “thank you.” Sharing gifts is a great way to show your gratitude, but will be most effective if done with thought and care.
In the next few weeks, a lot of business gifts will be given. Think back on the gifts you’ve received from professional relationships. The most memorable ones probably felt personally selected, relevant to your interests or the relationship with the other person or business.
- Reward “thank you.” Keep records of customer activities and reward their every purchase. This does not need to be an expensive venture. Come up with a scheme where customers accumulate points that can be redeemed for prizes or discounts.
I know that nothing I’ve said is new or earth-shattering. It is all common sense. However, common sense isn’t always common practice. We all need to be reminded that the attitude is as important as the action.
If you were looking for a leadership lesson, I hope you found it. Great leaders show their gratitude freely and genuinely, and their people provide positive results for their businesses and organizations.
If you wanted marketing advice, remember that customers are looking for value, satisfaction and appreciation on their purchases. A simple gesture of gratitude can be enough to keep them coming back and telling others about your business.
If you wanted a motivational idea, here it is: Giving thanks can be a powerful motivator to both the giver and the receiver. When we genuinely give the gift of gratitude, from the heart, we get more in return than the recipient gets from receiving it.
Be plentiful in your gratitude and thoughtful in your thankfulness and watch your business grow.
Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from Northern Utah. He can be reached at email@example.com.