A Thankful Reminder

Every year around this time, I try to take a few moments to reflect on being thankful. Most of us do, of course—but my focus is on giving thanks and expressing gratitude in the business world, because….well, that’s what I do!

For me, this is an incredibly important topic. I do not take for granted the honor that I have in helping people grow their businesses every day. If you’ve had any success at all this year, it’s most likely come by way of your customers—those who choose to do business with you. And although it’s rare that a transaction of any significance ends without a handshake and cordial “thank you,” there’s a lot more to be done.

Here are a few things to think about this week, as the tradition of giving thanks takes center stage….

Remember your “Old Reliables.” We’ve all had clients or customers who show up on our doorstep or in our inbox with such regularity that you could set your watch by them (assuming you still need to ever set your watch.) But the fact that you can always count on them is precisely what makes it so important not to take them for granted.

There’s a reason they keep coming back—they like what you do. So take a minute this week to remind them why. Send a quick e-card or even a handwritten note (remember those?) that says you appreciate their continued patronage. After all, legacy customers need love, too!

“Thank you for those headaches!” Of course, there’s that other group of customers—the ones who tend to be a little more troublesome. You know, those high-maintenance types who bring you a fair share of business in exchange for a LOT of hand-holding.

Well, it’s time to thank them, too—by letting them know your relationship is solid and their business is truly appreciated…and believe me, a lot of these folks know they’re a handful, and do tend to worry about just that. You can help set the stage for smoother dealings down the road, as they continue to evolve into the old, reliable, legacy clients you love so much. Give them time—with the proper care and handling, they’ll get there!

And don’t forget “Fred.” Ever read The Fred Factor, by Mark Sanborn? If not, I recommend it. This slender tome spells out just how much going above and beyond in the handling of life’s little things can impact so many people so positively, and ultimately make a huge different in the world.

Chances are there’s a “Fred” in close proximity to your office desk—someone who handles those little tasks day in and day out that are all too easy to overlook and forget about….(until they stop happening.)

Like the parking garage attendant who never fails to send you home at the end of the day with a wink and a smile…..or the checker at the snack stand who always remembers what kind of gum you chew, and has it rung up before you even get your wallet out….or that member of the night crew who takes pains to vacuum the other end of the office first on those nights you’re working late.

Here’s a bold idea—take a break from your harried routine and tell them they’re appreciated. No cards, no gifts, just a couple of minutes of your time, and a few kind words. You might be surprised how much something like that can mean.

It’s a cliché, but it’s true—little things DO mean a lot. Expressions of genuine gratitude don’t have to be huge—to borrow from our friends at Nike, just DO it!

So, I will start the ball rolling: I want to thank YOU for reading my blog, whether this is your first time, you are a faithful follower, or you’re just popping by. I am grateful for you, for your support, and for your kindness.

Happy Thanksgiving!!