You may have read about having an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and how beneficial it can be to your personal well-being. Many people are aware of the importance of living a life of gratitude, but don’t realize the great impact that it can have on one’s career and business!
We live in a society, and especially a business culture, of chronic under-appreciation. To be just a little bit thoughtful, grateful and appreciative will certainly make you stand out from the crowd. Many professionals and businesspeople have become accustomed to working a thankless job or running a thankless business. Believe it or not, by being intentionally grateful, you can change that for the people that you do business with. This is a list of 8 powerful ways that gratitude will cause your referrals, customer retention and profits to increase.
1. Sending a thank you card or gift to a valued customer or after an amazing interview
When was the last time you received a written thank-you card for a business transaction? Do you remember how you felt when you got it? You were probably impressed and touched. And if you’re like most people, you continued to do business with the person that sent it to you.
A personal expression of thanks shows the recipient that you truly appreciate them and recognize their effort or expense on your behalf. It will almost always ensure that they will want to do business with you again in the future. At the cost of a few minutes, stationery and a stamp, you can increase your profits dramatically by increasing your repeat business.
It’s a good idea to invest in your own stationery wardrobe. Custom thank you cards will come in handy often, especially when you’re building your network and clientele. I often use ecards as well. I send them out as a personal thank you or group thank you after an event.
My new coaching clients often get a sweet treat from me saying ‘Thanks, I’m excited about your future!’ This takes their experience as they start our program way over the top. I often send interviewers a thank-you card and pack of my Stacia’s Success Stickies and they love, love, love them! Find creative ways to say thank you to your customers and clients for a total wow experience!
If you begin to send out a thank you card to every customer, client, media personality and business partner you work with, I guarantee you’ll drum up business and start seeing results quickly!
In an interview with Fortune Magazine, Reston Limousine CEO Kristina Bouweiri tells the story of when she started hosting customer appreciation lunches. The first lunch was an effort to help a friend’s business to grow, but she immediately saw an increase in her own sales. She now hosts about ten appreciation lunches per year, and attributes much of her business’s growth to the practice. What can showing thanks do for you? Probably a lot more than you think!
2. A public expression of sincere thanks will go a long way
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – Author William Arthur Ward
It’s one thing to think ‘Wow, I’m really thankful for what that person did for me.’ It’s quite another to say it out loud. It’s important to let your gratitude be known, and doing so in a way that others can see is a way of showing your sincerity. If someone shows you favor and invites you to a next-level event, make sure you stand up and say openly that you appreciate them and that you were able to attend. As someone that is able to extend next-level opportunities to others, I can tell you that this will mean so much to them!
A great way to express your gratitude publically in the modern world is to post it on social media. A post on someone’s Facebook wall, a Twitter mention or Instagram tag can be a great way to say ‘thank you.’ If you read a great book, you can tell the author how great it was on social media and thank them for putting their wisdom to paper. If you repost a great quote, tag and give credit to the person who originally posted it. Use social media to say ‘thank you’ to someone at least once this week.
Once, I told an author thanks for their resourceful book and they personally responded. An opportunity arose shortly thereafter and they connected me to a great interview that led to other opportunities and tons of sales for my business. Even people of great stature or fame appreciate a kind word and an expression of thanks. If a book you read is a big help to you, find the author and let them know. If you read a magazine article and learn some important information, find the author on Twitter and tell them how great it was. You never know what doors might open for you when you sincerely say ‘thank you’ for the world to see.
3. Express your gratitude to your mentors
When successful people help you, they often do it at little benefit to themselves. It’s important to recognize relationships like this and show that you appreciate your mentor’s time and effort.
When showing appreciation for important people in your life, put some thought into it. Say thank you with excellence. Add some personal flair to your presentation. You can give flowers, unique gifts, monetary expressions or even a heart-felt letter that states what that person has meant in your life. Try to make your thanks just as impactful as their influence has been.
You want to make sure your mentors know that you truly appreciate what they do for you. The input of a good coach or mentor can be priceless. It’s worth the time, effort and expense it takes to make a big impression with your expression of gratitude!
4. Show appreciation for your guests
When you host a special guest – whether it’s a senior executive in your company, a guest speaker for an event or a potential client, it’s important to let your gratitude for their presence be known. Being hospitable and treating your guests well will ensure they always want to come back to be in your presence. A great way to do this is to find out their personal preferences in advance and have a custom gift basket waiting for them in their hotel room!
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” —Oprah Winfrey, Entrepreneur
It’s beneficial to even show gratitude to your virtual visitors! I thank everyone who visits my website with a free Path to Purpose 6-Week Coaching Course – just my way of ‘saying thanks for stopping by!’ Whether you sell your goods online, in a retail shop or a food truck, find a creative way to say ‘thank you’ to your visitors every time they stop by.
5. Set off your live event by expressing thanks
When you host a live event, whether it’s a meeting of regional managers or a 5,000-person mega-conference, it’s important to show your gratitude to your attendees. Verbally thank them from the stage or the platform, multiple times if appropriate. While saying thank you goes a long way, giving gifts to your attendees is even better. Giving swag bags to event attendees is a popular practice, but make sure your swag bag is well thought-out and has items that your audience will appreciate and find useful.
“Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything. This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.” – Alan Cohen
6. Have a customer appreciation sale with a significant discount for their long-time support
A great way to appreciate your customers is to give them a special sale that’s just for them. Make sure they know that it’s an exclusive benefit – a ‘thank-you’ that’s just for you means much more than one that’s extended to the whole world. A customer appreciation sale should be a good sale – don’t give a small discount off your least-popular product. That sort of tactic is transparent to most people and won’t get you very far. A good sale just for your customers benefits you and them and is a great way to say thanks.
7. What goes around comes around
Showing your appreciation for others will cause others to want to show their appreciation to you. It’s a universal law that the way you treat others is the way you will eventually be treated. Call it sowing and reaping, call it karma, call it whatever you want – it always holds true. When you show humility and gratefulness in expressing thanks to others, others will go out of their way to recognize and appreciate your efforts and contributions. I’ve seen it time and time again – those that are constantly trying to get a pat on the back end up feeling unappreciated, while those who express genuine appreciation for others receive praise and thanks that they weren’t even looking for.
8. Increase your income and generate more sales
Showing gratitude will add to your bottom line. When your customers and clients know they’re appreciated, they’ll keep coming back. A customer that’s received a personal ‘thank you’ will overlook small issues that would otherwise turn them off. Sincere thankfulness is so rare, it will give you a key differentiation from your competition.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” – Zig Ziglar
9. Live a happier, more fulfilled life
Write in your journal what you’re thankful for nightly before going to bed. This practice will keep you centered and aware of all that you have to be grateful for. No matter how bad you think you have it, when you start focusing on being thankful, you’ll realize that you are very fortunate, have been given a lot and that you even have a lot to share with others. Wake up and give a whisper of thanks instead of a grumble or a complaint. Grateful people simply enjoy life more.
As you develop a lifestyle of gratefulness in your business, you will begin to experience unprecedented contentment, peace and satisfaction in your life. On top of that, you’ll see your profits increase and form lasting, important connections with successful others. You’ll begin to see the opportunity in every calamity and learn to conquer rather than to complain. With this attitude in action, you can’t help but succeed. In everything, give thanks. It’s one of the most important habits you’ll ever adopt.