Archive for April, 2012

Thank You Goes a Long Way Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The desire to show our appreciation spans across all cultures and countries.  The phrase “thank you”, in its various forms, is a universal way of showing our gratitude.  Yet perhaps because we use this phrase so often in our daily lives, we may forget just how important and powerful of a tool it is, both in business and in life.

Why say thank you in the first place?  We say thanks because we acknowledge that the other person didn’t necessarily have to do what they did for us.  Your customer could have gone elsewhere for their product or service, for example.  By saying thank you, you are thanking them for their choice to support you and showing them why helping you was a good decision.

In business, demonstrating your gratitude is essential if you want to continue with a business relationship.  If a customer or client feels taken advantage of or simply “used” for their money, they are very likely to seek out alternatives to your product or service the next time around.  Long-term customers are hard to come by, so you should show your appreciation often and sincerely.

In life, saying thank you demonstrates that you appreciate the other person and do not feel entitled to their help or support.  This makes the other person feel valued and important.  Such positive emotions ensure that someone will have an incentive to support you in the future.  We are, by nature, emotional beings.

So how should you say thank you?  Sometimes we rely too heavily on a simple verbal “thanks”.  If you think about it, the spoken thank you is the easiest and cheapest way to express gratitude, but it may not be the most effective or lasting.  Because it is so easy to say, it may not seem particularly special or memorable to a client.

Consider the use of a personalized greeting card or some other tool that demonstrates that you took the time to think of them and what they mean to you.  Be specific about what you are thanking them for, so they realize that their support was both notice and appreciated.

Sending a card or small gift is relatively inexpensive, but its value is priceless when you consider its long-term implications.  Saying thanks is a win-win: you feel good, and they feel good.

Janet Hill Jackson

Gratitude Marketing Advocate

The BirdDog Group

 

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The Importance of Appreciation Friday, April 13th, 2012

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

We all know it feels great to know we’re valued, but how often do we remember to tell others that we appreciate them in return?  To energize yourself and others, make an effort to let people know – often and in detail – what makes them a valuable part of your life.

Tony Schwartz, author of an article entitled “Why Appreciation Matters So Much”, via the Harvard Business Review website, writes that whether employees feel their managers are truly interested in their wellbeing is the “single highest driver of engagement” according to a study by Towers Watson.  Unfortunately, less than 40% of employees feel that way.

Why the disconnect?  In the business world, we are a lot more used to doling out and receiving negative feedback, usually geared toward fixing problems.  Attempts at giving positive feedback and showing our appreciation can sometimes come off as awkward and contrived and contrived, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

To effectively show your appreciation to someone else, it’s important that you really have an understanding of their value to your life, job, or current situation.  While it may seem easier to point out what someone is doing wrong, most people (most of the time) are doing a good job.  So take notice!  Be as specific as your can with your praise and try to frame it from their perspective.  Write a note, shoot an email, or better yet, say it in person.  Look them in the eye and say “Thank you.”

Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”  If you’re still not convinced of the power of positive reinforcement, try to remember the last time someone told you they appreciated you or paid you a compliment.  If you’re like most people, you felt great and even energized. Show your appreciation now.

Janet Hill Jackson

Gratitude Marketing Advocate

The BirdDog Group

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