It’s simple. It’s polite. And it’s powerful. The phrase “thank-you” is more than just good manners, it’s an amazing tool that all of us possess, yet not enough of us utilize. And, thanking others is a way to strengthen our relationship with them.
Whatever the “occasion”, a good old-fashioned “thank-you” note is as easy as it gets. In our electronic age of emails, voicemails, cell phones and online networking, a hand-written note is truly rare and stands out. As a refresher, here are seven “occasions” to say “thank-you”:
1. Send Kudos to a Colleague.
If someone you know has done something noteworthy — perhaps they were in the local paper or they volunteered at a charity event or just received a promotion — send your congratulations and a comment on their achievement.
2. Show Customer Appreciation.
The best marketing advice around is to value your customers — they are your business. You can welcome new customers, thank long-standing customers for their continued commitment and attract new customers all by simply saying “thanks for your business.”
3. Value Those Who Are Virtual.
To enrich an online connection even further, take a moment to send a note to a friend on Facebook, follower on Twitter or connection on LinkedIn. Thank them for being a part of your community or for participating in a blog discussion or for sharing their perspective. This can be especially effective for reaching out to potential clients as well as gaining visibility with web “celebrities” and experts.
4. Acknowledge Advice.
Ever get a great suggestion or tip from someone that really paid off? Did you thank them for the information? Well, we all get advice from time to time — some of it personal and some of it professional. Expertise is achieved with hard work and sacrifice, so show your appreciation for useful or helpful advice by jotting a quick note of thanks and telling the person how it has helped you.
5. Praise People.
We all need to feel that we matter and that what we do matters to others. Don’t skimp on your praise for others. Be quick to acknowledge a job well done, a great idea, a recent promotion, or extra effort by someone you work with — either in the same office, a vendor or business associate.
6. Remark on a Referral.
Word of mouth is the best advertisement for your business — that is, if it’s positive. Remember to thank those who refer business to you. Make sure they know how much you value them so they don’t feel that their contribution is unappreciated.
7. Salute Good Service.
Many of us complain about bad service, but do we take the time to be thankful for outstanding service? If someone at the bank is especially helpful, if the person waiting on you at your favorite restaurant makes your experience exceptional or if a vendor goes above and beyond to get your order right and on time — these are all opportunities to say “thank-you.”
Thanking others can take many shapes and forms — everything from a quick “thanks” for making an introduction at a networking meeting to a more detailed thanks for something truly above and beyond that someone did for you.
Just for fun, try looking for reasons to thank others for a day or even a week. Challenge yourself to write one thank-you note each day or week — don’t worry about your handwriting or having the perfect cards or stationery. Keep it short and sincere — and then send it.
When you take advantage of each opportunity to say “thank-you”, you’ll find that not only will you make others feel good about themselves and what they do, but you’ll feel good, too.
Who can you thank today? Share your thoughts and experiences below in the comments.