Saying “thank-you” isn’t just good manners. It’s actually an incredibly powerful marketing tactic.
Take this small example: I was talking to a friend of mine this morning about her recent experience giving birth in a local hospital. The small details of her stay impressed her – the way the nurses always introduced themselves at the beginning of a shift, the way the doctor wiped her face with soothing towels after the delivery, the overall level of care.
In appreciation, she wrote a letter to the hospital management, naming those individuals she felt had contributed to her stay, and thanking everyone involved.
The administration called the doctor and other staff in, and personally congratulated them on receiving such a glowing thank-you letter.
The doctor then called my friend to thank her for writing the thank-you letter.
“It was nothing,” she replied.
“Oh, no,” said the doctor. “It was very much something. You see, we almost NEVER get thank-you letters. We’re far more accustomed to letters of complaint. People just don’t think to write when they have a good experience.”
And here’s where the marketing comes in.
When was the last time you sent a thank-you letter out? To a supplier? A client?
People like to know that they’re appreciated. And being thanked is just unusual enough these days to turn into a talking point.
What if one of your suppliers gets you a great price on an order and delivers it on time in the face of the proverbial impossible deadline?
Send a letter (a real one, on paper) and acknowledge the effort. Sure, you’re paying for that effort, but it’s not all about the money.
Business is also about being a mensch – a good person. Showing others that you value your working relationship and care about their input puts you on a different footing with them.
Don’t say thank-you and look for an immediate payback. Just say thank-you because it’s the right thing to do and you mean it.
But know this. Next time you’re in a bind, that same supplier will remember that you treated her well, and she’ll do whatever she can to help you out.
And she’ll tell her friends about you. And she’ll recommend you to potential new customers.
Because if you appreciate others, they’ll appreciate you. And everyone wants to do business with the nice guys.