Build Gratitude into Your Business in 10 Simple Ways
NATURAL COMMUNICATION STYLE.
Each person has a natural communication style.
Understanding yours can and will impact how effective you are when dealing with friends, co-workers and clients.
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We have heard over and over that practicing gratitude is good for our health, our happiness and our overall life satisfaction…but there’s more. It’s even good for business. There are three things that cost leaders and business owners MORE time, stress, frustration and money than anything else – regardless of the type of business you have.
1. Acquiring and keeping good people on your team
2. Acquiring and keeping your best customers
3. Reaching potential new customers
If we can find ways to help with these three things, then much of the rest takes care of itself. And with our schedules more packed than ever, and the eternal connectedness to all things technical, we seem to make less time to connect with people than ever before. So these important things suffer.
Connecting with the people that matter for your business and sharing a moment of gratitude can make the critical difference in their support and loyalty. So lets’ start there. Here are 10 things you can do today to express gratitude to those that have stood by you through thick and thin, when business was good and bad, the ones you rely on to get the job done time and time again.
1. Tell at least one employee or team member at work each day that you are grateful for what they do, and most importantly the impact they have. Making the time to do this personally and genuinely says almost more than the words.
2. Let your employees know that you value their insights or contributions by asking them to share their story, tips, methods, ideas etc. with others. This can be done informally at a team huddle or scrum, or formally at a team or employee meeting. You are basically letting them know that you value what they offer.
3. Book a one-on-one lunch or coffee time with EACH employee on your team at a different time – not when something is wrong, but just because. Time is an incredible gift, and time together lets them know that you value them. This is gratitude in action.
4. Send a birthday card with a personal note in it to ALL of your employees. Our president did this in one organization, and I made sure that she had personal information about each employee to include in the card. It was a simple act that had tremendous impact.
5. Call a small group of customers personally and tell them how much you appreciate that they have chosen you. I know you are busy, and this is a time commitment…that’s precisely why they will appreciate it. Even if you get voice mail – leave the short voice mail. How surprised will they be when they hear that you are NOT asking for more business, promoting an event or a product launch but simply saying thank you. You will stand out.
6. Reach out to your most difficult customers who have offered feedback or suggestions about how to grow or improve your business. Thank them for taking the time to share their thoughts and suggestions, and share with them the changes you have made as a result. Most customers don’t voice their suggestions – they simply walk away. These customers have given you a gift. Appreciate it.
7. Send a personal thank you note to customers who have referred your services to others. This is golden and you want to cherish their advocacy and championing.
8. Include an unexpected surprise with every order like a book, an article, an offer for something more, or even just a thank you letter with a picture of your team.
9. Give something to potential new customers to express your gratitude – an article, an idea, an opportunity to experience your services, or a meet and greet – with NO expectations in mind. No hard sell, no soft sell – just focus on doing what you do best and GIVE. Be grateful that they are sharing their time and attention with you.
10. Connect your prospects to others in your network that can help them. Be inspired by what they are working on and help them further their cause.
I know I said 10 things…here is one bonus with a direct line to helping your business. Be thankful to friends and family who have stood by you working long hours, through good days and bad…have listened, encouraged, and shaped along the way. Surprise them by taking some time off work to do something just with and for them – something that is important to them. And let them know that they are important to you. Without them – none of the rest matters, so take care of those closest to you.
Have a grateful day!
Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference