How to use ‘Thank You’ & Gratitude to Motivate Your Networks

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Saying ‘Thank You’ is one of the most powerful and effective ways to generate business and stand out from the crowd.

I still remember receiving my first hand-written thank you card from someone who I had given a referral to.  It had a positive quote on the inside and a customised picture specific to their business on the front.

I was so touched that someone had taken the time to send this to me, it felt amazing to receive that card.  Ever since then I have integrated gratitude into my business and you can too!  It is one of the significant ways to help you to grow your business, such a small number of businesses do this really well.  Here are a few simple tips to help you integrate gratitude into your business.

Tip 1 – Set Thank You Goals

Why not set a goal for yourself and/or your team to send a certain number of ‘thank you’ cards per out week.  I recommend 5+ per week to get the best results.  Use your social media networks to thank others.  Saying thank you publicly can give the person you are thanking some great exposure if you share it with your networks, again set goals as to how many thank you messages you want to give each week or month.

Recognising people’s efforts motivates them to want to help you more. In addition, the word-of-mouth about you and your company will spread.  They will talk about you more, the card may even sit proudly in their office and you will be remembered for a very long time!  If you set goals around this activity it will soon become a habit and the amount of positivity coming back into the business will soon start to grow.

Thanking your network is a critical aspect of being an excellent networker.  It sounds really obvious and simple, but it is very rare to find in business.

Tip 2 – Compile a List of Who You Could Say ‘Thank You’ To

Think about all of the people that you interact with in your personal and business life.  To start with you could thank:

- Clients
- Suppliers
- Your Team or Colleagues
- People in your network
- Your referral partners
- Your mentors who influence you
- Your family and friends
- Journalists
- Twitter Followers, Facebook Fans & Linked Connections

How powerful would it be if every time a customer bought from you, they received a hand-written branded thank you card from you.  Do you think you might get more business this way?  I can guarantee you that it will have a massive effect on your sales pipeline.

Tip 3 – Opportunities to Say Thank You

Let’s first look at some everyday opportunities to say “Thank You”:

  • A brand new customer decided to use your product/service
  • An existing customer gave you repeat business
  • A member of your team went above and beyond the call of duty
  • A supplier exceeded your expectations
  • Someone gave you an excellent referral
  • You were given an amazing opportunity which has led to more business
  • A journalist published an article about your business
  • You were sent a gift by someone
  • You were given some really good advice by a mentor or business advisor
  • You were given some exposure online by a good contact
  • Someone wrote a great testimonial about your business
  • You were connected to a new contact and now have a great opportunity
  • You were invited to an event which was beneficial to you
  • Someone gave you a book to read which transformed your business
  • You heard a fantastic speaker who had a major impact on you

Have a look through this list, and if there is an occasion in this list which you can relate to why not decide to take action and send some thank-you cards out.  You do not need to look far for an opportunity to say thanks.

Tip 4 – How to Make Saying ‘Thank-You’ a Habit

You need to do something at least 21 times before it becomes a habit.  I recently came across a great new website called HabitForge.  You can put in a task that you want to become a habit, in this case you could enter ‘say thank-you’ and it will remind you to do this and keep you on task for the required number of days for it to become a habit.

To make it easy, you could have a stack of “Thank You” cards on your desk.  You can get customised branded cards printed up with a great royalty free image,  your logo on the inside or back of the card.

You could allocate a time slot in your diary weekly to say ‘Thank You’.  Friday is a great day of the week for this, why not finish off your week with a good gratitude session.  I suggest 4.00pm on a Friday afternoon and you will start your weekend feeling great!

Tip 5 – Different Ways to say ‘Thank You’

Saying ‘Thank You’ can come in many forms and some cost more than others.  Let’s look at some different ways to say ‘Thank You’:

  • Send Flowers, Chocolates or a gift voucher
  • Send a video email with a personalised message
  • Send them a book or CD of an audiobook
  • Send a hand-written letter
  • Give them a testimonial about their business
  • Offer your product or service free of charge
  • Take the person out for lunch, dinner or a round of golf
  • Send a Kindle e-book (they don’t need to have a Kindle for this by the way)
  • Blog about their business
  • Mention them on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn with a link to their website
  • Give them an experience – for example a Spa Treatment
  • Gift an App that you know they will love
  • Send them the amazing Quote Actions
  • Subscribe them to a magazine for their business
  • Send free tickets to an event

Think back to the last time someone gave you any of the above gifts, and I don’t mean for a birthday or anniversary present!  I mean in business.  How did it make you feel?  What impact could this have on your customers?  What impact could this have on the contacts in your network if you increased your level of activity in saying thank you?

Now think back to the last time that you gave any of the items on this list to others.  If you are struggling to think of a time, then it has definitely been too long!   The ripple effect that this creates in your network is incredible.

Recognition of people’s efforts, and showing gratitude for what they do for us, has really helped my business to grow.  More people remember and refer me because we are iin the habit of saying ‘Thank You’.

Tip 6 – Set Yourself a ‘Thank You’ Budget

This was an idea that I picked up from a great book “The Thank You Economy” by Gary Vaynerchuk.  Why not give your team a thank-you budget each year to empower them to give back and say thank you, it doesn’t have to be massive maybe €100 or so, for them to use to say thank-you throughout the year.

I hope that this blog post has inspired you to want to say ‘Thank You’ more, and if it has I would love to hear from you.  If you need any help with saying ‘Thank You’ then you can always tweet me @samrathling or leave a comment below.