Marketing / Communication skills

The power of saying ‘thank you’ in business

Would you like to get more referrals than ever before? Or have suppliers go way above and beyond the call of duty? Mastering the art of thanking others could bring amazing results.

8 July 2015 by

Last year I did a major website redevelopment. Towards the end of the project, everyone was getting a little tired and emotional (as is normal on any large project).

My web development team had really gone above and beyond the call of duty and to say thanks I made a special ‘care package’ and sent it over.

Now this care package was made up of: Beroccas, chocolate, headache tablets, earplugs, coffee, No Doze tablets, a book of jokes, condoms (don’t ask) and all kinds of weird and wonderful things (some I can’t even list here). In the card I wrote a simple message thanking them all for putting in such an amazing effort and for going the extra mile to create an extraordinary site.

I got a call from Nicky, one of the company owners, as soon as the package arrived and something she said stuck with me: “Andrew you are really good at saying thank you”.

Saying thank you in business situations is not something I’d ever given much thought before but I do really love saying “thank you” and going out of my way to do something special or different to acknowledge how much I appreciate someone’s help or support.

In the past I’ve done everything from sending a client a thousand dollar bunch of flowers, to sending my publishers a box with 847 Freddo Frogs to celebrate my seventh book with a total of 847 tips we had published together. I’ve sent Red Balloon gift vouchers, baby clothes, framed books, spa treatments, other people’s books, Lego kits and so on. And after Nicky saying I’m good at saying “thank you” I started to notice other people say the same thing and I realised that this was a big part of my philosophy in doing business.

"When you run a business there are a lot of people to thank. How you thank them could have more of an impact on your business than you realise."

Now, why do I do this? Well there are two reasons. The first is that I really do love to give people gifts, especially well thought out ones that show I have listened to things they have said. And secondly, because it is simply good business. To show someone that you appreciate them, more than just sending a generic scratch and win ticket is very special and it makes people stop in their tracks to think about the gift and the relationship. It feels really good to be appreciated.

My guiding rules around gift giving to say “thank you” are simple:

  1. Put some thought into the gift; make it personal.
  2. Wherever possible have some fun with it.
  3. It’s not about the amount you spend, it;s about the relevance of the gift.
  4. Always include a note saying how grateful you are for their help and support.

Who should we be thanking?

Well for me I thank my suppliers, my customers, people who refer me business, my joint venture partners – really anyone who plays a role in my business.

Now I’m not saying you need to go out and spend a thousand dollars on every customer. Sitting down and writing a card to say “thank you” is also a wonderful (and powerful) expression of gratitude. I am very blessed to receive a lot cards from people I work with, mainly those who I coach in book writing. Everyone single card I receive is extremely special to me, I keep them all, and I’m grateful to receive them.

Sometimes simply picking up the phone (yes I’m suggesting talking to another human being) and saying “thank you” to someone who has helped you, supported you, referred you or just been really loyal to you, is the most powerful and sincere way of showing your gratitude.

We live in a world where doing business is becoming more emotive. We know words like kindness, vulnerability and courage are the new power words. I think gratitude also deserves a prime position amongst these other power words. Show your gratitude at every single opportunity – it’s wonderful for business and even better for your soul.

Are you big on saying ‘thank you’ in business. Do you have a preferred method?

Andrew Griffiths

has developed an international reputation as one of the leading global entrepreneurial authorities. His books and articles are considered street smart wisdom, designed to both inspire and challenge conventional thinking.

Comments

  • Lucinda Lions

    I can say from first-hand experience, you really are the master of sending personal thank you gifts. All your points are spot on, especially this one: “It’s not about the amount you spend, it’s about the relevance of the gift”. Thanking people, gift or not, is such a simple and powerful gesture. We should all do it more often, not just in business. 🙂

    • Haha – well thank you Lucinda. The reason I laugh of course, is you are one of the best people I know for saying thank you. I have a framed picture of Sir David Attenborough to prove it. But thank you so much for your lovely comments – Andrew X

  • I agree with Lucinda. You are very, very good at showing your appreciation and it’s very nice to be on the receiving end of!

    • Thank you Kelly. With you have a lot to say thank you for. Cheers – Andrew X

  • Tracey Grady

    Great article, Andrew. I remember seeing you speak at a conference about 3 years ago. Afterwards I wrote you a quick email thanking you for your talk and mentioning the value I got from hearing you speak. You wrote back and it was clear how much you appreciated the message. It’s good to be reminded of the goodwill that can be generated by simple gestures like a personal thank you.

    • Thanks Tracey – I did appreciate your message very much. In fact I appreciate every kind message, email, card, comment – and I do my best to acknowledge each and every one of them. So thank you for taking the time to write such a nice comment here Tracey. Cheers – Andrew

  • Anetta Pizag

    I really enjoyed reading this article Andrew …
    Yesterday I received a notification that the Art of Storytelling site is now up. I downloaded the workshop transcript, and my jaw dropped. This document alone is priceless! Not only your event was amazing, but also the follow up. I was hesitating which was the best platform for saying thank you for this … and now I read this article 🙂 Thank you Andrew.

  • looking for some new ideas for marketing my new start-up, and I find this lovely article… I take notes and realise it is a perfect compliment for my new business. Eventually, I click on the Author out of interest, and realise it has been written by my old friend Andrew Griffiths from Cairns! (Remember me? Phaedra Barrett). Hope you are well Andrew!

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