Communication skills

The power of saying ‘thank you’ in business

- July 7, 2015 3 MIN READ

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.

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?