Always Say Thank You!

By on December 6, 2016

This is the second of three blog posts I am writing as part of a program with Staples to help small business owners make the most of the upcoming holiday season and to close out 2016 on a strong note. As always, I welcome your feedback, suggestions, and questions.

“The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Two simple words can often mean the difference between long-term success and mediocrity in business. In today’s competitive environment, few things make a company stand out more in the eyes of clients and customers than the words “Thank you.” It tells them “we appreciate you and your business,” “We are honored that you chose us,” and “We will do everything possible to make sure you have an enjoyable experience with our products or services.”

That’s a lot for just two words. Maybe it’s a lot because not enough people and companies say thank you correctly. As we approach the end of 2016 and with the holidays coming up, take the necessary time to properly thank your clients and customers for giving you the opportunity to serve them. Here are five ideas and suggestions to get you started:

  • Make it Unique – If you have a small list of clients, or if you have a VIP list of regular customers, you should know their likes and dislikes. By taking the extra time to select a gift that is personalized for them, it shows that you care about their business…and they will (or at least should) appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  • Don’t Overwhelm Them – The right gift for a client or customer is thoughtful and within a certain price range. You don’t want to give the appearance of trying to buy their business for the next year. If you have any questions about a gift, ask a colleague or friend who can help you avoid an awkward situation.
  • Be Timely – An end of the year gift given in the middle of January seems like an after-thought. Unless your client is out of town and won’t be back until the New Year, your objective is to have the gift to them before the holidays. In other words, start writing your list TODAY and have a deadline for purchasing and mailing the gifts to your clients.
  • Handwritten Notes are In – People like recognition. Carve out time during non-business hours and write handwritten notes to your clients to thank them for their business in 2016. Include a funny story or something memorable that happened during the year. It’s a great way to wrap up 2016—and transition into 2017. If you have any doubt about the effectiveness of a handwritten note, remember how you felt when someone took the time to write one to you.
  • Stop By Staples – I’ve been a fan of Staples since I launched my first company in 2002. The Staples Print & Marketing department has a ton of easy options for printing holiday cards and creating custom gifts, such as ornaments, mugs, invitations, posters, and banners. They can help your business say “thank you” in a personal way to all of your important customers. If you’re looking for last minute gifts, Staples allows you to create your card or gift online and pick it up in store which is the ultimate time-saver!

 

During the month of December, time becomes a precious commodity. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done on your To Do list. That’s why it’s important to prioritize saying thank you to clients. From a business perspective, you won’t find a better ROTI – Return on Time Invested. Happy Holidays and all the best to you and your business in 2017.

About Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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