Expressing thanks regularly and doing it well is one of the most profitable business strategies you can have.

Study after study reveals that when you say “Thank you” to your customers, they both spend more money and tell their friends about the exceptional service and products you deliver, increasing your profits. Volumes chronicle how employee productivity zooms when appreciation is expressed, raising your margins. Vendors go the extra mile to extend credit and deliver “just in time” when they hear gratitude regularly, and keep your cash flowing.

Giving thanks works in business. It’s overwhelming how well it works at Executives’ Association. It is the foundation upon which we are built, and it shows each and every Tuesday morning at our meetings. All of us listen intently and with sincere interest as the members share appreciation and related stories about how the other members have helped their businesses and their families the previous week. We leave each week with a feeling of genuine pride for being part of such a special group, a close network, a second family. We are fortunate indeed, and have so many reasons to be grateful.

Here are some effective and efficient ways for you to express gratitude to the important players in your business’ success:

Be specific in your thanks. It’s one thing to say, “I appreciate what you did today. Thanks a lot.” That’s a soap-bubble comment. Pretty while it lasts, but gone in seconds. It’s general and vague. When you thank them for something specific, that’s Velcro. That’s a thanks they remember because it sticks. You hook your gratitude to something the employee did. For instance, an employee just handled a difficult phone call with a customer really well. Thank them for that specific activity.

Appreciate the process. Target your appreciation on what the employee or vendor did. Let’s go back to the worker who took the phone call. Avoid telling the employee, “Thanks for helping me keep that customer.” That’s just an outcome that benefits you. Say, “I like how you hung in there when that customer was being difficult. You were really patient and respectful.” The same type of strategy goes for vendors. Give thanks for doing something that was an extra-mile effort for them, recognizing the above-and-beyond work. It’s about them, not you. Showing that you know something about them, and that you’re able to place yourself in their shoes, is incredibly valuable. Connect your gift-giving with life beyond the business walls. If a vendor became a grandpa, give him a copy of “Goodnight, Moon” to read to the little one. If an employee’s mother died of breast cancer this year, make an end-of -the-year donation to Race for the Cure in her name. Such intimacy breaks the relationship ice in a transformational, not just transactional, direction which is the game-changing pathway to greater profits.

Go old school with your thanks. In this pixelated world of emails and texts, Facebook and Twitter, the simple and quick act of writing a handwritten expression of gratitude can go a long way. There’s something special today about a handwritten note. Just say, “I know you could do business with others, but you chose us. Thank you! We treasure our relationship.” Remember, your Executives’ Association of the Palm Beaches has pre-printed thank you notes and envelopes for you to pick up at breakfast each Tuesday. There’s space for you to add your own short note, and it couldn’t be quicker or easier.

When your gratitude is sincere, and you express it, your business will likely say “Thank you” back to you as you increase your profits year-round.

shared by Alison Pruitt
Executive Director Palm Beaches