When you purchase products and services how often are you appreciated for your purchase? Whether it was for an online purchase, a personal service or at a department store, how valued did you feel for giving them your business?
In all likelihood not that valued, right?
Sad as it is, this experience is commonplace in the marketplace today. Personally, I’m shocked at how little I see businesses appreciate their patrons. Service providers treat their customers like they’re an inconvenience rather than a privilege to serve. They treat them like income instead of individuals.And if you do this, you’re overlooking one essential factor when it comes to making money, because no matter how we evolve in commerce, money flows through people.
This is why gratitude is so essential to generating revenue long-term. With so many products and services competing for the same customers, having a unique selling proposition and memorable brand isn’t enough to stand out from the crowd and develop a loyal customer base.
It only takes only takes one bad experience, one cheaper option, or one persistent competitor for a client to decide to do business with someone else when you lack gratitude.
If you’re going to build a business that will enjoy lasting profitability, you can’t afford to leave gratitude out of your revenue building strategy. So, here are three reasons for (and ways to implement) this revenue builder in your business today.
1. When you express gratitude in your business you earn more.Think of the last time someone went out of their way to show appreciation for something you did. Now what if that person needed your help down the road, how likely would you be to help them? Pretty likely. And the same is true for your clients when you serve them with gratitude.
2. When your clients feel valued by you, they are less likely to complain about prices, to pay you late, or fuss over little things. They are also much more inclined to give you additional work, send you referrals, and develop loyalty to your business, which means more revenue for you.
3. When you recognize the positive domino effect that expressing gratitude has on your business, simply saying thank you, or going above and beyond to show your appreciation for their business becomes a no-brainier.
A few ways to easily integrate a dash of appreciation into your client communications include:
- Hand writing the words “Thank you!” on an invoice,
- Sending a thank you e-mail when you receive payment
- Periodically sending a handwritten note of appreciation via snail mail to your client.
You can also extend gratitude by offering special discounts or a bonus item from your products and services (along with a note expressing how much you enjoy serving them). This kind of extra mile appreciation is rare. If you do this on a regular basis, you will be unforgettable and adored by your clients. When you express gratitude in your business it keeps the competition at bay.
I don’t need to tell you how competitive business is today. As technology makes it easier for people to get into business, more and more options are made available to customers. Making a point to show your clients how much you appreciate them will instantly set you apart from your competitors because so few businesses do it.
And not only will you be memorable to a client when you show authentic gratitude, but you’ll build a margin for mistakes. Because sometimes things go wrong, and when they do, clients who feel valued by you will be far more willing to overlook them.
Of course, this does not give you a permit to make mistakes. Your aim should be excellence. But gratitude always lends itself to forgiveness in those cases. With a “mistake margin” working in your favor, you can prevent the loss of thousands of dollars in your bottom line that might have been lost to “mistakes.” A “mistake margin” keeps you profitable long-term. When you express gratitude in your business it fosters loyalty amongst your team.
Gratitude isn’t just for your clients but for your employees and independent contractors too. These people make your business what it is. Without them you wouldn’t be able to deliver on the promises you make to your clients. When you make a point to appreciate your team, they will go the extra mile for you when it counts the most. They will be much more likely to be there for you in a difficult time. Any time that you have an opportunity to commend your team – do it!
I believe I can attribute a significant percentage of my revenue to the fact that I’ve made a point to regularly appreciate my team. There have been multiple times when I’ve had a last-minute project or issue to manage, and my team gladly stepped up to deliver. It’s in those moments that I can see a direct monetary benefit in always making my team know how great I think they are.
If in reading this article you’re thinking, “Marlee, this is obvious.” I recommend you take heed. You see, the reason so few businesses demonstrate gratitude for their customers is that they take showing gratitude for granted. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your clients and employees owe you anything. Don’t develop a sense of entitlement towards the very people that make it possible for you to do what you do. Remember that your clients have a choice – and they chose you. Be grateful for that.
Increase your awareness in this area. Make a conscious effort to express gratitude more. Take these principles to heart. If you do, you’ll be thanking yourself all the way to the bank.
Marlee Ward (@MarlDBLe) provides business and marketing training to entrepreneurs who are tired of solving the same “old problems” the same old ways (using cookie-cutter systems, tactics, & tips). An attorney turned entrepreneur, Marlee’s made it her mission to help others use their God-given gifts for good and for profit – just as she has. If you’re ready to find out what happens when faith, business, and fun intersect, be sure to sign up for her free weekly business training that you can get via e-mail by clicking here.