“Thank you” is one of the first things parents teach their children to say. You were probably taught this as well, I know I was. So why do we, as adults, forget to say these simple two words so often in business? You may be thinking that, as a business owner, you have so many other important things to do that saying thank isn’t a top priority – but here is why it should be.
Reasons you don’t say “thank you” enoughHere are a couple of reasons why you may not say “thank you” enough in your business:
You’re too busy You believe it isn’t necessary You don’t think to do it (or you forget) You think saying thank you is only for the big things People rarely thank you, so why should you bother? Although it is sometimes easy to forget to say these words, it is extremely important to do so, especially as a small business owner.
Benefits of thanking peopleThere is actually no downside to saying thank you. Think about it, can you remember a time when someone thanked you for something and you didn’t like it? Humans crave acknowledgement and we feel validated when we receive it.
People feel appreciated, respected and valued People get to share in the success they helped you achieve People feel acknowledged for what they do for you People may help again knowing that it is appreciated People remember who thanks them (and who doesn’t) One tip: please don’t say thank you as a ploy or strategy to gain something, only do it if you really mean it. Sincerity is an integral part of being thankful and if your thank you isn’t sincere, it will show. Also, you should thank someone because you want to do it. Don’t hope, or expect, to then be thanked in return – it’s not about keeping score.
Who you can thankNow you understand the importance of thanking people often in your business. But who exactly should you be using these magic two words with?
As a business owner, you can thank the following people:
Current clients or customers Prospective clients or customers Colleagues Business partners Anyone who helps you with your business By thanking the people above, you are increasing your chances of growing your business and building rapport with your connections. You can instantly improve your network in this way.
When to thank someoneThere are many social situations where you can say thank you to someone. In your own business, you can say these two words when someone:
Buys something from your business Gives you an interesting introduction Refers you to a client Gives you new ideas Shares valuable information with you (e.g. articles, websites, books) Saying thank you doesn’t have to cost a thing and it’s easy to do. However, you can spend a little money and give a small present, if you want to.
Ways to say thank youThere are a couple of ways that you can thank someone:
Simply say the words “thank you” (in person or via a phone call) Send an e-mail Send an e-card Send a WhatsApp or text message Send a brief thank you note (by post) Give a small gift (either in person or by post) However, the most important thing is that you do it. You should overthink the method too much – sometimes it’s best to just keep it simple.
Start thanking people todayOf course, it is always nice to thank people in a timely way and it is never too late. Do you know the expression, “Better late than never”? If you are thinking about someone who helped you with your business and you wish you would have thanked them for it, do it now.
When you thank people, you are showing your gratitude. This is an indirect bonus for you because feeling grateful feels good. Saying thank you acknowledges the other person, benefits your business, and is rewarding for you personally.
Gratitude makes a differenceIt may be difficult to measure exactly how saying thank you affects your business and I promise you, it does make a difference. The results may not be immediate and it is important to remember not to expect anything in return. Just trust that what goes around, comes around. Saying thank you is a habit and simply requires you to notice, and then acknowledge, the nice things people do for you and your business.
How do you like to say “thank you”? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below!