May 29, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Doing The Right Thing

As we reflect on various points this Memorial Day weekend, we need to look at those who do the right thing.  What is that you ask?  Doing the right thing means doing what needs to be done, what should be done, without being asked, reminded, or told to do it.

One of the most familiar things that is the right thing to do is serving one’s country in a time of need.  Our service men and women are the best example of those who do the right thing and should be honored for that service.  Many of these men and women have served multiple tours, many without any hesitation to return for another.

Let us all take a moment this weekend to thank anyone that you know who has served or is currently serving this country in some manner.  Do not forget those who stay home, keeping the home and family together and waiting for their loved ones to return.  The spouses, the parents, and the children all are doing the right thing with their support, hopes, and thoughts.

What about those who volunteer to help in time of disaster, whether it is earthquake, tornado, or hurricane?  They are the doctors, nurses, firefighters, emergency personnel of all types, and just volunteers.  They are there when we all need them, doing the right thing, helping those who are in distress.

So, how about you just do the right thing and thank these people that you know?  Look them in the eye and say “Thank You” for their service, for their support, for their patience, and for their love.  All of this means so much in the whole picture, so thank them for their efforts.

However, we need to make an adjustment to this process.  While it is the right thing to make this effort during this period of reflection, there is more that we can do.  Why not do something on a daily basis?  These people make their effort each and every day; they don’t take off on vacations or holidays or weekends.

Here is the plan.  During this weekend, thank someone who is involved with sacrifice in some manner.  Then, during the remainder of the year, whenever you see them, or others, thank them again and again.  Make sure that they know that you care and that you are there for them if they need you.  Show them that you mean if.

Just like the other people whom we have previously discussed who have helped you in your life and for whom you should show appreciation, include these people in your daily efforts.  Your Appreciation Marketing makes you a better business person.  This same effort makes you a better person in general, improving your personal life.

It is impossible to split your business life from your personal life.  What you do in one is reflected and duplicated in the other.  It is like when my momma taught me that we didn’t have home manners and public manners.  We had one set for both parts of our life.  Make your personal life reflect your business life and your business life reflect your personal life.

This represents that karma process again.  What you do comes back to you, whether what you do is in your business life or your personal life.  Your life is your life, encompassing everything that you do, no matter where or when.  You are able to make your karma great, just by making your actions great.

For those of you who have left me your comments, called me with your opinions, or emailed me what you think, and believe, I thank you so much.  Even if you disagree with me, I want to have your comments, or you can call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at  Now go make someone’s day better.

May 22, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – The Power of the Thank You

One of the best Appreciation Marketing efforts costs us nothing.  We never will run out of this item, and we don’t have to store them anywhere but in our hearts and minds.  I’m talking about the simple, but powerful “Thank You”.

You thought that I was going to tell you about some secret item that you could use to make others appreciate you more and never forget how you treated them.  Well, I just did.  A simple “Thank You” is very powerful and makes you remembered by everyone who hears it from you.

First, a “Thank You” costs nothing but a little effort on your part.  All you have to do is open your mouth, form the words, and speak them, over and over.  These 2 simple little words can mean so much for so many people.  We all have heard them, but we need to use them so many times more.

Second, when do you use these magic words?  How about everywhere that you go, you can say them to everyone that you see?  How about the cashier at the market; how about the mechanic that works on your car?  There is always the person who makes your coffee drink or the person at the counter at the movie.

These people are everywhere that you go everyday of the week, all the time.  They provide a service to you or sell you a product.  All you have to do after they provide their service or product is say those simple words, “Thank You”.  Make it a habit, and make it today.

It is not enough to mouth the words; you need to put some feeling behind them.  Don’t let them ring hollow; make the person know that you mean what you say, with good feelings and sincerity.   A smile on your part might even get a smile in return.  Then, both of you will feel great.

“Thank You” can be one of the most important phrases that you ever use.  It shows that you appreciate whatever the person did for you, no matter how small their effort, no matter how little money, if any, changed hands, no matter how you or they feel physically.

So start today, right now, say “Thank You” to someone, anyone, and repeat the words to everyone that you see, with whom you interact.  See who you add to the list.  What about the person on the phone, the person who you call, the person who calls you?  Use these simple words on all of them.

So what do you get back for all this effort on your part?  You should never give anyone anything with the intent of getting something in return.  Give to give, not to get.  That is the basis of karma.  Do good for someone else, and good will return to you from somewhere at sometime.

Our days are filled with opportunities for you to show appreciation to others.  Everyday, with everyone that you meet, you are marketing yourself.  Make everyone know that you are someone who gives to others, helping others to have a better day.  You will be surprised who you can help to succeed, and how this will return to help you succeed.

Please leave me your thoughts on this.  Maybe we can exchange stories, or you can call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at  I thank you in advance for your comments and for being better people.

May 15, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Looking Back In Order to Go Forward

We all know that it costs us 10 times as much in time and money to obtain new customers as it does to keep the ones that we already have as clients.  What about those persons who are not already clients but are within our personal sphere of influence?

In his book “Endless Referrals”, Bob Burg discusses the 250 person sphere of influence that everyone has and how, when we meet someone new, we can tap into their sphere of resources.  Well, what about the sphere of influence that all of us already have?  We must not ignore that personal group that we all have at our fingertips.

This group includes our family members, friends, networking partners, former clients, and all those other people that are we know.  It also includes all your current customers.  Do we ignore them and go prospecting for new acquaintances, or do we focus our attention on them?

These are the exact persons for whom Appreciation Marketing works best.  They are the persons who already know you and how you treat others with respect.  Your relationship with them should be memorable and based on good thoughts toward you.  They should believe in you and your method of operation as a person.

Do these people consider you to be someone with whom they will do business again?  Did the former relationship end well, and did the former client believe that you appreciated their business?  Is the current relationship based on mutual appreciation?  Would the current client be agreeable if they could do it over again?

If these persons believe that you are a real networking partner, then you should able to approach them about your business now.  You should be able to tap into this market and develop some valid new prospects.  You should be able to reinstitute some former relationships, and receive some excellent referrals to new clients.

Maybe you have not paid enough attention to these people, these possible advocates for you.  If so, then it is time that you did.  It is never too late to say thank you for past relationships and past good deeds.  It is never too late to contact someone and see how they are doing and to see if you can do something for them.

Reach out and touch someone today that is in your group.  You may contact someone to whom you are close, or you could contact someone that you haven’t spoken with in too long a time.  It doesn’t matter; do it as soon as possible.  Every day that you wait will make it harder, but not impossible.  You will be a better person for it.

Karma means that when you reach out to someone you will receive goodness back from somewhere.  It does not mean that the person to whom you reach out will jump into your client list, if they are not there already.  It does mean that something will come to you from somewhere.  Try it for yourself; you will like the result.

This is not the time for pride to get in your way or for you just to look at this as a way to generate more business.  It is the time to do the right thing and make someone’s day better.  Make someone smile and make your self feel great at the same time.

Do you have some comments on your own experiences?  Leave them, or call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at  Who knows?  Maybe we have some situations or contacts in common.

May 8, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Drive-bye Networking

How many of you attend at least one networking event each month?  Maybe you attend one a week, or even a different one each day.  In addition to these meetings, I try to meet as many people as possible for a networking coffee chat after meeting them at an event, or if they were referred by one of my networking partners.

Recently at one of these networking events, someone provided a presentation of their business for the group’s information.  It was the presenter’s first and only attendance at one of the group’s meetings.  I consider this to be what I call “drive-bye networking”.

We all agree that people do business with others that they know, like, and trust.  How do you build that level of knowledge about anyone when you meet them for the first, and maybe the only, time?  I firmly believe that meeting with a person individually and getting to know them is better than attending a one time presentation.

If you want to gain business through the referrals of your networking associates you must be known as someone who is reliable.  You should be a continuing attendee of a networking group, contributing to, and participating in that networking group.  Others want to know that you will be there when they need you.

That does not mean that you must attend each and every meeting of a group.  However, you continued attendance, and support, should be the norm and not the exception.  We all accept that business does come first, but we can support our networking group’s partners even when we are absent.

Now, what about someone who comes to a group as a guest speaker?  They should be recommended by someone in the group, or by the group’s leader.  Make the time to meet with them individually and get to know them better.  Perhaps you may need to meet with others more than once or twice to accomplish a level of comfort.  Take the necessary steps to find out if your reputation will be intact when recommending anyone.

The term “drive-bye networking” can be applied to individual meetings also.  This is when the other person arrives late to a meeting, announces that they only have 15 minutes to meet, asks no questions about you or your business, or engages in a “hard sell”.  They may even cut the meeting off as you are trying to learn what they do.

This person makes you feel somewhat used, and you know that they do not value relationships.  I will never recommend someone to anyone else if I do not know, like, and trust them.  Neither will I recommend someone who I do not believe will value the time or business of anyone else.  My reputation is too valuable to me.

Remember we are more than what we say to others; we are also known by how we treat others.  Appreciation Marketing is the practice of treating others with respect, giving to give, not to get, and helping others improve their lives.  Good karma is a very powerful networking tool to use each and every day.

I would like to solicit your thoughts from your experiences with networking groups.  What are your beliefs on this topic?  Please let me have comments; you may also call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at  In addition, maybe we will find some new networking groups that we can recommend to others.

May 1, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Random Acts of Kindness

This past weekend I attended an open house and grand opening at the business of one of my network partners.  This is a relatively new business venture for a very nice couple who are quite professional and quick learners of Appreciation Marketing.

The several attendees present were very supportive of the business and wanted to contribute to its success through their attendance at the event.  Their attendance indicated their support for the couple’s vision and integrity and demonstrated how anyone can show appreciation for others by spending a small amount of time and effort.

The hosts’ supporters donated items of various value levels for a prize drawing and food for the event’s attendees to enjoy.  The business owners announced both the prizes and food with an appreciative reference to the donating person and their business.  If the donating individual was present, they were recognized for their generous contribution with a short promotion of their business.

This was a mutual appreciation for each other in a networking partnership.  Both the business owners who were holding the event and those who supported them, either through their attendance or their donations to the event, were engaged in Appreciation Marketing.  Mutually, they gained through their giving to others.

During the drawings for prizes, the donator of one of the prizes and the host decided not to award this prize to a drawing ticket holder but to a young child who was in attendance.  They publically recognized her as the youngest attendee and presented her with a very appropriate gift making a young girl very happy.

This random act of kindness reflected the integrity of both the host of the event and the person who donated the prize.  Random acts of kindness are great ways of showing appreciation to others.  We often discuss doing the right thing.  This was an opportunity to do something that was the right thing, and was a random act of kindness.

Each and everyone one of us has the opportunity every day to perform random acts of kindness.  Sometimes it is within the bounds of our business, sometimes it is outside our regular business duties.  Sometimes it is just what we should do if we stop and think about life.

As you go about your day, each and every day, think outside the box, use your imagination, and see what random acts of kindness that you can perform.  You will discover that they stop being random as your days go by.  They will become part of your Appreciation Marketing process, something that you do everyday, all day.

Look at what you did yesterday and what you will do each day.  Whose life can you impact in a positive manner, often for a small, inexpensive cost for you?  Then do the right thing; show your appreciation for someone else, perhaps for just their smile.  You will find that your kindness will return to you from unexpected places.

Want to share your experiences?  Leave your comments, and maybe I’ll include your stories in a future posting.  If you wish, call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at  I would like to hear what you have to share.  Who knows, maybe we have some experiences in common?