November 20, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Are Thank You Notes for Business Only?

So you want to send thank you notes for business reasons; great, you should do so.  You should send these notes every time that you meet someone and every time that someone does something for you: gives you a referral, invites you to an event, gives you advice, or gives you a gift.  How about for becoming a new customer with your business or continuing to be a customer of yours?  What about for a holiday or birthday gift, or what about inviting you to a holiday party or other event?

Of course the answer to all of the above is affirmative; you should always send thank you notes to anyone who fits into any of the above situations, and even more.  When in doubt, send a note; you should always be known as the person who appreciates others, no matter how small the reason.  Everyone wants to be appreciated and feel like others care about them and their efforts.

What about your personal life?  Let’s say someone invites you to a holiday party, or gives you a holiday gift.  What about the family that invites you to have dinner with them or experience some holiday time with them?  This may not be business; this is personal.  What do you do in return?  How do you show your appreciation and your respect for someone else’s gestures?

We have discussed before that it is impossible to separate your business and personal lives.  What you do in one is reflected in the other; what you do in one is born out of what you do in the other.  Your customers and friends may be the same people; they may become one after they have first been the other.  Therefore, why not apply the principles of your business life to your personal one?  Do the same things for your friends that you do for your business contacts.

The art of the thank you applies to every part of your life, both business and personal.  Tom Hopkins teaches us that you should send a personalized, customized thank you note to everyone that you meet, that does anything for you, and that touches your life in some manner.  Tom teaches us to show appreciation to everyone, no matter who they are.  Everyone wants to be appreciated and wants to be noticed.  Just do it.

What about the politeness and courtesy factors?  Maybe it is time that we brought back those factors to our lives.  When you are polite and courteous, you will be a better person.  You will also spread those factors to others, bringing them to more and more people.  Karma teaches us that when we spread goodness around to others, it will be more evident to all and it will affect everyone, sooner or later.  If it returns to us, it is a result of our efforts towards others.

So as we enter the holiday season, perhaps we should practice some thanksgiving for the other people in our lives, the ones whose actions mean something to us and make our lives better.  Maybe their efforts are minor compared to others, maybe not.  What difference does it make?  They all deserve a simple thank you and a wish for goodness in their lives.  Try giving them a tip of the hat, a thank you for being there for you as you move through life.

So, how do you feel about all this?  Do you agree, or do you think this is all old-school?  Have we passed on from this type of living, or can we take a page from “how it used to be”?  Leave me your thoughts, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691, and let’s see if we can agree that Appreciation Marketing is a life practice, not just a business one.

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