June 3, 2012

Appreciation Marketing – Answer That Prompting Before It Is Too Late

Those of you who know me understand what a prompting is.  A prompting is a thought that you have telling you to reach out to someone that you know and contact them.  The prompting may be because of an event in their life such as their birthday or anniversary, or it may be because you haven’t spoken with them in too long a time.  It is your responsibility to answer that prompting before it might be too late.

What do we mean by “too late”?  There is always tomorrow, right?  We have all had a friend or family member that we discover has died without us knowing of their passing.  Perhaps we thought of that person sometime in the recent past, but we always thought that there would be time in the future to contact that person and speak with them again.  Who thought that the future was so short that we wouldn’t have that time, and we would be too late with our attempt to contact the person?

In the June issue of The Costco Connection magazine, Wally Amos writes of “Old friends and Mentors” and discusses losing touch with them over time.  He discusses situations, including his first mentor, who passed away before he could tell the person goodbye.  Wally asks us: “Is there someone you need to call today?”  Missed opportunities abound in our lives everyday, opportunities to reach out and touch someone in a special way.

My best mentor in business took me under his wing and taught me not to be afraid to hire people smarter than I was, let them do their jobs, and encourage them to rise above their original position, even passing me on the importance ladder.  He taught me that no one is irreplaceable and that you should have your replacement ready at a moment’s notice.  Otherwise, you cannot be promoted as fast as you might be.  I did what he taught me, got my promotion, and later lost my best friend in business when he was killed by a drunk driver.

Sometimes it is a friend to whom you should reach out.  How often do we forget our friends?  We say: “They know how I feel about them; I don’t have to constantly tell them.”  Well, would it physically hurt you to tell them how you feel about them more often?  What if you never see them again; what if they need an uplifting comment from someone and you don’t provide it?  What if they start to believe that you just don’t care anymore?  Would you want them to pass away believing that?

We all have family, whether those to whom we are related or just those close enough to be family.  It doesn’t matter.  If you have someone, anyone, who comes to your mind, stop what you are doing and reach out to them and tell them how you feel about them.  Ask them how they are, pledge to stay in touch better, and take the steps to see, call, or write to them more often.  My daddy taught me: “Don’t write to someone when you can call; don’t call when you can go see them.”  Whatever is possible, do it.  Combine the methods and the messages, but make some sort of contact, and make it more often.

As Wally Amos, my mentor says: “Is there someone you need to call today?”  Then leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.  It will make both of you feel better about each other and about life, and the gesture will spread from there to others.  Thank you Wally for your inspiration.

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