November 26, 2016

The Gratitude Challenge

Showing our gratitude towards others is the basis for Gratitude Marketing. It is a proven truth that showing gratitude towards others for what they do for us or other people is so much better than our own proclamations about how great we are, or our businesses are, or our products or services are. Everyone wants, and likes, to be noticed and thanked for our actions towards other people.

Thanking others for what they do, for us or for other people, brings rays of sunshine into everyone’s lives. It makes people walk taller, smile more, and just feel better about themselves and the people who provide these words of thanks. Everyone can benefit from words of appreciation and gratitude, and no one dislikes hearing the magic words: “thank you”.

Obviously our customers should be objects of our gratitude. We should all show gratitude for our customers’ orders, their repeat orders, and especially when their order is a recurring one. Furthermore, we should show our gratitude when customers refer someone else to us as a prospect, whether or not that prospect becomes a customer.

Besides our customers other people who should receive our gratitude for their actions should include anyone who provides referrals to us. These referrals may come from people who will never order from us, but believe that we can help someone who they know. These networking partners will base their referrals on their relationships with us and how we make they believe that we are people that they can trust to treat their referrals well.

What about total strangers? We all observe acts of kindness every day being performed by total strangers who we may have never formally met, whose names we do not know, and who should receive some gratitude for their actions. These people who have done something which we have observed should be praised by someone, and we don’t believe that their actions should go without being noticed and applauded.

Anyone who has employees must practice these same actions in return for whatever our employees do for our customers, for us, and for anyone else. Their status as employees does not preclude that we should show them gratitude for what they do each and every day. Loyalty is an employee trait that will help build the success of any business, and showing gratitude for employees and their actions can strengthen that loyalty and performance.

How about a gratitude challenge? Why not over the next 30 days we all try to show our gratitude to as many people as we can? It doesn’t matter if they are prospects, customers, clients, total strangers, former customers, or employees; try to express gratitude to as many people as possible over the next 30 days. Then see what results are from all this Gratitude Marketing, because that is what it is.

Gratitude Marketing provides us the framework to build a business’ success. It makes us to become more observant of the actions of others, and it is the way to build that success through karma. Whatever we put forth in our lives is what we will receive back, good for good, and bad for bad. Before we know it, this gratitude challenge may even spread around the world and be the basis for a revolution of kindness. Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

November 20, 2016

Simple Politeness

Previously we discussed that when someone does anything for us, or we observe someone doing something for someone else, we should thank them for that effort. People who perform a service for anyone should be recognized for that service, no matter who they are. To do so is an act of simple politeness.

If someone asks us for information that we provide to them, we have the right to expect a thank you for the information that we have provided. If the request is made in the form of an email rather than in a face-to-face verbal inquiry, the requestor frequently never thanks the responder for the information that they receive.

If their inquiry was made verbally in a conversation, would they just walk away without any reply at all? The use of an email for the original inquiry does not provide an excuse for not replying to the email which answers the original request. Simple politeness demands that we take the step to thank others for what they do for us.

What else do we not do in our business lives that would fall under the expected aspects of simple politeness? How about thanking our customers for being our customers? Shouldn’t we issue each customer a “thank you” when they buy from us, when they put money into our pockets? Gratitude for our customers’ business is so much more potent in the business-customer relationship than when we promote how great we are as a business or how wonderful our products or services are.

If one of our customers refers someone else to us we should thank the referring customer for trusting us to treat their referral as well as we did them. If the referred person does not become our customer, is that the fault of the referring person, or is that our job to make the referral work? We still should show our gratitude for the referral.

What about the customer who becomes a client who buys from us on a continued basis, who periodically orders, or who is on an automatic renewal with our company? They deserve special thanks and recognition. An expression of gratitude is not only appropriate; it should be expected. To do less is taking the customer for granted, the first step that will result in our losing the customer in the future.

Everyone likes to be noticed and appreciated for what we do. As business people we want to receive the thanks of our customers for offering such great products or services at such great prices. We also want to be recognized for making the customer buying experience as enjoyable as we can. Is it too much for our customers to expect some simple politeness from us towards them? Shouldn’t we treat them as we would want to be treated by everyone with whom we do business, or just encounter every day?

Gratitude Marketing provides us the means to show simple politeness towards others. It is not a new and complicated process. It is not revolutionary or a secret means of building a business. It is just doing what we want others to do, showing gratitude for those actions we all perform during the day. It doesn’t matter if we are the giver or the receiver of this great karma, we all can benefit from simple politeness and a warm thank you. Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

November 13, 2016

Fighting to Get Customer Service

Anyone whose business is successful provides great customer service. If we don’t, we will fail eventually. Customers just do not have the time or energy to put up with anything less than decent customer service. What is the level of customer service that a customer will allow us to sink to before they take their business elsewhere?

Businesses may brag about their great customer service. They don’t ever say that they only give adequate customer service, and they will also never say that their customer service lacks anything positive. The big question is do businesses live up to their bragging about their customer service, or do they fail to address the problems with their service which disappoint their customers?

There are businesses with great customer service, and there are the ones with little if any customer service. Then there are businesses that fall somewhere in between the great and the ones who do not even know the definition of customer service at all. Why does any customer put up with anything less than receiving great customer service? Why does anyone support businesses whose employees do not even do their jobs?

Recently I had the occasion to complain to an international company about the service that I was receiving. I called their customer service representatives and stated my problem, which had been ongoing for some time. Previous attempts to resolve the problem were met with promises which were not kept, and I believed that I was being ignored. I had to demand to speak to a supervisor about my problem when the representative refused to deviate from the same marketing script which I had endured on several previous calls.

When I finally was able to discuss my problem with a supervisor, I threatened to take my business elsewhere if my problem was not resolved to my satisfaction. Since I have been a customer of this business for over 10 years, I believed that I was due to receive something other than a brush-off.

The supervisor listened to my problem, agreed that I should have not been ignored previously, made sure that I knew that he was sympathetic to my feelings, scheduled a service call at my home, at no charge to me, and responded favorably to my question if there was basis for reducing my monthly billing. After the service call, my problem was now resolved, in a professional manner, and I thanked and praised the service representative directly and to his supervisor.

While my problem was finally resolved, and my monthly billing now is less than it was previously, I still believe that the company needs to look at making changes to their customer service policy. They need to teach their representatives to listen to their customers’ problems, exhibit some sympathy to their customers, and offer solutions instead of a script of denials. A long term client should be rewarded, not insulted.

Through Gratitude Marketing we have the opportunity to build our customer base greater than we ever dreamed. We also have the opportunity to move customers to become clients and enjoy their referrals which will increase our success and prosperity. It is just good karma, but they should not have to fight to receive customer service of any level. Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

November 6, 2016

Opportunity Knocks, Part 2

Previously, we discussed the opportunities which suddenly appear to us and are not a result of our own marketing efforts. These opportunities do not result from our planning, our prospecting, or our marketing in general. They may include chances to discover prospects which appear out of nowhere but who may make us more successful than we believed possible.

As a result of the previous blog discussion on these “surprise” opportunities, I had several conversations with various readers regarding how to recognize and respond to these types of chances for business. I must say that to my amazement, some business people with whom I spoke are just not as astute as I would hope all of us to be. Some people would not recognize a business opportunity if it walked up to them and slapped them in the face.

We all are very busy people, making plans, going to appointments, marketing to each and every person whom we meet. However, we really do not market to everyone in an alert manner. Actually we miss many chances to discuss what we do and inform other people of what our business actually does. The fact that we do not see these people as prospects does not mean that they may not know someone else who is a great opportunity for us. They may even be great prospects for our business.

I had the occasion recently to attend some meetings of groups with which I have never networked and nor do I belong to any of these types of group. I was stunned that some of the attendees were “distant” to newcomers almost to the point of rudeness. They did not introduce themselves voluntarily, refrained from engaging in any level of conversation, and never offered any effort to even say hello in many cases. It was not just me with whom they did not network, but other new attendees to their groups.

These types of networkers are just the people who need to practice some Gratitude Marketing. They are literally practicing negative marketing and driving away any possibility of developing any relationships which might bring them referrals or new business of any sort. Not only would I never recommend any of them to anyone, I would also never recommend their meetings for anyone to attend.

Not recommending them to anyone else is easy since I never received any information from them. However, someone might attend their meetings with the aim of developing relationships with other newcomers who are also being ignored by the regular members. This would be like starting a subgroup of disenchanted people within the main group. Maybe that idea has some merit.

We all must be more aware of these opportunities which will appear “out of the blue” and take advantage of them. We would not want to appear rude and asleep when they present themselves to us. If nothing else, we should treat these chances to build our businesses like “found money” and know that they are a return on our karma.

Gratitude Marketing offers us the opportunity to build our reputation as caring, honest, ethical, and giving business people. It also brings us the karma of opportunities “out of the blue” which we may not ever anticipate in our planning. We must be alert to these chance happenings and never ignore them. To do so would be detrimental to our business and might even be perceived as rude by others. Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.