gratitutdeNothing makes a stronger statement to your clients than “thank you.”  Thank you is part of the customer experience. “Thank you” demonstrates appreciation, builds loyalty, and personalizes the relationship.  After all, if you are not truly grateful for your client’s decision to enter into a business relationship with you, it is only a matter of time before your client will realize you expect their business and you don’t value it.  “Thank you” is the easiest and most sincere way to initiate your gratitude for the opportunity to establish and continue a valued business relationship.

Saying thank you does not need to be overly hyped and it certainly must be presented as genuine and authentic.  Once your entire team discovers the power of gratitude with each other, their clients, and their suppliers you will discover an organization that appreciates everything everyone brings to the business on a daily basis.  Like every great cultural shift, the commitment to saying “thank you” starts with leadership.

Here are several simply ideas that you and your organization can begin to initiate in its commitment to showing client gratitude every day:

1.       “Thank you for inviting us in to your office today to discuss…”: This is a great way to begin any and every sales call.  Note the words “thank you” and “invite.”  These are key.  They did not have to meet with you.  They chose to meet with you and you must be appreciative of that opportunity.

2.       “Thank you for calling me today and making me aware of your concern regarding…”:  When I call in looking for help, I am giving someone an opportunity to do their job effectively and help me solve a problem.  The least they could do is take the time to thank me for calling in and looking for assistance.  After all, I had the option of simply moving on to another supplier.

3.       “Thank you for giving our team your confidence and trust in the project…”:  Call this fantasyland; but, I would love it if every executive took the time to hand write a short “thank you” note to every decision maker following the awarding of a project, contract, job or purchase order.  When a leader in a company takes time to say “thank you” to a client, it demonstrates they are connected to the business and to the client.

4.       “Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to making this business a success…:” This is another demonstration of gratitude more leaders need to show to their burned out, overworked, and committed team.  How hard is it to occasionally recognize the effort and passion of your internal clients?  As the economy improves, more of your good team members will have increased options to take their talents elsewhere.  The best time to thank them is now.

5.       “Thank you for taking time to meet with me today.  I wanted to take this time to simply share with you my appreciation for our business relationship.”: Nothing says commitment and gratitude than the executive team making personal visits to key customers to simply thank them for the relationship.  These meetings do not need to be fancy, elegant, drawn out, or complicated.  Schedule thirty minute meetings at your clients’ offices and thank them for making your business possible.  This is the most productive use of your executive title and it puts you in front of the people who invest in and know your business intimately.  Building an intimate connection with them only strengthens the business relationship.

Gratitude is not hard.  Gratitude is simply an honest commitment to showing appreciation to your customers. There are many ways to show your gratitude.  The most important thing to remember is to show your gratitude.  Your clients have choices.  When they believe that you do not appreciate them or their business your business will suffer.  Simply saying “thank you” is a great place to start.

Dave Cooke is CEO of Strategic Resource Group, llc.  Dave leverages over 25 years sales and marketing experience to provide businesses with educational programs and consulting services focused around sustainable growth strategies and effective relationship building behaviors.  Dave has developed the Sustainable Revenue Formula (SuRF) which provides an organizational program for increasing and stabilizing revenues.  His commitment and his passion are founded in the belief that businesses will grow only as effectively as the team is organized and committed to growing it. Dave is also part of a dynamic duo with Chris Conrey in producing the podcast series, Don’t Sell Me Bro.