Gratitude Needs an Attitude Adjustment

I like to think of myself as a person who expresses and accepts gratitude frequently. I love to send Thank You notes and really appreciate people who do the same. It seems like with the advent of e-cards and Facebook, people feel it is sufficient to send a quick email or wall post to say thanks, or even wish a close friend or family member a Happy Birthday.

I, however, like to keep it “old school” and use the U.S. mail. For something like $0.44, I can brighten someone’s day by sending a card letting them know that they were in my thoughts and I cared enough to let them know it.

There is also an application in the business world as well.

About 10 years ago, when I was selling digital print solutions for a very small shop, one of my clients was the biggest construction company in Chicago. They were in my top 5 for several years and I took very good care of them. I would run over whenever they needed help with a project, I frequently held educational programs for them, and took them to lunch and dropped by with treats often.

Imagine my shock when I received a formal invitation to a VENDOR APPRECIATION lunch held at a local restaurant one Christmas-time. I had never heard of such a thing. A client taking its vendor to lunch? What a treat. And, not only did I get to attend, but they invited two of my customer service team as well. You can imagine how much we enjoyed it, and we talked about it for years to come.

My point is this: there are lots of ways that we express gratitude. However you decide to do it is up to you, but PLEASE remember to do it…and do it often. Send cards to clients to tell them you appreciate their business and hope the relationship continues well into the future. Buy lunch for your production staff when they have done a particularly good job or you have had a record breaking month. Heck, even acknowledge a vendor that helps you out in a pinch. Your paper guy would love to hear some words of praise from you.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
 
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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Comments
  • http://JessRay Jess Ray

    You are so correct. Some times you get so busy you forget. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://LindaK Linda K

    Kelly
    Really nice blog about a really nice idea! You’re so on target about expressing thanks and the goodwill it provides! And it really doesn’t take a huge effort–just a little bit of time. A very good reminder! Thank you!

  • http://StephenEugeneAdams Stephen Eugene Adams

    Kelly,
    Great points. I think my vendors would fall off their chairs if I invited them to a luncheon. Since I haven’t been buying much these last couple of years, maybe I should at least buy them lunch to show them that I still appreciate them.
    Steve

  • http://BillBarry Bill Barry

    Hi Kelly,
    Anything that distinguishes you from the other people doing your same job is a great reminder to the client that you are thinking about them and their business.

  • http://BobGarnaas Bob Garnaas

    Kelly,

    A woman named Mary Baker Eddy said, “Gratitude is riches, complaint is poverty.”

    We create goodwill in others and enrich our own lives by expressing gratitude. Who doesn’t buy into that philosophy?!!

    Thanks for the reminder!
    Bob

    Thanks for the reminder – AGAIN!
    Bob

  • http://MananaMan Manana Man

    Dear Kelly,

    We are in desperate need of human graciousness. Thank you for making a well-written contribution to a kinder world.

  • http://Deanna Deanna

    Great timing for your article.
    I received a little note from one of my customers the other day. They were thanking everyone for their patience for their slow payment during these economic hard times.

    I was thinking to send them a little note in return thanking them for their continued support in that they are not thinking of price shopping or looking around for another supplier just because they racked up a bill that they are taking longer than normal to pay.

    Now I know I will drop them a note.

    Thanks for your advice.
    A little appreciation does go a long ways.

    Deanna

  • http://ShellyRushton,HMFPrinting Shelly Rushton, HMF Printing

    Kelly,

    There is definitely something to be said about the old school way of doing business!!!

    Thanks for the reminder!

  • http://KevinWillett Kevin Willett

    Great article. It is amazing the impact a card can have. I save the ones that I receive and read them when I need a pick me up.

  • Robert Bloecker

    A simple card, a simple thank you, goes miles. this is just more proof of that fact.