How do you show thanks to your customers?

The value of the thank you is more than you might think.

We all like to think we’re thankful for our customers and those people we come in contact with, but let me share with you another benefit that gets lost in the context of business.

Several years ago I was traveling with a CEO.  As we were traveling together, I couldn’t help but notice how gracious he was and he thanked everybody he came in contact with.

From the restaurant waiter to the hotel clerk and everyone in between, he never forgot to give the person a genuine thank you.

I’ve spent time with many other powerful people, and yes, by and large, the majority of them have been courteous.  However, this was unique in that  this time, this particular CEO never missed a person. If they were within eye contact of him, he thanked them — and not just by saying “thank you,” but by adding an additional comment about the job they were doing.

It didn’t take me long to be struck by this behavior, and I couldn’t help but think of the smile he was putting on the face of the people he was thanking.

Inside of me I wondered if the people he was thanking had any clue as to who the person was and the level of position and power he held in the business world.   All of that didn’t matter. This was one person saying thank you to another person.

Now here comes the second benefit.  In talking with this CEO, I mentioned to him how I couldn’t help but notice the way he treated others.   What was neat was his response.

First he told me he was raised by parents who taught him the importance of manners, but then he went on to say how he found himself making better decisions and thinking clearer when he is in an appreciative mood and thanking others.

It was his later comment that floored me, because if I were to tell you the company of which he was the CEO, you would recognize it immediately.   You see, this person who has since retired navigated his company through several very difficult situations and each time the company came out better for it.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the decisions he and his team had to make during those tough times weren’t impacted by the clarity of thinking that existed because of appreciative behavior.

Yes, I firmly believe it pays to be thankful, and at this time of year when we in the United States pause for a time to be thankful with Thanksgiving Day, may we remind ourselves of the benefits of being thankful.

You never know the difference you could make in someone’s life… and in your own.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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