People do business with you or with your company because they know you, they like you, and they trust you. No matter how much you pay a marketing company or an advertising agency, although they can certainly help you with this, there is one thing you can’t replace and you can’t completely manufacture: your reputation. After all, so many of our customers come from word of mouth referrals-as much as 70% if some recent surveys are to be believed. You don’t have to be a politician to know how important your reputation is, it matters whether you’re in business for yourself, working for a large corporation, or if you’re a teacher, a doctor, or delivering newspapers. And one of the most powerful tools you have to create your reputation in the best possible way is how you appreciate people.
We are in a relationship, whether we like it or not, with our customers and clients as well as the people who work with us in some capacity like our employees, our colleagues, our service providers and so on. Every person we interact with interacts with hundreds of other people if not more given the power of social media, so it has become even more important that we focus on working with people who are good for us, and making sure that we are good for them. So what are some practical, simple ways that you can build your goodwill, your reputation, and your business?
1. Ol’ Reliable Greeting Cards
You did it for birthday presents when you were a kid and it’s even more valuable now. Sending a personal card and note through regular snail mail stands out in people’s minds and also stays with them long after you’ve sent the card. The card itself serves as a physical reminder of you and your business, and how you take personal interest in your clients. If you want to go the bonus round, send birthday or anniversary cards too! Even if you haven’t been in touch with someone lately, sending a card is a great conversation opening, even if you just send one to let that person know you are thinking about them.
2. Shout Outs
There is no such thing as too much acknowledgement. If you notice someone you’re connected with has an event coming up, they’ve hit a milestone, or you just want to share what you like about them with the world, consider giving them an unsolicited shout out in social media-and make sure that you “tag” that person so they can see it. Your thoughtfulness will not go unnoticed. This is also a great way to get to know someone you’ve wanted to connect with more. We all want to know that we make an impact, and this is a simple and easy way to let someone know that they are heard.
3. Keep Appreciation Present
We can get busy and forget things, it happens. Schedule an hour or two per week in your calendar specifically to put your appreciation practices present, and watch it come back to you multiplied!