It's Not Who You Know – It's Who You Thank
While an entire industry has developed around motivating people through appreciation, it ultimately boils down to what our parents taught us: Say "thank you" to everyone. This may seem like simple etiquette, yet it is amazing what it can do for your business and personal relationships. When we express our appreciation to clients, co-workers, and employees and friends, their attitudes are positively affected, and positive attitudes impacts business and personal success.
An effective way to say thank you is with a gift, because not only is it an expression of gratitude but it also serves as a reminder, keeping you in front of others so that they will contact you again. At the end of my training seminars and presentations, I like to stay in touch with the people who I have connected with. One way I do that is to send a small gift right after the program, and then follow-up at least every three months with tokens of appreciation to keep my name in front of them.
One year, my holiday thank you gift to many of my clients and business friends was a glass shaped light bulb filled with mints, imprinted with, “A world of thanks,” and it included my name. People could continually refill and use the bulb and I often still see it on people's desks. It does have a long shelf life.
Other people require a more personalized thank you. In many cases, I take the time to find gifts that fit specific interests. For instance, I know that one client is a cat lover, so I found a wonderful crystal cat for him. Another client loves a certain restaurant and I gave her a gift certificate. The point is to consider what people will appreciate most.