Just Say Thank You!

What happened to the lost art of thank you?

Returning to basic relationship principles is a constant theme in marketing conversation. If you want to build on relationships, then say thank you.

Yet, in this fast age of Internet business and new millennium expectations, people say thanks less frequently.

Consider the receipt or post transaction communication most people get from companies, either online or in real person. You get hit up with coupons and requests to buy more. Personally, one of the best parts about buying the old fashioned way in a store are the smart clerks who invariably thank you and shake your hand. Go Nordstroms!

I don’t know how many times I have referred someone business, provided them a speaking engagement, etc., and they failed to say thank you. In some cases, people are arrogant about these interactions, feeling like they deserved the opportunity. Those are the ones who won’t receive again.

It may be the 21st century, but there is something to be said for acknowledging someone’s investment in your business — either money or time — with a simple thank you. Thank you acknowledges and sustains the relationship. It’s a basic symbol of respect.

Here are five ways to consider saying thank you:

Send a gift (not a discount to go buy more): The Washington nationals sent season ticket holder Nats Bucks, $100 or more of free food and gear at the stadium. Nice touch.

Thank you and nothing more: Smart nonprofits are very good at this. You donate, they say thank you, and nothing more. Their next communication may be a solicitation or an update on monies vested, but the initial communication is a simple acknowledgement of gratitude.

Hand written note: Want to impress the daylights out of someone? Send them a handwritten thank you note that expresses your gratitude for how their time/investment impacted you.

Reciprocate: Most bloggers expect reciprocation after a series of link shares and mentions. I personally feel like you should do this IF you feel the other person’s content warrants it. Content has to fit the community, too. Giving to get is not really a good motive, in my opinion. A thank you should suffice.

Endorse/Refer: In a world of gratuitous Likes, +1s and recommendations on LinkedIn, taking the time to refer someone or write a great review about them and their service is the ultimate gift. A well written endorsement says a lot about how much you care.

What do you think?

A version of this post ran originally on the Vocus blog. Image by Jen Collins.