Think about the last time you did business with someone. Whether it was with a cashier in a retail store, a personal service provider, or online, how much gratitude did they show towards getting your business?
Not very much, right?
Personally, I’m appalled at the lack of gratitude that I see in the business world today. In fact, I see clients being treated as an inconvenience rather than an appreciated source of income. But as we grow even closer to a global economy, failing to demonstrate gratitude in your business can only hurt you.
With thousands of products and services being brought to the marketplace on a regular basis, it only takes one bad experience for a client to decide they’d prefer to do business with somebody else. And this is why gratitude is so essential to building a profitable business.
What follows are three reasons gratitude lends itself to building a profitable business and how you can show more gratitude to your clients. Take these principles to heart and you be thanking yourself all the way to the bank.
1. Gratitude helps you earn more.
Think of the last time you did something for someone who went out of their way to show appreciation for what you did. How much more likely are you to help that person in the future? The probability is pretty high, and the same is true for the clients you serve.
When you show gratitude towards them for allowing you the opportunity to do business with them, when your clients feel appreciated for putting their trust in you, they are a lot less likely to complain about prices, to pay invoices late, or nitpick over your work product. They are also much more likely to give you additional work, refer you to their friends and family, and remain loyal to your business.
When you consider these factors, it becomes clear how important it is to simply say thank you, or go above and beyond to show your appreciation for their business. Some ways to do this are by saying “thank you” when you send out an invoice, when you receive payment, or by periodically sending a note of appreciation in the mail to your client.
You can also do this by offering special discounts, or a bonus for your products and services along with a note explaining how much you value them as a customer. If you do this on a regular basis, you will build unbreakable loyalty between you and your clients.
2. Gratitude keeps the competition at bay.
Not only does showing gratitude towards your clients build loyalty, but it sets you apart from your competition. When you show authentic gratitude towards your clients it fosters a margin for mistakes. And because so many of your competitors do not implement this principle of gratitude, your simple “thank you” and outward appreciation will help you stand out in the mind of your clients.
But more importantly, when things go wrong, as they sometimes do, your clients who feel truly appreciated by you will be much more willing to forgive any mistakes you may have made. Of course, demonstrating gratitude does not give you a license to make mistakes. However when you make them, (and you will) your clients will be much more likely to extend forgiveness to you. They will be much less likely to start looking around for other solutions to their problems, and instead, allow you to correct any mistakes you may have made. This margin can mean thousands of dollars to your bottom line if it’s well-established.
3. Gratitude makes employees and contractors loyal.
Gratitude is not for your clients alone. You must also make sure that you demonstrate high levels of gratitude towards your employees and your independent contractors. These people are the people who make your business what it is. Without them you wouldn’t be able to execute on your responsibilities for your clients.
When you show gratitude to your employees and independent contractors, they will want to come through for you in a difficult situation. They will be willing to go above and beyond to make sure that they are providing you with the best solutions in your business. Any time that you have the opportunity to praise your employees or independent contractors for a job well done you should. Any time one of your independent contractors or employees goes above and beyond the call of duty they should be rewarded.
I always do this in my business, and as a result, if I get a last-minute project or find myself against the wall with a deadline, I know I can count on my team to step up and make sure that we deliver. It’s times like those that demonstrating gratitude towards them proves imperative for profitability.
[pullquote]The problem with showing gratitude is that it is taken for granted.[/pullquote]
Because we do work for our clients, and because we pay our employees and independent contractors, it’s easy to overlook the fact that they don’t owe us anything. We tend to think that we deserve to be paid (and we do), but we also have to remember that our clients have choices – and they chose you. You should be grateful for that. And although your employees and independent contractors are paid to do the work you give them, they do a good job for you so that you can operate a profitable business, and you should be grateful for that.
If you can increase your awareness about how much appreciation and thanks you show towards the people who work in and with your business, you will increase your income.
As William Wattles said, “Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude.”
So now I ask you, how do you show gratitude in your business? What could you do to show even more gratitude for your clients and team members? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!