Big Ideas: Thank me later | TravelResearchOnline

Big Ideas: Thank me later

As sales and marketing advice goes, this may very well be up there with the best of it. This is a BIGGIE. Tune in.

I ended a recent webinar with what I consider to be some sage advice. To me, what I am about to suggest is both logical and extraordinarily simple. It is effective and incredibly apropos. It does not cost a penny and the results are extremely powerful.

The truth is however, that nobody can do what I am about to suggest without feeling uncomfortable to some degree. This last sentence, in and of itself, may explain why there are not more successful travel-related sales professionals in the United States today.

I challenged my audience on this particular day to pick up their telephones as soon as our meeting was over, and call a prospect, customer, or the first person who came to mind to simply thank them for something. I reminded them not to get cute, fancy or eloquent.  I urged them to act on this assignment immediately before all of the worthless, inappropriate, nonsensical excuses had a chance to take over their thought process.

The assignment was simple and straightforward. “Call somebody up to say “thank-you.” I then ended the webinar and went to lunch.

Upon my return, there were two emails waiting for me as a result of my earlier challenge. Both emails were happily reporting their results from reaching out to their clients. In both instances, they decided that the email route was the way to go. (It certainly was the easy way to go, but it certainly was better than doing nothing.) In sharing their success stories with me I noticed a disturbing trend. They were both hesitant in saying thank you to me. One mentioned in her email, “I hope this isn’t mushy but…” while the other opened with “This is probably corny but…” Why couldn’t they say “thank you?”

Has the business world become so suspect to the “sales pitch” that we have become frightened to tell people what we sincerely feel and think for fear of being misinterpreted.

If it has, this is a sad commentary. Although at times this may be a tough statement to defend, most people are not buffoons. Most people can tell the difference between a “come-on” and a sincere compliment.

In fact, women are better at this than men. Women have the luxury of being equipped with a built-in “creep-o-meter;” whereas men have trouble sorting through the slugs and the good-guys. Sorry boys. You know I’m correct.

What could be easier than to say “thank-you” to somebody who has helped you, guided you, supported you and provided you with a few dollars now and then to insure some degree of eating regularly? This should come naturally … but it doesn’t.

It is easy. It has always been easy. It will continue to be easy. And it will be the most worthwhile marketing strategy (or courtesy) of your entire business campaign.

In a similar vein, why don’t more men open car doors for women? Why don’t more people stand up and approach visitors as they enter their place of business? Why don’t more people listen to what others are saying?  Why do both men and women insist on playing the game “I can do better than that” when communicating in small groups?

But I digress. Thank more people beginning today and you can thank me later.

Mike Marchev is a non-linear thinker who makes his living shooting from the  hip. Check out his new collaborative project titled The Travel Agent Success Series www.travelagentsuccessseries.com

  7 thoughts on “Big Ideas: Thank me later

  1. Elizabeth Skinner says:

    Thank you for talking about this. direct communication talking to someone is becoming less and less and we in the travel industry could keep things personal by using more of that talking communication.

  2. How sad that saying “thank you ” has become the an issue – or as it would appear – a non-issue. I feel that this reflects the general malaise of incivility that seems to be so prevalent in these times.
    The reward of being nice far outweighs the effort, remember how it feels when someone replies in kind to your “good morning” – although I sadly fear that few people experience that lift in their spirits these days!

    Thank you for putting your comments “out there”. I hope people will take note.

  3. Thank you, Mike. This kind of reminder of those simple pleasantries of life and business puts us back on track again.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Thank you for bringing this to the Travel worlds attention. As a Canadian I end every email to a customer with “thank you for your business” but I have noticed that Americans are less inclined to say thank you. Why is that?
    I am successful at my business, I send out thank you cards, welcome home cards and have a bbq every summer for my customers. I don’t need to look for new customers, my customers are loyal to me and maybe this is part of it.
    Good luck to all of you in changing this small part of the business.

  5. Rina Patano says:

    Thank you! I hear this all the time from my clients that they do not get the personal touch anymore from people that have taken over for me in my past positions. That is extremely sad. I still reach out to my past clients and I do still thank them, if even just for their time to speak with me when they have no business for me and they appreciate that! Thank you, Mike, for bringing this to the attention of all Sales people. This is a very important lesson in itself!

  6. You are, once again, SO-O-O-O-O right! Just before Xmas closing, we sent out 900 “Thank You” Christmas cards to all of our clients who had booked/travelled in the last 18 months ($2,500.00 +). the phones starting ringing off the hooks!!

    So…Thanks for the insights, the tips, the calls to action. More to come …we hope!

  7. Thanks, Mike! I have to say, this is not hard for me because I truly am grateful for anyone who even ASKS about something, or who acceptst my e-newsletters (because you just never know) — and if they do actually buy something — wow!
    It probably does come off corny sometimes, but generally I have found that people do appreciate working with a live person who acts like they care about having their business versus the impersonal, “blow you off” attitude of internet-only providers and weak “order-takers.”

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