I think I may have won a battle with my kids. Sure, I am an old-geezer and don’t know anything. How dare I assume that my 56 years of experience could surpass that of a young twenty-something? But I think I got them. I am in the throes of college-mania. Figuring out how to juggle finances with three kids in college. And in this battle, I finally hit it home to my kids that it pays to be polite.
In Maryland, our legislators are given a budget to dole out scholarships to constituents. The criteria varies from person to person, but it is usually a nice $500 or $1000 to help offset the cost of books. I remember getting on my son to send the local Senator a thank you note. He fought me—remember, I don’t know anything! But he did. And it paid off! After receiving a $500 scholarship the first year, upon reapplying he received $2500! He personally went to say thank you and asked about the difference. The answer? “You were the only one that sent a thank you note.”
So, what can we learn from this? A lot!
Today’s world seems to move a lot faster than yesterday’s and frankly it is very easy to forget to be nice. Fire off an email. Send out a broadcast with the latest specials. Instagram post. Facebook update. Tweet. Even in returning a phone call, we can forget to be nice. “Hey, this is John returning your call. When you get a chance give me a shout. My number is 123-456-7890. Bye.”
We all want to feel appreciated. And if someone is giving you their hard earned business (or considering it) show your appreciation. After all, they are putting food on your table and helping to keep you in business.
It is not that hard to be nice. Two simple words do not take up that many characters in a tweet. Two words are very easy to tag onto any other form of communication. “Thank” and “You.”
“Hey, this is John returning your call. When you get a chance give me a shout. My number is 123-456-7890. And hey, thanks for calling us. I look forward to speaking.” See, not that much more difficult.
Even easier in person. Meeting a client—show them the appreciation. Stand up when they approach you or your desk. Walk them to the door or elevator, and then….thank them. Offer a hand for a firm handshake, look at them and say “thank you, I appreciate your business (or opportunity to earn your business). It will go a long way.
I can guarantee you that the Internet is not doing that. And more likely than not, neither are your competitors. When your client or prospect leaves your office/closes your email/hangs up the phone/closes whatever social platform you use, you have a perfect opportunity to leave one final positive image. When he or she is done, the message that should remain is “hey, they value me.” And who doesn’t like that?
And with that said, THANK YOU FOR READING! It’s been nearly 11 years and 536 columns for TRO and you…and I appreciate you!