As sales and marketing advice goes, this may very well be up there with the best of it. I was recently reminded of this natural phenomenon and I could not find my way to my computer keyboard fast enough to share it with whomever is out there listening. This is a BIGGIE. Tune in.
I ended a training session I was conducting 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 red cent 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 their 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 terminated the meeting and went to lunch.
Upon my return, there were two emails waiting for me as a result of my earlier challenge. Both emails were conveying good news as they happily reported 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 glaring 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…”
This may very well be the crux of the dilemma. 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?
This is a sad commentary and one that must stop with the reading of this article. Although at times this may be a tough statement to defend, most people are not buffoons. Most people can tell 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 right.
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 regularity? This should come naturally… but it doesn’t.
Based on the frequency of such an act, it apparently is a lot harder than I envision it. No! I fail to entertain that option. 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?
What is going on here? Thanking people should be one of the easiest courtesies known to mankind. Starting today, say “thank you” more often… and mean it.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.