What does being grateful do for your business?
Eight or nine years ago I received an e-mail from someone who subscribes to my list. Here's what she asked about being grateful.
“Why do I hear so much about being grateful for the customers in my business? I work hard for them and feel like I’m barely making it, despite long hours. What does being grateful have to do with a financial transaction?”
I believe that being grateful helps us keep the mind open to possibility, rather than being closed and regretful for what we don't have in this moment. Click To Tweet It helps us to see opportunity, and it helps us to see our accomplishments and strengths. Here's how I answered this business owner.
“I know from my years of experience as a business owner that it's wise to practice gratefulness in business and in one's personal life. Yes, you work hard and you put in long hours – most business owners do. Becoming deeply grateful for the opportunity you have to showcase your expertise, talent, and hard work turns your work from resentment to deep appreciation. Living from a place of deep appreciation literally changes the way you speak to your customers, which every single customer will hear and respond to emotionally. Business is about service and relationship, and being grateful informs both. I hear in your question some resentment about working hard and barely making it. My bet is that you are not pricing your products or services well, which is your mistake as the CEO of your business. Yet you then resent your customers for paying only what is asked. Valuing your own abilities, being grateful for your talents, will make it easier to feel gratitude for your business.”
Gratefulness actually increases sales
One of my lifelong friends is an A-list realtor – the most successful realtor by far in his city. Talking with him one day, I discovered that his customer relationship program prompts him to thank or “touch” each and every past real estate customer 33 times a year. My friend has a passion for what he does, and follows through on his systems. His creativity and focus, including those thirty-three touches, make him the huge success he is.
I owned a medical massage clinic for 14 years, and in all those years I made it a point to say thank you as every single customer walked out the door, no matter that we treated many of the same people week after week, month after month, year after year. (Some of our clients had the same standing appointment time for nine years or longer.) One year just before Christmas a customer called – someone we had not seen in the clinic in several years. She wanted to come by and purchase ten hours of massage therapy as gift certificates for friends. At the end of our call she told me that she came to my business for the 10 gift certificates because she knew I would thank her for the purchase – something she didn’t think a nearby local spa would do. This woman remembered me being grateful for her business years ago, and that alone drove her to make a substantial purchase from me.Marketing research often points out that customers like and remember being thanked for their purchase. Simple but effective! Click To Tweet
My tradition of Thanksgiving gratefulness journaling
When I began my first business, the medical massage clinic, my first mentor was a guy who had been in business for more than twenty years. He requested that I create a gratefulness journal for my business, even though at that time I'd only been in business one month – just 30 days! I thought I was too new in business to have anything to be grateful for. My business was not profitable in that moment, and I was marketing every day to find customers. But I did what he asked, and was amazed at how it shifted my feelings from hesitancy and fear to more focused determination to build what I had started. That same mentor asks me to complete a Thanksgiving gratefulness journal every year since then. For the last few years I've created a gratefulness journal download to share as my gift to you at Thanksgiving. You can leave your contact info in the form below and we'll send a link to the download right away.
I spent many years working in jobs, but I've owned my owned businesses for over twenty years now. By far, my choice is to work for myself, even though it is sometimes scary and often harder than taking a check from someone else. From the bottom of my heart, I'm grateful for everyone I have met as a business owner – those who are my customers and those who are not. Being grateful brings grace to life. It's good for your heart and good for your business.