If you’re like most small business owners, there are probably any number of people whose help and support you appreciate. But did you know that the more you do to express your gratitude on a regular basis, the greater the rewards you stand to gain?
According to Harvard Health, for example, not only is gratitude strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness, it can help you improve your health and deal with adversity.
If that’s not enough to peak your entrepreneurial curiosity, here are 3 more big benefits of showing gratitude to clients and colleagues.
1. Build stronger business relationships.
Relationships of all kinds tend to grow stronger when those involved feel appreciated. If you’re not familiar with Bob Burg’s “Golden Rule of Networking”, think carefully about what this renowned business consultant, speaker, and author has said:
“All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”
Building strong business relationships starts by laying a foundation for authentic interactions with every new contact you meet.
This can be as simple as taking note of a few key details about a prospect or associate’s:
- Personal interests
- Professional pursuits
When people believe you’re genuinely interested in them—and that you have their best interests at heart—they’re more apt to like, trust, and want to start (or keep) doing business with you.
2. Get more from your sales and marketing teams.
It’s long been recognized that aligning a company’s sales and marketing efforts, strategies, and goals helps drive business value.
According to LinkedIn’s Moments of Trust report in fact, 85% of leaders say sales and marketing alignment is the largest opportunity for improving business performance (alignment = trust = value).
One way to get your sales and marketing teams pulling smoothly together is by implementing a shared practice around customer appreciation.
Rather than falling back on the same generic thank you gestures or gifts, for example, have your teams meet and work together—while at the same time playing to their strengths—to amp up your gratitude efforts:
- Ask your marketing team to source more creative ways to show your company’s appreciation to clients
- Ask your sales team to personalize these gift ideas based on the individual tastes of the customers they work with
In this way, gratitude can both help you inspire teamwork and enhance the customer experience.
3. Make a lasting impression on the people who support you.
First impressions may be important in business, but it’s equally if not more important to make an impression that lasts.
You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to extend a simple gesture of appreciation (like a hand-written thank-you note, for example) to the people who support you and your business. By showing true gratitude on a regular basis, you can make someone’s day and make a positive impression that will pay dividends over the long term.
A significant 37% of employees, for example, consider recognition as most important in boosting their productivity.
When it comes to the impression you make on customers, meanwhile, listening carefully and personalizing your interactions with them can help you achieve at least two important objectives:
- Prospects will feel more confident about the quality of service they can expect should they choose to become clients
- Existing customers will be more likely to recommend your business to others
Remember: you don’t need a hefty entertainment budget to practice appreciation. Showing simple gratitude to clients and colleagues is a low-to-no-cost way to benefit your business and feel good doing it.