• Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group• Blog: www.drewsmarketingminute.com• Email: Drew@MclellanMarketing.com© 2012 Drew McLellan
• Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group
• Blog: www.drewsmarketingminute.com
• Email: [email protected]
© 2012 Drew McLellan

So many aspects of owning or running a business are difficult.

• It’s tough to hire the right employees.

• It’s a challenge to create a work environment that encourages your team to routinely go above and beyond for your customers.

• It’s no easy task to identify the exact mix of products and services that will delight your customers so they’ll keep buying more.

• And in today’s environment, managing the implications of the “fiscal cliff,” health-care reform and the shift to greater taxation is enough to make any business leader cradle her head in her hands.

But … here’s a no-brainer, at least to me. The more grateful you are, the more you will be blessed. And it goes without saying that pretending to be grateful for the payoff of more goodies doesn’t work.

I know that most of you are very grateful for your professional successes and the loyalty that your best customers offer you. But I think you’re missing the boat when it comes to regularly expressing that gratitude. We get so busy cranking out the work, chasing new customers and just getting through the to-do list that we don’t make the time to let our gratitude show.

The Thanksgiving season seems like the natural time to write a column focusing on how organizations can build the idea of sharing their gratitude into their yearlong communications plan. That way, no matter how crazy your day-to-day world gets, you’ll be sure to regularly say thank you to those who deserve it most.

Put it in writing: In today’s computer-centric world, getting real mail in the mailbox is a novelty, even more so if it’s a handwritten note or card. Take a few minutes to let your best clients know that you’re glad they’re on board.

A handwritten note, even in the most utilitarian moments, can add an element of gratitude. At McLellan Marketing Group (MMG), we write a quick note of thanks on every invoice we send out.

Create a day: Why not declare your gratitude an annual holiday? Everyone and their brother sends out a Thanksgiving or Season’s Greetings card and gift. Unfortunately, that gesture has become so common that it’s expected. But you could create your own annual “We Love Our Customers” Day and shower them with love.

The MMG version of this idea is “Who Loves Ya, Baby” Day. We send love letters, candy and make sure that all of our clients know they mean the world to us.

Give them the special: You know all those incredible deals, bonuses and perks you offer new customers? Have you ever thought about how your loyal, long-term customers feel about that? Shouldn’t you really be offering your best prices and products to them? Those coupons and specials that declare “for new customers only” are basically saying that you covet the new customers more than you value the old ones. Is that really the message you want to send?

Why not create an even better deal for those customers who have stuck around for a long time?

Open your Rolodex: One of the most valuable things you possess is your network. When you connect one of your customers to someone in your network, you’re giving both of them quite a compliment. Why not help your clients grow their business by sharing one of your most precious resources – your contacts?

Gratitude is a natural emotion, but it’s also a purposeful habit. Making it a regular part of your business is a smart way to reinvest in your customers, cultivate a grateful culture among your employees and grow your business. Go ahead … get your grateful on!