Expressing #Gratitude To Your Business Relationships
At Cowe Communications, our Seven Strategies are the foundation of how we help take businesses to the next level. It’s our road map to helping any business, from beauty salons to sushi restaurants to consultation agencies, succeed and develop their brand. These seven strategies include first impressions, organization, sales, people, marketing, realization, and follow-up.
Because it is the season for gratitude and reflection, we wanted to focus on one of our most important strategies and assets: People. This includes everyone involved in your business: employees, co-workers, business partners, community partners, clients, customers, sponsors, local leaders, and vendors. All these relationships affect your work life more than you realize. Each category of people plays a role in your professional success.
Managing these relationships, though overwhelming at times, is essential to your growth and development as a business. The key to building strong relationships includes making a positive first impression, and open, honest, and transparent communication. Regardless of short term or long-term status, you want to build a lifetime relationship.
This rings true for everyone from your team to your collaborators to clients. Loyalty to you and your brand is the goal but the same loyalty needs to be reciprocated by you as well. You need to listen to your people, speak their language, and keep your interactions with them on their level. People want to be seen and heard and if you take the time and effort to do that then you build loyalty within your team and with your list of clients and customers.
However, you must keep in mind that not everyone is your people and you and your business may not be for everyone as well – and that is okay. This gives you the freedom to funnel your energy and engagements to a more targeted audience and towards building a team that will grow your brand. Your marketing efforts are geared towards the people you want to attract and the people that are attracted to you.
Despite having many categories of people in your business, the one thing that ties it all together is gratitude. Funnel and focus on gratitude when interacting with your clients and customers. Let them know you appreciate their support, their loyalty, and their patronage of your goods and services.
When it comes to your business partner(s), employee(s), or co-worker(s), connect with them with the same eagerness as with a client or customer. Acknowledging them and creating pathways to make them feel seen, heard, and valued makes for a positive work environment. Show your appreciation for them during conversations and interactions. Compliment their efforts and recognize them when they go above and beyond.
Showing appreciation and taking good care of your team leads to them taking care of you and your business.
There are different ways and different opportunities to practice gratitude with your different business relationships. Here are a couple of our suggestions.
Ways to show gratitude towards your clients and customers
- Hand-written thank you note: A hand-written note shows that you took the time and effort to craft a personalized note to express your gratitude. It adds a personal touch and communicates sincerity.
- Offer a thank you discount or promotion: Everyone loves discounts! Thank your existing customers and clients by offering a discount or cash back on their next purchase. You can go the extra mile and offer them a gift card too.
- Feature them on your website or social media accounts: Sharing your clients’ and customers’ stories and making the feature about them shows that you are grateful that your brand or product could be a part of their lives. This is a unique opportunity to truly focus on the client and make it about them. Integrating gratitude into your content marketing strategy is a great way to show your target audience that you appreciate them as well.
Ways to show gratitude towards your employees/co-workers/team
- Acknowledge accomplishments: When an employee or a team member goes above and beyond, make sure you recognize their efforts. It may be a companywide email, a certificate of recognition, or even a feature on your social media account.
- Offer flexibility: Offering a work-life balance to your employees goes a long way. It communicates consideration for your team’s well-being. Express your gratitude by giving them some extra time off or allowing them an extended lunch break when needed.
- Give incentives: Show your appreciation in the form of bonuses or extra vacation days when goals are reached.
Ways to show gratitude towards your business partners/community partners/collaborators
- Keep track of significant dates. Take note of significant dates—milestones, holidays, anniversaries—and use them as opportunities to send your appreciation through heartfelt notes.
- Send a thoughtful gift. With business partners, you want to send gifts that are well thought of and express your gratitude. Consider their interests and needs as well as the occasion for the gift.
- Schedule regular catch ups. With business partners, community partners, and collaborators, you want to maintain these relationships through regular conversations and check-ins. Taking them out for dinner or happy hours shows you appreciate them and that you are putting the effort into investing in the relationship. It will go a long way in strengthening your business partnership.
When expressing gratitude, the gesture needs to be sincere and heartfelt. Every business relationship is an investment of time and effort, not just for you, but for all those involved in your business or brand. Always take the time to say thank you at every opportunity. Recognition and gratitude make a world of difference!