The Power of Saying 'Thanks'

A "Thank You" card is one of the keys to building long-term, positive, and successful relationships and making sure others feel important and appreciated.

The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday reminds me of the importance of the simple “Thank You” card.

A "Thank You" card is one of the keys to building long-term, positive, and successful relationships and making sure others feel important and appreciated. In business, “Thank You” cards can help make sales and prevent buyer’s remorse.

I bought my own “Thank You” cards from the local office supply store and was using them successfully for years. I’d actually had people call me to thank me for thanking them! For no reason, stopped sending them.

One day I went to a doctor with a large practice. He had this office manager that I thought was one of the most beautiful women I’d ever laid eyes on. The day after the first appointment, I received a card in the mail from his office. I opened it up and found it had that beautiful office manager’s business card in it. She’d hand-written a little one-line note in it and signed it. I immediately got this warm feeling and caught myself thinking, “I think she likes me.”

Upon closer inspection, I realized she’d sent me the exact same card I used to send to people. No wonder I’d been getting good feedback on my “Thank You” cards! Right out there at the end of my driveway I burst into laughter at the fact that I thought she really liked me just because she sent me that card. I can assure you that the only time she ever thought of me was the minute it took her to write that note and sign that card.

Needless to say, the very next day, I spent close to an hour catching up on my “Thank You” cards.

Thank You for Your Time
The most overlooked opportunity in replacement sales is sending “Thank You for Your Time” cards. My “Thank You” cards and my “Thank You for Your Time” cards used the same size envelope. I’d address the envelope prior to running the sales call. Immediately after running a call that didn’t sell (yet), I’d write a one-line personal note that kind of “proved” I’d written the note after meeting with them, like, “Enjoyed seeing your model trains,” or “Enjoyed visiting with you and your little dog, Toto.”

I was so adamant on getting that card into my prospect’s hands as soon as possible, that I read the pickup times of every mailbox in my market area and knew which mailboxes around town had the latest pickup time. If it was at all possible, I’d drop my “Thank You for Your Time” card into a box I knew was going to be picked up that night, thereby almost guaranteeing they’d receive it the following day. I can’t tell you how many people called me and bought over the phone immediately after receiving those cards.

I wouldn’t dream of running a replacement lead without sending one of those cards out. The beauty of that is that you’ll be the only salesperson they see that goes to that kind of trouble.

After you’ve left the call, people won’t necessarily remember exactly what was said, but they will remember how you made them feel. When they receive your “Thank You” card, whether they’ve bought from you yet or not, they’ll get a real good feeling about you.

Don’t confuse sending a physical card through the mail with sending an email. Not many cards are sent through the mail any more, which kind of enhances their significance.

Preventing Buyer’s Remorse
A wonderful and inexpensive way of preventing buyer’s remorse is to give customers a gift immediately after buying a system. Consumables, such as cookies, are very popular.

Something I’ve done well with was giving away company sweatshirts and/or sweaters. Make them high quality items that someone would actually want to wear and you’ll get free advertising out of it. Plus, a lot of people will ask them why they’re wearing your sweatshirt, and you have the potential of getting hundreds of testimonials out of one sweatshirt.

Sometimes you can use a really nice sweatshirt or sweater to close a sale when someone is on the fence. When they tell you they’re 90% certain they’re going to call you tomorrow and buy, go out to your vehicle and bring in your nice gift and tell them that if they’ll just go ahead and make the same decision now that they intend to make that evening anyway, you’ll give them the gift.

Attitude of Gratitude
Thanksgiving should not be a one-day holiday. Thanksgiving can and should be celebrated every day of the year, by everyone in America, regardless of your current circumstances, and regardless of whether you’re grateful for how things have been going for you or not.

I’ve shared Thanksgiving dinner with people who’ve had difficulty coming up with a half-dozen things for which they feel grateful.

  • If you are not thankful for what you've got, it is doubtful you'll be thankful for what you will get.
  • It is better to appreciate things you don't have than to have things you don't appreciate.
  • If you’re not grateful for what you have, be grateful for what you don’t have.
  • If you can't be grateful for what you receive, be thankful for what you escape.
  • Think you've been short‑changed?  Consider yourself poor?  Just think how happy you would be if you lost everything you now have, then suddenly got it back.
  • The optimist is a man who, instead of being down because he cannot pay his bills, is glad he is not one of his creditors.

CHARLIE GREER would like to thank you for reading this column by sending you a free copy of his new booklet, “Greer-isms,” which is a book of his sales and success-related quotes. To get your free copy, go to www.hvacprofitboosters.com, call 1-800-963-HVAC (4822), or email your name, address, and phone number to [email protected] Charlie Greer is a member of the ContractingBusiness.com/Penton Media IdeaXChange™ team of industry “XPerts.” Find his columns and columns by our other XPerts at contractingbusiness.com/ideaxchange.

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