Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Most Important Words You Can Say

Thank you! You've made me so happy! That was so nice of you! Thank you for returning my call! You're so sweet to remember me. Your kindness is appreciated!

When was the last time you heard any of these words?

Here's a better question: When was the last time you said anything like this?

Lately, I've been noticing a trend in business and in life. Maybe you have too? When someone goes out of their way to make someone feel special, the recipient tends to take it for granted and not acknowledge this gesture with the least little bit of gratitude.

Today, on Twitter and Facebook, many posts on my wall have been geared to gratitude. Jeanie Marshall said "Gratitude is a powerful healing agent for the one who is grateful, thankful, or appreciative." Crane.com posted this quote: "No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks." — James Allen. These powerful words ring true!

Gratitude is a favorite topic of Oprah's. She's come a long way, and had many people supporting her in her rise to fame along that path. But, she is quick to say Thank You, and her notes are legendary. Princess Diana was also famous for her selfless kindness. Folks kept her thank you notes as souvenirs, as she filled them with simple love and heartfelt appreciation. Even Julia Roberts, in her role as "Vivienne" in Pretty Woman, went from saying "Yeah, so?!" to "Yes, please! And, thank you!" She showed us that class and grace comes not from Rodeo Drive, but from within.

In business, I was shocked to find recently a lot of sales people who give great mouth-service, but without the customer service to back their promises up. Why folks in the business of providing a service won't return a call for that within a short time period (if at all) blows my mind! When a phone call is returned quickly, it lets the customer feel valued and important. It also shows the customer that the business will provide great service and accurate billing. And, a thank you on top of that will put most company's reputation over the top, and the sales person's name will skyrocket into the stratosphere! Great customer service will make your reputation & your good name legendary in business circles!

In life, I believe there is nothing more important than saying "Thank You", especially in a prompt fashion. It shows gratitude and humility. Writing a thank you note gives me the opportunity to give praise, appreciation, and kindness in return. When else in life can something take as little time as 5 minutes, and as few sentences as 3 or 4, to return love and kindness?

Need help? There are a variety of great books and websites, including:
The Bride's Thank-You Note Handbook by Marilyn Werner (available on Amazon.com)
www.thankyounotewording.info/wordsofgratitude
www.my-thank-you-site.com/
www.emilypost.com/
www.etiquettehell.com (great stories!)

Thank you all for reading my blog! And, thank you for your support!

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