Northwest Business Magazine

Marketing Strategies: Gratitude, A Truly Valued Holiday Gift

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Now is an ideal time of year to show your clients and vendors how much you appreciate their contributions. Susan Dobbe-Leahy, of Dobbe Marketing, in Crystal Lake, explains why.

Susan Dobbe-Leahy

Susan Dobbe-Leahy

The season for giving and gifting can add stress – especially when it’s one more responsibility at your business. This year you can reduce your stress and actually inspire others with the gift of gratitude.

Expressing gratitude allows both the giver and receiver to experience a terrific feeling. The cost is little and the memory of that feeling endures.

Physical gifts like baskets, flowers, candies and calendars are enjoyable to receive and useful throughout the year. Select gifts that reflect your business, mission or passion – or choose something that’s relevant to your audience.

Your corporate gift budget may be limited, yet the gift you give might last a lifetime if you express true gratitude.

Take a moment to share your appreciation for those whom you wish to gift. Clients, colleagues and vendors all impact your success. Write a note customized to their unique contribution.

“Thanks for referring ABS Industries to me. We are working on an exciting project because of your recommendation.”
“Our company experienced a record year, in part, because of the trust you showed in giving us your account. Thank you from all of our associates.”

When notes like these are attached to a tin of nuts, basket of goodies or bottle of sparkling cider, the note will be savored.

Studies by behavioral economist Dan Ariely reveal that money is not the only motivator. Most people thrive when they believe they are making progress and have a purpose. Ariely’s theory was proven when employees became more creative and productive after receiving positive feedback.

Work will still be work, yet with an infusion of gratitude, we are reminded how much we matter, how our effort counts and how our service is valued.

Think how appreciation affects you in your business and personal life. Imagine your experience when someone sends a gift with a letter that details why you are a valuable contributor to their success. Key words might include:
reliable
initiative
tenacity
creativity
good leader
idea generator
treasure

More important than the gift is the message that accompanies it: the sincere “Thank You.”

A customized note is the most effective method of connection. Handwritten notes are best, but typed documents, emails or text messages, if crafted carefully, can melt hearts and make a relationship that lasts.

Take time to prepare the note that expresses a specific reason for your appreciation. Consider saying something like:
…for ongoing support and trust.
…for joining our many satisfied clients.
…for giving us a chance to prove our expertise.
…for making the project run so smoothly.
…for saving time and money for our operation.
…for being a vital part of the team.

Tell someone why they are valuable to you and you will see them blossom with more-valuable behavior. Provide an infusion of gratitude in the business process and you will see more pride and ongoing enthusiasm.

And if your budget or schedule don’t allow for a gift-giving program this holiday season, don’t dismay. Gratitude gifts can be sent in January to start the New Year. February is a good time to share your love of your clients and colleagues. March is perfect for a pick-me-up gift of gratitude. April allows you to “spring” forward with a fresh perspective. May just may be the right time to give. June can burst out all over in positive energy. July is a hot time to let others know you value their effort. August is time for budgets and planning. September celebrates Labor Day – shouldn’t you? October is a good time to drop a positive note. November is Thanksgiving. December ends the year but begins the time for gratitude.

Whenever your gift-giving time suits you, include a precious note that expresses how much you treasure the recipient. You’ll be surprised at how much positive energy will come back to you.

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