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March 21, 2017

Why is ‘thank you’ so often ignored?

Wade 2I was in Memphis this past weekend. My son-in-law, Wade (that’s him with the cheeky sign), is wrapping up medical school… and it was “Match Day.” During Match Day, graduating med students from all across the country “open their envelope” at exactly the same time to find out where they will be doing their residency.

Wade ‘matched’ in orthopedics at the Medical College of Georgia… he and my daughter are very excited. And it’s at this point that the story gets interesting.

Over the next several hours – while we celebrated – Wade received no less than a dozen phone calls from MCG employees, including the program director and a number of the residents already based there. They all called Wade to offer their congratulations, to let him know they were excited to be working with him and to thank him for choosing MCG.

Wade was on Cloud 9! Not only had he gotten the match of his choice, but the simple human act of communication – those 2-minute phone calls – made him feel welcome, made him feel special and made him feel like he made a really good decision in selecting MCG.

Interestingly, in talking to a number of Wade’s classmates, most received no ‘thank you’ communication from their matching institution. And if they did, it was a single phone call or text message.

Which got me to thinking… why is the easy, simple act of saying ‘thank you’ so often overlooked in business? So, Mr./Mrs. Business Owner, consider these questions…

  • When was the last time you sent a handwritten ‘thank you’ note to a client in appreciation for their business or for sending you a referral?
  • How often in the past year have you picked up the phone to say ‘thank you’ to any of your Top 10 clients?
  • Have you picked up any new clients in the past year? Did you send a ‘thank you’ gift or note to your key contact at any of them? (note: I like and

Remember… at the other end of that proposal, that project report or that invoice is another human being. And he or she is dealing with the same kinds of challenges, stresses and problems that you also deal with.

It takes 5 minutes to say ‘thank you’… and in doing so, you’ll make them feel welcome, make them feel special and make them feel like they made a really good decision in choosing to work with your firm.

So, what are you waiting for?!

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