Mother Knows Best: Mind your Manners

My son is almost 18 months old now and just starting to talk. Although it is a little early, I am already starting to teach him manners like saying please and thank-you. Even though the words aren’t exactly clear and I have to prompt him it’s still nice to hear. Manners are an important part of life, not just for childhood and your personal life but in business as well.

The Importance of Manners

I was recently talking to a friend about using a particular business for an upcoming event. She rolled her eyes and suggested another business simply because the other business hadn’t bothered to thank her for some free help she had given them.

Now how long would it have taken the business owner to send an e-mail saying thank-you for the help? 5 minutes. Because the person didn’t spend 5 minutes thanking my friend she moved on. She wasn’t expecting payment or a gift she just wanted to know that her help was appreciated.

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Have You Said Thank-You Lately?

Are there people who you should be thanking? What about your loyal customer who constantly sends referrals your way. You don’t need to have a referral program in place to send a thank-you card or verbally thank them the next time you see them.

How about your long-tem customers who have supported you for years? Too many businesses spend their time going after new customers and can neglect their repeat customers. While you do need to continually look for new customers, recognize that repeat customers are easier to sell to and generally spend more.

What about your employees? Yes, you send them a check every two weeks but when was the last time you just told them that you appreciated their work ethic? While salaries are an important part of retaining employees they also need to feel job satisfaction and appreciation. A thank-you note will not replace a fair salary but if an employee doesn’t feel appreciated there is nothing to stop them from switching jobs.

Don’t forget the people in your personal life as well. So often we just expect our spouses and families to help us that we forget to verbally tell them how much they mean to us.

Being a nice person will eventually lead to more referrals, happier employees and better relationships. Don’t focus on thanking people as a business strategy but rather as a basic duty to mind your manners. Mother really did know best.

Action Steps

Write down 5 people that helped you in your business and another 5 people who help you in your personal life. In the next week, send out an e-mail, card, tweet or in some cases a gift to let them know you appreciate their help.

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