When it comes to business, we all need a little help. So where do we go to find it? We research blogs and websites, quiz people at networking meetings, and perhaps ask questions on forums and social media sites.
This blog post is a plea … and no, I’m not asking for help (although I frequently do). Instead I’m asking you to spare the time to use two of the most important little words in our language.
Clearly, if you’ve found some useful information on a website or a blog, it’s not necessary to email the site owner and express your thanks. However, if this advice and support has been offered on a more personal level, via social media or a forum perhaps, courtesy should prevail.
It is part of our philosophy to be free with our help and suggestions, and we regularly go out of our way to help people. A good example of this is our ‘Introduction to Twitter’ guide. This is available to people signing up on our website. Previously it was just for clients, although we emailed it to around a hundred or so other people. It took a lot of time to research and write. Despite the time it takes, we still willingly offer it free of charge to anyone who needs a little help. Sadly, only about 20% of the people who have been sent the guide acknowledged its receipt or took the trouble to say thank you.
Every day people give freely of their knowledge, wisdom and experience – advice which they could be charging premium prices for. They are under no obligation to help others and could spend their time on more profitable pursuits.
What would we do if our sources of free help and advice disappeared? How many businesses would survive without it, let alone grow? Could we afford to pay for every snippet of advice that comes our way? No! It would be road to ruin.
So is it too much to ask everyone to spare two words and reply with a simple ‘thank you’? Sadly, the world seems to be full of people who will are happy to take the help that’s offered, without sparing a few seconds to acknowledge it.
When it comes to marketing your business, your reputation is your most valuable asset. Don’t forget: those two little words, or lack of them, could make or break that!
If you want more referrals, thank those people who have referred you. If you’ve been given advice, thank the donor – you might need their help again soon.
As small businesses, let’s unite in the cause of common courtesy. Let’s start appreciating the wealth of support we receive every day … and ensure it will still be there tomorrow. All we have to do is say a simple ‘THANK YOU’.
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