We all know that relationship building makes a huge difference to success in business. Yet something as simple as saying "Thank You" is often a missed opportunity to appreciate those relationships.
I've been a member of the PSA (Professional Speaking Association), for over five years and it's a wonderful organisation for learning and collaboration. Recently I was asked to be an MC at the PSA annual convention, called "Inspire", in Coventry which was a great experience.
A week or so afterwards I received this "Thank You" card from the PSA President Lee Jackson. It was personally written by Lee and it really stood out. I appreciated the fact that he had taken time to handwrite the card and to personalise it. Lee has written twelve books now and the first ever chapter of his first book was called the "3R's" - Relationships Relationships Relationships.
As he told me "Everything we do is a relationship at some level - otherwise what have we got?" The card is a great idea that I'll be using, and like Lee I'll put my website on the front and back! Yes, Lee's website is: - http://leejackson.biz This is just one way to personalise your business and build your relationships.
Personalisation is an area that many of the big retailers and supermarkets, both online and in the high street, are investing huge sums in. Last year it was mentioned in many of the interviews I did for Business Reporter, with tech companies developing algorithms to enable their clients personalise their businesses. In the last series of "The Apprentice" on BBC 1, one of the winners was Sarah Lynn. In the final episode, while promoting her confectionary gift company, Sweeteze, she said "It's all about personalisation". We watched Lord Sugar discuss the candidates' presentations with a team of industry experts.
One of the experts was Lisa May, the confectionery marketing director at Nestle for the UK and Ireland. She said that in her opinion; "Personalisation is absolutely here and now". Perhaps this was one of the reasons why Sarah's personalised confectionary won Lord Sugar's backing. The great thing about personalisation is that it doesn't always need massive investment. Sometimes it's the simple things, like taking the time to say "Thank You", that can make us memorable.
Following Lee's example, I decided to send out personal Christmas Cards to my clients last December. They were handwritten with a personal note, and I even handwrote the envelope, as I knew it would stand out in the mail. It took a while but it was a really good investment, as I've already had four clients get in contact to say thank you. So, I'm going to say thank you more often, not in a group email or newsletter but with a handwritten note!