Some time last year, I sat down for a lunch and first meeting with Todd Uterstaedt. Todd is President and CEO of Baker & Daboll (www.bakerdaboll.com), a rapidly-growing executive coaching firm in Mason, OH.
It was a good lunch. I quickly learned that Todd and I share similar points of view. Core branding notions, such as ensuring that one’s clients or customers profit in the relationship, and maintaining one’s principles – even if it means sacrificing a few sales – come naturally to Todd. It’s always nice to break bread with like-minded folks.
But here’s the truly remarkable thing. This first meeting fell under the general umbrella of “business development”; specifically, Todd wanted to find out more about my services, to see if they might be of value to his firm. And yet, after that lunch, Todd sent ME a handwritten note, thanking me for my time and insights.
This seemingly simple gesture says a lot about Todd – we’ve continued our conversation in the year or so since that lunch, and I’ve come to know him as a rock-solid, class guy. But for me, it also raised the question: Do we say “thank you” enough in this biz, and in the right ways?
Another example: Earlier this year, a company I partner with needed some copywriting help. I supplied them with two names of local copywriters I know and trust. As it turned out, the project shifted course, and these services were no longer needed. Yet one of the two writers, Jennifer Panepinto, went to the trouble to send me a handwritten thank-you note for my recommendation. To me, that’s indicative of the way she treats and serves her clients, and it certainly makes me more likely to recommend her for future projects.
I’ve just crossed the 11-year mark as a solo consultant, and that milestone made me think: I’ve been quite lucky. My clients have been a smart, challenging, enjoyable group. And many people have helped me realize my successes. I’m not sure I’ve thanked these people enough, and I’ve resolved to do better about this. For starters: I’ve got a stack of blank thank-you cards at the ready.
So, I’m interested in your thoughts. How can we all do a better job of saying thanks to our clients, vendors, partners and colleagues? How do you show your appreciation?
About Matthew Fenton: Matthew founded Three Deuce Branding in 1997 with a simple mission: “To help good people build great brands.” He’s a former CMO who repeatedly led underdog brands to dramatically outpace the market, and now he does the same for the clients he serves. Businesses with revenues of seven to ten figures trust Matthew to help them achieve “brand clarity” through core brand strategy and positioning. Matthew is also a highly-rated speaker. Contact Matthew here. He’s based in Chicago.
Copyright 2008 – Matthew Fenton. All Rights Reserved. You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.