Entrepreneurs are often very focused on showing gratitude to their customers, but sometimes may not pay as much attention to the other people who support them. Consider all the help that you have received from your network; they are the ones who send you referrals, sing your praises, let you know about opportunities, and support you in the difficult days.
Here are some ways that you can show your gratitude.
People are so touched when we take the time to say thank you. It doesn’t cost anything, so it makes you wonder why we don’t do it more. You can do it in person, by email or even send a handwritten card. The key is to clearly communicate how they helped and what it meant to you.
GIVE A SHOUT OUT
Most people appreciate public recognition, particularly other entrepreneurs. It makes them look and feel good and it can even serve as free advertising for them. Social media and your online newsletter are both great tools for showing your appreciation publicly. Keep it short and sweet and emphasize how amazing they are.
FIND WAYS TO HELP
Networking is a two-way street. If you find ways to help the people in your network, chances are they will return the favour down the road (although this is not the reason why you should help!) Keep your eyes open for any opportunities that you can send their way.
TAKE A PERSONAL INTEREST
The best networks are not limited to business transactions. If you want to build strong relationships, you need to stop looking at people as contacts and make an effort to get to know them. When you build friendships with the people in your network, you benefit both personally and professionally. Ask your contacts about their family and their interests. You may even want to invite them out for a coffee just to chat. Most people will be flattered that you are trying to get to know them better.
Everyone loves to be appreciated, so taking some time to say thank you is good for both you and your business. However, it’s not just about what you get from it, it’s about the kind of person you want to be. Don’t spend so much time complaining about the rain that you don’t even notice the person who’s holding an umbrella over your head.
Written by Karen Bivand