Remember to say, “Thank You”. It’s something we’re all taught from an early age. We instill it in our children. And we try our best to do it ourselves, in both our personal lives and in business. But when someone forgets to say it, we – at least I – notice it. I’ve noticed it twice this week, and it made me wonder: what’s the real impact?
Saying “Thank You” After Losing a Sale
For the past year or so, I’ve been evaluating marketing automation software. The software would allow us to attract and engage new business, nurture leads, and delight our customers once they’re on-board. It’s powerful software, and it’s expensive. Having the luxury of time, I identified two leading companies and began my due diligence. Fortunately and interestingly, because I was evaluating marketing automation software that can nurture leads, I was able to experience it in action, much as Multi-Pack Solutions’ customers might. I was impressed by both systems. I had many calls with each software’s sales rep, exchanged many emails, and joined numerous conference calls to explore all the features and make an educated decision. I even saw deep-dives of one system at a conference.
Finally, this week I made a decision to purchase Pardot, which is owned by Salesforce. I sent an email to the sales rep of the other company, thanking him for his patience and help along my evaluation journey, and explaining why I chose Pardot. He responded, professionally disappointed about not working together, but thankful for the opportunity. He also asked for more info about one of the reasons I provided him for choosing Pardot. After I responded with more detail…radio silence. No “thank you”.
Saying “Thank You” When Networking
On Monday, I received a request on LinkedIn that so many of us get: a recruiter contacted me, asking if I could refer anyone for an open position she was trying to fill. I responded that day, saying I was sorry but I couldn’t think of anyone. And she responded with…radio silence.
I get these requests quite often, and certainly not only from recruiters (not picking on you, recruiters!). And all too often, there’s no response and no “thank you” from that person who I just helped. So this time, I decided to message her with a recommendation: when you ask someone to help you on LinkedIn, and they do, you might consider responding to say “thank you”. She wrote back immediately, saying she receives 100’s of emails and responses every day, and she can’t get back to everyone right away (three days had passed). It seemed that defending her etiquette was more important than that “thank you”, which never came.
LinkedIn is a networking site, and networking comes down to shared interest and often professional courtesy. I was taught that if you ask to network with someone, and they agree to offer their expertise or time, make sure you follow up. Perhaps you were searching for a job; if you have coffee with someone to help in your search, let that person know when you get a job. Say “thank you” for their time. A simple courtesy.
Of course, this is not limited to LinkedIn messages. I once agreed to have coffee with someone in a job search. Rather than say “thank you”, he gave my contact info to a relative who soon called me at work to try and sell me something.
Why It Matters
The little things matter. Let’s say, after a year of using Pardot, the marketing automation software, I don’t like it and I decide to look at other solutions. I might remember that one sales rep, who wasn’t as courteous after losing a sale as he was during the selling process. Sure, I won’t disqualify them solely because of that, but it’s one of a hundred tiny factors. At Multi-Pack Solutions, we provide wet wipes manufacturing, tube filling, bottle filling, sachets and single packs, and water-soluble pouches. But we’re not the only ones. We may lose a piece of business, or never get it in the first place. But that opportunity may come back to us, and we want that customer or prospective customer to have as many positive impressions of us as possible. A “thank you” is just one.
If someone reaches out to network with me, and doesn’t express thankfulness for my time, that might impact my likelihood of helping someone in the future. It’s a shame, because networking and helping people is so valuable and often enjoyable, but I must admit, it sticks in the back of the mind.
Two simple words that can make an impact.
Thank You for reading.