When did you last say thank you to your clients, your customers, your family? Not just a quick ‘thanks mate”, and not a discount, but simply a Thank You, because we think you rock?

On Friday I received a beautifully designed package with macaroons in it, celebrating the French Revolution and saying thank you. It was from Right Angle Advertising. They hand delivered them to their friends and clients. It was stunningly designed (it should be they are a design company) but the simple thank you was most impressive.

Maybe it’s a design company thing, but BBR Creative are the quickest company in town to send me thank you cards – handwritten, heartfelt notes that make me smile.

What are you doing as a company, and a person to say thank you to those people who keep you in business? Think about it for a moment, none of us would get to do what we do without these people who buy our products and services.

I think a Thank You gift/note/card/whatever should be just that. For those of you that know me, I have a thing about this at Christmas too. A card to say thank you (or Merry Christmas) should just say that, not a ‘special offer’ or discount. The moment you confuse the two it has stopped being a gesture of goodwill and become a sales promotion.

Sometimes it’s not about selling, it’s about being grateful. It’s always about building relationships. Sometimes not selling is great business.

It doesn’t have to be a big deal to be a big deal. Saying thanks is more about meaning it than macaroons (although they were delicious).

Little things show your clients and customers that you care. Those small details say ‘we have thought about you’ or ‘we understand you’. Connecting in some way matters. When it comes down to it we do business with people we like. So treat your customers as though they are people you like.

I dare you today to call someone just to say thank you. No selling, no reminding them to do something, no nothing except gratitude. Put a handwritten note in the mail to someone just saying you appreciate them. They may never mention it again. They may get busy and forget to tell you they got it. It’s OK – I guarantee they smiled when they opened it.

I should finish this by saying thank you. To those of you who read this column (and this blog). To those of you who message me on Facebook or Twitter and say how much you liked it, or how you agree (or disagree). Knowing that even one person reads it makes me feel good about it. I sometimes don’t reply, and I sometimes forget to say what I should say – so Thank You.

This column first appeared in The Daily Advertiser on Tuesday 17th July 2012, all usual rights reserved.