Just Say Thanks
Originally published: 04.01.15 by Pete Grasso
Sometimes, saying "thank you" is difficult to do on a regular basis.
Sure, if someone does something special for you or gives you a gift, it's easy to quickly say "thank you" and be on your way.
If someone does something especially nice, you might go out of your way to over-thank them to make sure they know how much you appreciate what they've done. After all, if they don't know how appreciative you are, they may not do you any favors in the future.
I was reminded of this recently when I caught a rerun of the classic Seinfeld episode "The Face Painter."
In that episode, Jerry receives tickets to a New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils playoff game from a friend of his. Jerry thanks him over and over again when he first get the tickets, but neglects to say "thank you" again the day after the game. As a result, Jerry does not get tickets for the next game.
It's a humorous take on an issue we deal with every day; something Seinfeld was brilliant at showcasing in every episode. In this case, it's society's perceived need to be thanked, and thanked again.
Jerry wanted to take a stand against what he believed was over-thanking. Kramer, on the other hand, noted that saying "thank you" was common courtesy and that "good manners are the glue of society."
Both characters have valid points in this argument — Jerry going so far as to say, "If I knew I had to give him eight million 'thank yous,' I wouldn't have taken the tickets in the first place."
It begs the question: Can you thank someone enough? Perhaps the real question we should ask ourselves is "Can you not thank someone enough?"
Unfortunately, I think the answer to that is, yes.
Too often, the words "thank you" become an automatic response that can lose meaning. The best "thank you" is one that's unexpected. Unexpected recognition for a job well done can be extremely validating.
How successful would your business be without the hard work and dedication of your employees?
Several years ago, Mitch Cropp, owner of CroppMetcalfe in Fairfax, Va., told me he still took the time to write personal "thank you" notes to include with his employees' paychecks. This stuck with me as an example of someone who truly values his employees.
It's easy to say "thank you" to an employee when he or she goes above and beyond the call of duty. But, why not give them an encouraging "thank you" simply for doing their job every day?
You also depend on a great deal of help from outside vendors — you couldn't be successful without them. Have you considered showing them some appreciation?
A positive relationship with your suppliers and distributors is invaluable in this industry. Do you have a strong working relationship with them? Thanking them for all that they do to help your business can go a long way in strengthening that relationship.
What about your customers? You certainly couldn't be successful without them. Be sure to thank them for their continued support. Many successful contractors send out handwritten "thank you" notes to customers after a job (never underestimate the power of a handwritten note).
Finally, be sure to thank your family. This is a family industry, with so many second-, third- and even fourth-generation contractors. A strong family support structure is at the foundation of so many successful HVACR companies. Have you expressed appreciation to your family lately?
Think about the little things your employees, co-workers, vendors, suppliers, customers and family members do every day to make your life easier.
Now, go thank each and every one of them — they're all a part of your team. And, as the aforementioned Seinfeld episode teaches us, "You gotta support the team."