It’s the time of year for gathering together with our families, reflecting on our good fortune and giving thanks for the blessings and fellowship we enjoy. But all that end-of-year reflections shouldn’t just be limited to our personal lives.

As successful entrepreneurs, we have many who helped us get where we are and for that we owe them a debt of thanks. The professional associates with whom we share referrals. Raving fans who spread the good word about our services. Friends and advocates who want to see us succeed. So we head into this holiday weekend, I’m sharing some ideas on how to give proper thanks to your supporters and why it’s the right thing to do for you and your business.

Giving Back What You Receive

The most basic way to thank someone who has helped your business is to reciprocate. Recommend them to your clients, provide help when asked and use their services when you can. You probably already do this without thinking, but when you keep helping others front of mind, you’ll see even more opportunity. And generosity is always rewarded. Maybe not right away, and maybe not when you want it to be or think it should be, but it will happen. A reputation as someone who is ready with a helping hand is nothing but a good thing for your business.

The VIP Treatment

Whether your advocate is a referral source or just someone who heartily recommends your business, a good way to say thanks is to put them first. Create a special level of service (whether this also costs more or not is up to you) so you can give VIPs the special treatment they deserve. Prioritize them on your calendar. Give them first dibs on new products or services you plan to offer.

On the flip side, a courtesy discount—even a small one counts—never fails to generate positive feelings. So always go above and beyond, but especially when you provide services for your Lifelong Clients. Because when you turn a Raving Fan into an even greater Raving Fan, everyone wins. You can’t put a price on a strong ally.

Good Begets Good

It’s an obvious statement, but when you do a good job on your product and how you provide it, customers remember. That’s why there are people who want to help your business in the first place. Stick to your niche, but that doesn’t insulate you from having to prove your worth. Or from thanking the people who help you succeed.

Customers always have choices. And many customers have no problem choosing a less suitable product based on the reputation and experience they have with a company. That means your customer service needs to be far and away better than your competition. That’s how you stand above the crowd.

Concentrating on doing good and being good are how you show Raving Fans and Lifelong Clients that you appreciate their help. So this Thanksgiving, take a minute to thank your customers in addition to your loved ones.

Sean

image credit: Bigstock/Milleflore Images

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