Are you living in “Wow”???
I received a call from an associate I worked on a project with a few weeks ago. She started the call in her usual chirpy voice, “Wow, Erick I just received your lovely card! Are you in marketing? It is one of the most creative cards I have ever received!”
I had sent my associate a post card from a great service called Ace of Sales, a web based e-mail and post card service. I chose from a stock of artwork, and typed in a short message and sent it out to her with no hassle for less than $1.00. We had a wonderful conversation which ended with her saying, “Erick, receiving your card made my morning and was a major ‘wow factor’, nice job!”
It made me feel good to hear her say that, because that is my goal in my interactions. I strive to have people say “wow!” when I work with them or serve them in some way. I find it is one of the keys in building long lasting partnerships, relationships, and customer loyalty.
A few years ago, I began writing hand written notes to people after meetings, dinners, and other events as a standard follow-up, just to the let them know that our interaction had an impact on me and that I value the relationship. I used to be amazed by how many people would call me back and thank me for just sending them a simple card. I even had a national public association call me because the staff wanted to write an article about the concept of sending out personal notes as follow-ups! I could not believe that such a simple concept was getting national attention by having an article written about a note I sent one of the staff members after a meeting I had with her.
It got me thinking, the reason why people noticed when I sent them cards after meeting them was that it was becoming rare for them to receive personal attention in a world where they are bombarded by “mass” everything. The bad news is that simple gestures are becoming a rarity, but the good news is that it is fairly easy to create a “wow” situation in others lives. Here are 5 basic rules I follow to create “wow” situations:
- Use peoples’ names and remember them. Whenever I meet someone I ask them their name and use it throughout the conversation. I notice that people smile when you call them by name. Clerks and waiters seem pleasantly surprised when I use their name, even though they wearing a name tag, but why are they always surprised? Because, no one does it!
- Find something you like about the person you are interacting with and compliment them on it. It can be something simple as, “I like your shoes” or “your kids are very well behaved.” People yearn for praise and will be grateful when you notice something positive about them. Just remember to be authentic and sincere with your praise.
- Write a note and send it to a friend, colleague, or relative. In a sterile environment of texting, e-mails, tweets, and blah, blah, blah, how refreshing is it to get a hand written note or card from someone. When you get your mail and find a card sent to you, what is the first thing you open? You open the card! So why not make it a habit of sending a card to someone? I try to send out a few cards a week to people in which I want to add value that week.
- Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! This is our greatest weakness as a society! We say we will do many things, but we fail to do most of them. If you get a voicemail, return it! If you tell someone you will do something for them, then do it and finish it early. Don’t tell someone, you have not seen in awhile, that you will call them sometime if you never plan to do it. Be different and actually call that person today!
- Have an attitude of gratitude in your relationships and it will show in your actions. I had a mentor tell me that he decides who he is going to build long term relationships with based on their grateful spirit. That changed how I viewed my daily interactions. Before you make your next phone call to a client, ask yourself what that person means to you. How grateful are you that they are your client? How does having them as a customer impact your job and your career? You will be much more positive in the call and will start doing the “extras” that will lead to “wow” situations! Always remember this simple rule; your actions always follow your attitude so start working on your grateful spirit today.
Has someone “wowed” you lately? Share your story, I’d like to hear it!