In May 2016, I received a call from Rochelle M. Howard, Deputy Director of the District of Columbia Office of Police Complaints. Prior to her phone call, I had no idea who she was or what her agency did.
Her request was a quote on 30 tests from the BEST Inventory, Communication Tests. These are short inventories, simple to administer and based on William M. Marston’s, Ned Herrmann’s, and James Brewer’s work measuring the dominant patterns of behavior in individuals.I have used them over the years.
I was flabbergasted and asked how she found me. She said that the owners of BEST Instruments had referred me. How super I thought. All of those conversations I had with the owner had given me something I never though about–a customer. I liked the owner very much and spent considerable time on learning how to administer and interpret the tests as well as just chatting. It actually never occurred to me that she might be in a position to refer me or my work.
Remember to thank people is a very important skill. Social media makes it possible to ‘like’ organizations and businesses that are important to us as well. Although people appreciate a business like, it is still very impersonal. If you do like a page, write a personal note about why you like the page–that will help. Her are a few more ideas for ‘upping’ your like quotient.
- Get to know your suppliers and people that are in a position to refer your business. Remember they have other customers who reach out to them and may ask for help. You might be the person to supply this help. If you get a referral don’t forget to thank them publically for their help and brag about their products.
- Don’t forget to get referrals from as many customers as possible. Some of your customers have more clout—don’t forget to us them. In this case I happened to have done volunteer communication testing for a high level government agency close to my home. They gave me a terrific testimonial that I know helped me get the job in Washington.
- Be as personal as possible. Thank people publicly and privately. A phone call for you can mean the difference, even if the favor doesn’t bring any immediate results. Just remembering to pass your name along to a potential customer, or bragging about you while sitting with a group of stranger’s matters. A third party endorsement is better than anything you can say about yourself.
- Get to know people who hire you; their likes and dislikes. If they like to cook or like a favorite dessert or tea, send it to them! The gifts don’t have to be expensive. You just need to go out of your way and give someone something special. If you’re a house guest send something wonderful to the host or bring something with you. It’s often easier after because you have a better idea about their likes.
- Keep a ‘gift notebook’ of people you want to thank. Sometimes we forget the most important people in our lives.
- Ask how you can help. If someone does something for you call and ask if there’s a way to repay the favor.
- Encourage people you know who do a good job. Everyone loves encouragement and few do it. Even big kids need encouragement.
- Social media is a good way to thank people but go beyond the like. Make a comment to them, send them a message and tell them thank you. Are you grateful? Say it if it’s so. It goes straight to the heart.
- Send an old fashion thank you note. They mean a great deal event in 2016. Don’t ask someone else to do it for you!