The Most Powerful Tool You Aren’t Using

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The other day I was in the checkout line at a local store and when I got to the cashier she began scanning my items and putting them into the bag. She never looked at me. She never said hello. She never smiled. In fact the only thing she ever said to me was “That will be $24.73”. Again, she never looked at me. And when she handed me my receipt, she began bagging the next person in line and never said thank you.

Then I drove to a fast food place to get some lunch and when I pulled up to the first window the guy in the window said “That will be $6.53”. He took my money, closed the window, and never said thank you.

Gratitude is a powerful thing. And I think that too many people, and businesses especially, are missing the boat on this one. A kind word, a door held open, a simple smile. It doesn’t take much effort, and the rewards are genuine. Saying ‘thank you’ leaves a good taste in someone’s mouth and often causes the other person to reciprocate. And the icing on the cake is that so few people and businesses do it these days, so if you start doing it you’ll set yourself apart.

For my business, I put my money where my mouth is by saying thank you every chance I get. In fact, one of the things I do almost every day is say thank you with a hand-written note. That’s right. I hand write a note, put it in an envelope with a stamp, and mail it. I send thank you notes for everything and you would be surprised by the number of people who talk to me later and say things like “I got that thank you note you sent. I really appreciated that!”

Those moments of ‘thank you’ can make a big difference in whatever it is that you do, and it will set you apart from others who do what you do. And here’s the dirty little secret… it will make you feel better. Gratitude is a powerful thing indeed.

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