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Mind Your Business: Two Little Words


How much of your day is spent thinking about your professional strategy? Whether you're a business owner, an employee or a job hunter, chances are you dedicate a lot of energy to figuring out how to land that next customer, get that job or lobby your boss for a raise.

Yet, with all our focus on business plans, resumes and proposals, too often, we often forget to say "thank you." When used consistently and genuinely, these two little words could seal the deal – whatever that deal is for you.

When someone says thank you, you're more likely to want to deal with them again. At the end of the day, that's the secret to selling anything, including yourself. End the exchange in a way that makes someone want to interact with you again and you're already halfway there.

Here are a few reminders for those of you who may have forgotten to mind your manners.

If you are a boss. – Money isn't the only currency your employees value. A heartfelt thank you to your best employees goes a long way toward making them want to work harder. You don't hesitate to tell them when they're doing something wrong, why do you forget to tell them when they're doing a good job?

If you are an employee. – Your boss doesn't have it easy, despite what you might think. All those problems you deal with at work every day are double for your boss. Most good bosses act as human shock absorbers between the higher-ups and you. That's not an easy job. The next time you're tempted to think your boss is nothing but a lazy suck-up, consider how you'd manage if you were in his or her shoes. If you have a good boss, remember to thank them for their hard work once in a while. Odds are, they don't hear it nearly as often as you'd think.

If you are a job hunter. – Worry less about how shiny your shoes are and more about your manners. You should be sprinkling lots of "thank yous" around during the job search process . "Thank you for the opportunity," is a great all-purpose way to show your appreciation and will go a long way toward helping your case with the person doing the hiring.

If you are a business owner. – As a customer, there's nothing more annoying than feeling like you're spending your hard-earned money with someone who doesn't care one way or the other if you buy or not. Research shows that customers will spend more money for better customer service – and good customer service include a hardy "thank you for your business" at the end of each and every transaction.

If you are the customer. – In theory, every business would provide you with great customer service just to keep you coming back. In reality, though, business owners and their employees are only human. There's a lot of wiggle room in how you get treated and whether you're getting the best deal. A little appreciation will go a long way toward making sure you're in the "preferred customer" category.


Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.