One of the Rock Star Principles I often discuss in my motivational
business speeches is appreciation.
Specifically, that no matter who you are or how big the company grows,
appreciation is still necessary on so many levels.
Your Employees: Yes, you pay them to do a job and you
expect them to do a job. But you’ll get a lot more from those that work for you
when you show you appreciate them.
I occasionally used to put a “Closed for Inventory” sign on the door at The Space Store and take the staff for pedicures.
When there were times I needed a little extra effort and/or time from
the staff, it was always there.
Your Employer: Most think of it as sucking up or at
least brown nosing. It is that if
it’s not sincere. Otherwise, even
the boss likes to hear thank you once in awhile. Just imagine, all day long, all the one at the top hears is
about the problems, the issues, the complaints, etc. A sincere thank you goes a long way, especially when no one
else is saying thanks.
Contractors: Rock star Billy Idol played a concert
at a Houston amphitheater in the mid 80’s. Breaking all attendance records, the Six Flags management team
was thrilled. Billy and his band
did what they were contracted to do.
The venue did what they were supposed to do and honored the contract.
Even though both sides met all contractual obligations, that management team
went above and beyond to say thank you to Team Billy Idol for a job well
done. They opened up the adjacent
water park, turned on the lights and rides, gave Billy and his entourage
bathing suits and towels and said “thanks.”
Vendors: The Space Store worked with vendors all
over the world for the space toys and products sold online. Now, in most business relationships, it
is usually the vendor giving the buyer a gift. Instead, The Space Store would
send a giant Hershey’s Chocolate Tower to our biggest vendors early each Fall
to say thanks for getting product to us year round. Come the holiday rush, guess which store always got special
consideration when supplies and patience were running low??
Just because: Most importantly, you show appreciation
for those around you, whether it’s employees or customers, by doing the right
thing. By doing something just because your internal compass says it would be
the right thing to do, not taking
into consideration the bottom line, the profit margin or what others would
think, good or bad. Van Halen did
just that when they visited a young man in a Houston hospital many years
ago. A video of that visit
recently surfaced and it
served to remind me once again that you can never go wrong doing the right
thing. What the band did then is still as powerful now as it was so long ago. When you do the right thing, you are saying that you
appreciate your customers enough to respect them.
Today’s speech was to the Houston chapter of the American
Marketing Association, a dynamic group of marketing professionals, many of who
came up afterwards to express their appreciation for the presentation. That of course is always, well, appreciated.
However, the one that stands out? One of the breakfast servers who made a point to say thank
you to me for reminding participants to say thank you to the staff. For telling the crowd that ‘even though
you paid for the event, the food, the meeting space and the servers, you should
still say thank you.’
That server who said thank you? She’s recovering from Stage 1 breast cancer and has two more
chemo appointments left. She said
“thanks for making me matter today.” That’s all I needed to hear to make my day.
Dayna Steele is a serial entrepreneur, a media strategist, and is the author of Rock to the Top: What I Learned about Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars. She travels the world helping grow businesses with her presentation “Find Your Inner Rock Star” and is currently working on her next book I’m With the Band: Networking Rock Star (Network Your Way into Anything Anywhere Anytime!)