Have you ever referred business to someone and not heard anything back? It’s one of my pet peeves. More important, it represents a missed opportunity for the person who lets the referral go unacknowledged.

Ways to Demonstrate Appreciation

To let someone know how much you appreciate their referrals, take them out for lunch or coffee. Thankfully, face-to-face meetings haven’t gone out of style! There is no better way to connect with someone in a meaningful way than to take the time to meet with them in person.

The next best thing is a phone call. There’s something about the human connection—about hearing gratitude in someone’s voice—that makes a tremendous difference.

Don’t just stop at saying “thank you,” however. Take it to the next level by writing a personal, handwritten note. If you are self-conscious about your handwriting, take advantage of technology by using an online system like SendOutCards. I’ve used SendOutCards (SOC) for the past six years and have sent out hundreds of personalized cards and gifts to acknowledge the efforts of others and to say “thank you” for the referrals that they’ve sent my way.

Be a “Thank You” Kind of Person

Known as the “Thank You President,” George H.W. Bush sent out over 10,000 personal cards during his time in office. It set him apart and helped solidify important political relationships along the way. If the most powerful person in the country can take the time to say “thank you,” surely we can all do the same.

In this video that I made for Grange Insurance Association and its network of independent agents, I talk about the benefits of gratitude and describe a memorable “thank you” that I received from someone I referred several years ago:

Don’t let business referrals go unrecognized. Have a program in place to recognize the people who refer business to you—and you’ll guarantee their continued loyalty and support.

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