Despite our general interest in self-preservation, a growing volume of research is finding that human beings are hard-wired to help each other. Not only can helping others trigger a release of endorphins and create a “helper’s high”, but we have a tendency to want to help those who have helped us – a form of social reciprocity that can be very rewarding in the long run to those who help others.
In a new book entitled “Gratitude Marketing”, financial advisor and coach Michael Sciortino explores how advisors can leverage the principles of helping others, expressing gratitude, and the reciprocity rule, to market themselves and their businesses. Not from the perspective of doing good for selfish reasons, but simply because doing good – in a consistent, systematic way – happens to be remarkably good for business, too.
So whether it’s sending clients cards on their birthday, taking them (and their friends) out for birthday lunches, throwing clients (and their co-workers) a retirement party, or having client appreciation events and making charitable donations as a token of appreciation for those who refer, there are numerous ways to express to clients your appreciation for their business and referrals in a way that can support more of those behaviors in the future. Though notably, in the end expressing gratitude isn’t necessarily about the latest, greatest idea, but simply the consistent expression of thanks… which is why Sciortino notes that for some advisors, the best tactic is also simply to regularly write thank-you notes to express your gratitude to those who have helped you to grow your business!