We have all heard the saying that “it’s far better to give than to receive.”  When I heard it in my youth I thought it was the most ludicrous statement.  I knew what it felt like to celebrate my birthday or wake up Christmas morning – lots and lots of presents!  Now that I am older (and hopefully a bit wiser) the significance of that saying has struck a cord within me, not only in my personal life but my professional life as well.

Professionally, the act of giving has had a ripple effect in my life.  The gifts of thanks that we give our customers and employees during the Holidays is important, whether it’s a gift card, a dinner out with the team, or a flower arrangement.  However, we may not be able to adequately thank those who we consider our referral partners, or other professionals who we have developed a strong relationship with throughout the year.  The act of giving as a token of our appreciation for them can be something more than that wrapped present, it can be something that continues to give long after it was received.  I am referring to the gift of a referral.  A referral can be thought of as:

  • An opportunity to do business.
  • A connection with another professional.
  • A testimonial.
  • Volunteering at an event they are hosting.
  • Donating to their chosen charity.
  • Attending an event they are sponsoring.
  • Extending an invitation to join you at an event as your guest.

In other words, we can think of these intangible gifts of promoting another’s business as a way to say “I appreciate you.”

So remember, gratitude does not require deep pockets and lavish gifts.  A simple act can go much farther with those you value the most.

Keep it simple.

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