Small Thanks = Big Rewards

My company hosted a golf outing for select staff and vendors early last month. The week started out well, but we ran into some horrible storm trouble. A tornado touched down in the area of the tournament, knocking out power to over 15 city blocks – including the restaurant where we planned to have our annual awards banquet.

The Marriott, who played host to our out-of-town guests, really stepped up. In about two hours, they managed to throw together an outstanding buffet for over 200 people (with no notice). Their staff ran around like crazy, going far above their normal duties. The catering staff even pulled some of the front desk and valet staff to help!

We were so impressed with how the hotel was able to accommodate us, our CEO signed a letter of thanks. We mailed it to the hotel’s general manager and also sent a copy to Marriott’s regional manager.

Normally, that would be the end of things. “Hey, you did a great job. Thank you. End of story.”

What came next, though, surprised us. We received a letter from the hotel’s manager, describing how he truly appreciated the letter of thanks, how he shared it with his staff and respected the time and effort it took to let him know about our experience. It meant a lot to him – so much so, that he took things a bit further.

We were again surprised when, the very next day, we received a letter from Bill Marriott himself. He explained how much he appreciated our comments, our business and how he looked forward to serving us in the future.

How great is it that old-fashioned letters of thanks can mean so much?

Business relationships can be brought together in the strangest ways. Due to a tornado, we now have the respect of an international hotel chain, negotiated corporate rates around the country and got mentioned at “the top” – just for spending a ½ hour on a letter.

Appreciate your business partners accordingly. You never know what might happen.

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