Since my new book
launched in January, I've sent out 273 complimentary copies. I know for a fact that at least four of those books were delivered.
These books were not sent out unsolicited to a random list of people I was hoping to engage, but rather to clients, prospective clients, major media contacts, and close colleagues who requested them. Each received a personalized, autographed hard cover book accompanied by a hand-written postcard. Reviving Work Ethic
retails for $24.95, and even at wholesale, my out-of-pocket costs per book exceeds $13 per copy, not including my time in the process.
With few exceptions, the executive-level decision makers who asked for a copy of my book did so in consideration of A) hiring me as a speaker for their company or organization; B) buying the book in bulk quantities for leaders in their organization; and/or C) excerpting the material for an article or story in a national publication. Some of these things have occurred, and that's great for business. But business aside, it's what didn't happen that reveals the nature of our society.
Of the 273 copies sent out, only four recipients have made any attempt to contact me to say 'thank you'. That means less than .01% of those who requested and subsequently received a complimentary, autographed hardcover book directly from the author called, wrote, or even emailed a simple, "Got it. Thanks!" acknowledgement. (And without looking at my spreadsheets, I can tell you who those four people are and also recite most of the names of those who haven't bothered to acknowledge receiving the book.)
I relayed this to several author/speaker colleagues of mine and each shared very similar tales. Doesn't make it any easier to comprehend or swallow.
I feel fortunate to have been raised by parents who made sure I knew the importance of 'please' and 'thank you'. Within 24 hours of receiving any kind of gift from a friend or relative, mom stood over me and made sure I wrote a personalized thank you note. She made sure that I understood that "Uncle Fred and Aunt Jean didn't owe you that pair of pajamas" and that sending a kind, warm personal note of gratitude to them was something I should take great pride in doing.
Today, saying 'thanks' is so much a part of my DNA that I have a hard time understanding those who don't.
"I GUESS I'M SUPPOSED TO SAY THANKS OR SOMETHING..."
My wife and I drove an hour to the other side of town to attend a graduation party for the daughter of one of my colleagues this past spring. We gave her a nice graduation card and enclosed a $100 VISA gift card. A month later, we got an eleven-word note that said "Thanks for coming to my party and for the gift." Sasha. (Sasha probably didn't even remember what gift we gave, but figured if we did give a gift, this would cover her.)
The bad news for all of us is that the world is growing colder, more self-centered and less caring, and common courtesy is no longer common.
The good news is that if you want to be unforgettable and endear yourself to clients, customers, and coworkers, or if you just want to do your momma proud, it doesn't take much to stand out from the crowd.
Reflect on the events of the past several days and ask yourself who went out of their way to make your life easier or better. Then ask yourself if those people have felt your gratitude, or your entitlement?