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4 Ways To Show Your Professional Network That You Appreciate Them

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Showing gratitude isn’t something to do just at the holidays. Make it part of every day to grow and nurture your network with these tips from Nikki Beauchamp.

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There are many ways to show gratitude and appreciation. Weaving this into your everyday business and life — not just during specific seasons — can bring tremendous rewards.

I will share with you four of my favorite ways to show gratitude and appreciation to your professional network.

1. Handwritten notes

I wouldn’t know exactly how many, but I would estimate I’ve sent tens of thousands of variations on handwritten notes and cardsfor everything from birthdays and anniversaries to just because. I don’t wait until I have a transactional reason to do something; sending a simple token of recognition can have a ripple impact for years to come.

I sent a thank you note with a wax seal, to a listing broker who had gone out of his way to accommodate some showings with clients of mine. Ultimately they did not buy his listing, but wouldn’t you know, that note has come up often in our conversations, almost no matter where we run into each other — from showings, to the street, to even the dance floor!

I write a minimum of five notes per day, year-round. I keep stamps in my purse and have note cards in my bag as well as at my desk.

Yes, there are a plethora of services that you can use to do this at scale, but this is not necessarily about scale. I personally can not replace the joy it brings me to write a truly personal note to someone else. I often get calls or texts or tagged in social media posts after I’ve sent someone a note.

2. Social media shoutouts

Speaking of social media, highlight your professional partners in your newsletters and social posts. Tell the success stories and highlight all the members of the team involved. It is a tremendous opportunity to show gratitude and highlight that you have resources that include top-notch professionals.

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3. Gift cards

Send a gift (card). A few years ago, after a conversation with a colleague, I received a Starbucks card so I could get a hot cocoa and it came via a service called THNKS. I have sent and received so many Starbucks cards, physical and digital, but this stood out to me, so I immediately went to the site, and love the delivery of it so much. It offers the opportunity of going to one place to have dozens of options to chose from.

I have used this many times since to send thank yous and gift cards to my professional SOI. But the idea, in general, is sending something that is meaningful. It need not be expensive — just sending someone a $5 or $10 gift card so they can get their favorite Starbucks order. Why not?

4. Buying a meal

Years ago, I used to order customized Zagat restaurant guides, which I sent to clients but also my professional referral partners and resources. Along with it, I included a note suggesting we enjoy a cocktail or meal togetherand if I knew their favorite cuisines the handwritten note included that we make a lunch date for a specific restaurant.

An eternal hit: It’s been years since I’ve sent these, but I have always been a fan of cultivating relationships in this way. To me, the idea of breaking bread with the people with whom we work professionally is always a wonderful opportunity to celebrate success and brainstorm new ways to create opportunities.

These are just a few examples of ways you can effectively express gratitude and how that helps you to continue cultivating your professional relationships.

Nikki Beauchamp is an advisor with Engel & Völkers in New York City. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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