March 11, 2011

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects – The Thank You Economy

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 12:02 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk, Harper Business, 240 pages, $24.99, Hardcover, March 2011, ISBN 9780061914188

Gary Vaynerchuk might seem like a rare breed: his energy radiates through the screen when you watch his videos or read his posts. However, he would likely argue that he isn’t at all rare. He simply loves what he does and tells people about it. Then the word spreads. Seems simple enough, but his first book, Crush It, described in great detail just how you might go about telling people about what you love.

As more and more individuals started to take advantage of social media, businesses took notice, asking, “Is this stuff just fun and games, idle chitchat, or is this kind of communication something more, something to be harnessed?” If Crush It was the social media manual for individuals, The Thank You Economy is the essential guidebook for leveraging social media to improve your business.

What does that title mean, exactly? To Gary, The Thank You Economy is about caring about customers, about going to where they are rather than waiting for them to come to you. Take the steps to thank them for what they’ve done, offer help to make their lives better, have any conversation you want with them and, according to Gary, they will be more inclined to become advocates for your company and offer you their business again and again. It's a give and take—and you must be the first one to give.

Certainly, there will be corporate skeptics out there who prefer to let their product or their brand do the talking. But here is an excerpt from the book that will be difficult for them to argue against:

Brand managers and company leaders are obsessed with numbers because the numbers matter a great deal, if not to them personally, then to their superiors, their stockholders, and the financial and business media. I get that. But let me ask this: what is the return on investment for any kind of customer caring? Is there a formula in a sale or in a recommendation? No, but until now good managers and salespeople have killed their customers with kindness anyway, because even without hard numbers to quantify the ROI, they instinctively know that earning a customer’s trust is key.

Now, Nielsen has numbers that prove the link between generating trust and making a sale isn’t just theoretical. When Nielsen conducted a study on what drives consumer trust, the results were clear: almost 70 percent of people turn to family and friends for advice when making purchasing decisions. Where have people been talking to their family and friends lately? Facebook reports that 60 percent of the people online are going to social networks, with half returning every day. If there is ROI in friendship and family, there has to be ROI in social media.

Touching on all aspects of creating a strong and trustworthy business—customer service, strategy, sales and marketing—The Thank You Economy is a book that will change the way you think about social media's role as conversation-starter (and just maybe sustainer) in your business.