Sometimes you hear of a book that piques your interest and as you get into it you realise that the author is on your wavelength. Mick MacKenzie (an inspiring and stimulating guy in his own right) recommended Gary Vaynerchuk's book 'The Thank You Economy' to me. Gary has become a top business speaker in the US but he also translates pretty well into English.
Gary made his name on Twitter as an authority on wine who was happy to comment and recommend without pushing his own business (he is a wine merchant). He understood the difference between 'broadcast' and 'communicate' and the value of content. Take a look at him on CNN and read 'Crush It!'.
In his second book, 'The Thank You Economy' he expands his thinking further - I recommend the audio book version to get the full benefit of his passion.
His phrase, ‘The Thank You Economy’ expresses the opportunity being created for authentic, long-term companies like Sundial Group by the rapid development of the internet. Ironically the impact comes from the one thing that has never changed – human nature. Technology is allowing us to go back to a more natural way of doing business.
It is human nature to build relationships and friendships based on communication and trust. Our world is now connected as never before and we seem to be going back to the ways of our Grandparents and their ancestors when we make our choices. Anyone wanting to sell a product or service today does so in the traditional environment of the small town marketplace.
This new/old world is bringing back the value of reputation. In my view the absolute key to success is in creating advocates and fans; people who value the fact that Sundial Group can be trusted to care about them and their events.
The wonderful thing about our new connected world is that their views are being shared and that, on a one to one basis, they carry so much more weight than the mega budget advertising and marketing people. That 'one to one' small town connection has now become global.
We have always known that Sundial's culture and reputation are our most valuable assets. We have developed our values of Professionalism, Experience, Respect and Quality to guide us in our day to day interactions and decision making. We genuinely want the Sundial Experience for our guests to be great and think that profit is the reward for getting it right not the reason for doing it. This is the essence of The Thank You Economy.
Our obsession with our direct guest feedback systems and willing engagement with powerful influencers such as Trip Advisor for Barnett Hill, Highgate House and Woodside are the tip of the iceberg. Listening to Gary has made me realise how much more there is to do. Thankfully I have total faith in my colleagues at Sundial Group to continue to delight our customers. The trick now is to enable our advocates to spread the word and for us to demonstrate our listening and caring skills in the new/old world.
Thanks Gary (and Mick)