The Thank You Economy

By Gino Blefari
President & CEO
Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.”
– Western Union internal memo, 1876

“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?”
– An investor in response to David Sarnoff’s push for radio, 1920

“While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility.”
– Lee De Forest, radio pioneer, 1926

“Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from office and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney.”
– Cliff Stoll, author, astronomer, professor, 1995

“If I had a nickel for every time an investor told me this wouldn’t work…”
– Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

These quotes are the beginning of Gary Vaynerchuck’s book, The Thank You Economy. I was lucky enough to see him speak at a Tom Ferry event which is where I picked up his first book Crush It. Mr. Vaynerchuck is co-founder and CEO of a social media consulting agency, video blogger, co-owner and director of operations of a wine retail store, and an author and public speaker on the subjects of social media, brand building and e-commerce. I love this guy. I remember when he was 34, his goal was to own the New York Jets and he is well on his way. Now that’s thinking big.

As soon as I started reading The Thank You Economy, I knew it was going to make an impact on me. The first paragraph from the Preface jumped out at me. Here it is. Let me know if it does the same to you:

“I’ve been living the Thank You Economy since a day sometime around 1995, when a customer came into my dad’s liquor store and said, ‘I just bought a bottle of Lindemans Chardonnay for $5.99, but I got your $4.99 coupon in the mail. Can you honor it? I’ve got the receipt.” The store manager working the floor at the time replied, ‘No.’ I looked up from where I was on my knees dusting the shelves and saw the guy’s eyes widen as he said, ‘Are you serious?’ The manager said, ‘No, no. You have to by more to get it at $4.99.’ As the man left, I went over to the manager and said, ‘That guy will never come back.’ I was wrong about that; he did come back. He came back a couple of months later – to tell us he would never shop with us again.”

Now, in today’s day and age, this customer would go straight to Twitter, or Facebook, or Yelp and write about how he didn’t get his way. That post would be seen by a slew of other people who may decide that they will no longer shop at that liquor store too. Now you see the effect one person could make on a business. It is that one negative interaction that could turn into the demise of a company. On the other hand, if it was a good interaction, it could increase business and expand relationships. It’s all about the customer experience because today, their voice is the one working for or against your business’ success.

This is the focus of The Thank You Economy. The world is no longer one of forced expensive advertising. It is one of caring about the customer. Having a connection with them. In one way, connecting with the customer goes back to the way things use to be. You knew your local butcher by his first name; he knew your mother and your sister and you treated him more as a friend than a business. On the other hand, the connection is on a new platform; the internet. So the relationship goes beyond the locals and across the country, even the world in some cases. How does this happen? Through the means of social media.

The Thank You Economy takes you through the great benefits of being a part of this new world of business communication and shows you how to take advantage of it. Understanding the needs of your customers is so important and this book gives you the tools to find out what they are.

Get your copy of The Thank You Economy HERE