Hidden praise

Two days ago I went shopping for Halloween candy.

I know I’m 6 weeks early, but this is when the selection is widest. And only a few people were browsing.

I knew exactly what I wanted: a particular brand of lollipop, because it is free of major allergens.

You see,  400 costume trick-or-treaters knock on our door each Halloween. Yes, 400.

And as I shopped for 400 of those lollipops, I didn’t even look at the price on the bags.

I suddenly planted my feet in the aisle, tugging my shopping cart to a halt between the Kit Kats and Smarties. I realized how much more prosperous we are than during the early years of our marriage, back when I hunted in the aisles for the cheapest candy (typically the no-name imitation of Smarties)– or forgo giving any treats at all. And I seized the moment to make a video with my smartphone,  telling that story as I stood in that aisle, with the backdrop of 6ft high shelves lined with cellophane bags of candy.

The surprise came when I posted the video to social media the next afternoon.

I received the typical Likes and a few comments about “congratulations.”

But some people I haven’t heard from in many months began commenting, telling me how much they appreciated receiving greeting cards from me. (No mention of greeting cards in the video.)

I send those people birthday and anniversary cards each year and never hear a peep from many of them, year after year, unless on the rare occasion we see each other face-to-face– at which point they commonly gush “thank you for the cards you send” as one of their first comments.

Many of those cards never bounced back with a bad address, so I kept sending. In some cases I wondered if they ever received the mailings… perhaps the cards were getting thrown away by a family member or roommate?

Well, something in that video or comment thread triggered a chain of gratitude. And it made my day!

Whatever your product is… keep building strong relationships that show you care more about people than their wallet.

You never know when the appreciation will change from hidden to visible.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

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