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Business Writing With Buzz

What Bananas in Pyjamas Can Teach Us about Marketing

Rosemary Gillespie - Monday, May 17, 2010

When my daughter was about three years old, we were watching an episode of that classic Australian TV drama, Bananas in Pyjamas. B1 and B2 were struggling to persuade a cow to re-enter its barn.

The cow would not budge.

Despite B1's and B2's pushing, pulling, shouting and feet stamping, the cow stood unmoved.

After a short while, Rat in a Hat came along. Rat, of course, asked, "What's going on here?" The Bananas explained.

Rat bent to the cow, whispered in its ear, and the cow happily strolled into the barn.

The Bananas were astonished. "What did you say?" they exclaimed in surprise. 

"I just said the magic word," replied Rat. 

"What's that?" asked B1 and B2.

"Please", said Rat. 

As we all know from when we first start talking (parents take great pride in their toddler's first "ta, ta"), good manners go a long way, and not just when you have to get a cow into a barn.

While I'm sure there have been occasions when I've inadvertently failed to thank a client, business friend or contact for their referral, help or advice - I admit I'm no etiquette expert and nor am I infallible - I do know that after 10 years in business saying thank you builds business relationships. It's good marketing sense.

But you have to mean it.

You don't need a special reason to say thank you. Thanking a potential client for making the time to meet with you is simply a polite way making yourself memorable. I know there are projects I've been invited to work on, partly because I sent my prospective client a handwritten note to thank them for their time.

I have specially designed and printed thank you cards. I'm not pretending to be an innovator here, but quite a few of the recipients over the years have asked me if they can 'borrow' my idea and get their own cards printed for themselves, or for their companies. 

In 10 years, I can only recall receiving one thank you note myself, from a fellow copywriter to whom I gave some advice on starting a new business. I have had phone calls and emails of thanks, of course, which I always appreciate.

So, in the words of Rat in the Hat, remember the magic word (or words). They can make a thankful differerence to you business' development.

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