ARE you a salesman? A doctor? An engineer? An architect? A businessman? Or a practitioner or any other profession? Have you felt the pinch of heavy competition nowadays? If you're selling cars, there are so many other sales people trying to outsell you in terms of price, engine power, speed, fancy looks, what have you.

If you're selling appliances, how many dizzying choices have consumers nowadays? The same is true if you're dealing with insurance. Or health supplements. Or credit cards.

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If you're a doctor of whatever specialization, patients now, more than ever, have a wider number of your competitors to choose from. The same is true with engineers, architects, accounts, what have you.

In today's highly competitive business and professional world, if you want to be noticed, you have to do something "unique and extra-ordinary" that will make your customers notice and remember you.

As a consumer, how many times have you received a meaningful thank you from the store where you bought items from? I don't mean all those all-too-common sales clerks giving you their most charming forced smiles and saying, "thank you, sir/man," on your way out.

For example, when you bought your refrigerator, how much thank you did you receive from the store? Would you have been more attached to their store-and remembered them on your next appliance purchase -- if they sent you a sincere thank you card after a few days? What's a 20-peso card against a 15,000-peso purchase anyway?

Or as a way of saying thank you, would you have been flattered if they called you up a few days after just to check if everything's okay with your purchase? How much does a local call cost anyway? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Wala.

What about your furniture source? Or your TV source? Or the expensive hotel you stayed in when you traveled? How much thank you did you receive? Do I hear you say, "nope, not even a cost-less emailed thank you."

If I were a hotel owner, I'd get the birthdays of my guests and a few days after they checked out, I'd send them a thank you letter and a discount card, say 30% off, if they checked in on their next birthday (which date I will state in the letter for a bit of personal touch). How can they forget my thoughtfulness?

If I were the contractor of a house, I'd donate a lechon during the house warming of the owner as a way of saying thank you. (Of course, I'd have my business cards or business brochures near the lechon tray so that the guests can take one as they please. And I'll see to it that I'm beside the owner as he tours the guests around the house-visibility creates reputation and reputation creates sales, you know).

One of the books I published and sold nationwide in all National Bookstore branches is titled, "The Science of Getting Rich." One of the chapters there talks about gratefulness as a secret to success. I tell you, it's all about positive karma. The more you show gratefulness to people who contribute to your success, the more they'll come back to give you more success. It's a never ending cycle and each time it comes around, your circle of success just keeps getting bigger.

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