WOW Word-Of-the-Week #404: Benefit

May 2, 2012 by  

Benefit – something that aids or promotes well-being; an advantage.

What are the advantages of doing business with you? What do you do that aids or promotes well-being? Do your customers, guests, clients, or members (and family members) know that?

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to the Pasadena Chapter of  the International Association of Administrative Professionals on Administrative Professional’s Day. The chapter was great FUN! I received an email the next day from Julie who wrote, “I was sitting at the front table by the podium at the IAAP event last night.  I wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your presentation and your positive spirit.”

“It’s interesting that you quoted from Authentic Happiness.  That is Martin Seligman’s book, the former head of the American Psychological Association, and the first one to tell the membership of doctors that there was more benefit to studying the good in their patients’ lives than focusing persistently on the negative.  He made quite a stir when he told the doctors who were interested in billable hours for known maladies that they should look for what was right with their patients rather than wrong.”

Amen and thanks to Julie! Frankly this applies to all of us both personally and professionally. When I speak about motivating staff I say, “Create a Dependability Club. Reward your dependable people instead of punishing the undependable. When they see the benefit of being dependable they will rise to the occasion.

Then much to my surprise Julie added, “I write fiction as a sideline career and have three novels available on The Wednesday Girl, An Exaltation of Larks, and The Finishers: How to Work in the World Without Losing Your Soul.  Since you were so inspiring and drove all the way to Pasadena (it was my first meeting with IAAP), I want to offer you one of my books for free, no strings attached.”

“Please look them up on and let me know which one you’d like and the best address to send it to you.  My favorite thing, as an author, is circulating my work so if you say yes, you’ll make my day. Thanks for coming!”

Well, that made my day too! This week’s focus is on benefit. Do you tell people the benefits of doing business with you? Do you benefit from the wisdom of your customers, guests, clients, or members by asking them for their ideas? Do you know how to create solutions for everyday problems?

Reader Responses

“Thanks for your weekly motivational e-mails with beneficial words and lessons to go about my work day/week with. You need to come back and address our troops again in the future.” – Barry

“Nice!  Always good to get feedback that others have benefited from our presentation.  I too am a fan of Dr. Martin Seligman and frequently recommend his website and his earlier book Learned Optimism.” – Sarita

“I think it is better to show others the benefits of being involved instead of telling them. We all know that actions speak louder than words. Let others see the benefit by the way we treat them. Returning phone calls, emails or other correspondence. Remembering their special days. We have an insurance agent who always sends my wife and me cards on our birthdays – EVERY YEAR! To me, that is just smart business and means that the agent is thinking about us and how our business benefits him. There is not enough of that in the business world. When I worked at both Food Industry News and Pizza & Pasta magazine, whenever I did a feature story or promoted some product in the publications, I always sent a personalized note and a copy of the publication to the parties involved. It let me know that I had not forgotten them and that I appreciated dealing with them. It is those type of actions that people talk about. And as you know, Susan, PEOPLE TALK. Especially when someone goes out of their way for them. So, it is those actions that make people sit up and take notice. Several years ago, I received a letter from a young man in Howard Beach, NY, whose family had purchased several copies of my first book, “You Can Call Me Al.” The young man wanted to know if I could get a print of one of the pictures that appeared in the book of Al McGuire and Joe Paterno when they played against each other in a high school football game in Brooklyn. I sent him the print that Marquette University had in its archives. A few weeks later, a package arrived at my front door. It was a blown up copy of the photo, autographed by both Al McGuire and Joe Paterno. The young man had sent the photo to both men who were nice enough to sign it. I was obviously very grateful to the young man, and told him so. Great word, Susan. Keep up the great work and have a wonderful weekend.” – “Warrior” Joe