The Law of Appreciation

Years ago, I passed on a tip to a client that she took to heart. I told her to send thank-you notes to her clients. I met her several years afterwards and she told me, “You know that tip you gave me to send thank-you notes? Well, that’s the secret that filled my practice. I keep doing it and, as a result, get a constant stream of referrals.”

In today’s More Clients I’m going to explain exactly why this works. Sit back and enjoy reading, as it’s the most important marketing lesson I will ever teach.

In the movie and the book, “The Secret,” the secret is simple, powerful and true – but incomplete. The secret is, “The Law of Attraction” which asserts that we attract what we think about.

In the 1920’s Napoleon Hill published “The Law of Success” and in 1937, “Think and Grow Rich.” He also focused on the Law of Attraction, but on so much more.

Some of his principles included: A definite aim, the mastermind, self-confidence, imagination, enthusiasm, the habit of doing more than paid for, concentration, cooperation, tolerance and several other traits essential for success.

He emphasized that ALL of these were important, not just having a clear and definite aim, which is the essence of the law of attraction.

But if you read Think and Grow Rich, in the preface he talks about another secret principle that he asserts is more important than all the others and is the key to all the others working. He didn’t write a specific chapter for this, but let the reader know that this secret could be found in every chapter of the book if they spent the time to search.

So not only did Hill lay out the laws and principles of success, he presented a mystery to the reader. What was this other principle and why was it so important?

Well, that’s what today’s article is about.

I did some research about this recently and upon discovering it, so many things fell into place. This principle wasn’t new to me, it’s just that I never quite saw it as THE key to everything else as far as success (and fulfillment and happiness) is concerned.

The secret is none other than “The Golden Rule,” often stated as: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Most of us see this as a simple moral code that we tend to agree with, but few of us understand how it can help us achieve success. When you understand the depth of this secret it can pave the way to a level of success beyond anything you can currently imagine.

A little history.

The Golden Rule is thought of by many as a Christian precept, but it actually goes back over 4,000 years. I did a little research on Wikipedia and discovered that all the well-known prophets and teachers of wisdom emphasized this as the key to life and success.

They include Confusious, Socrates and Buddah. It’s found in the Qu’ran, the Bhagavad-Gita and throughout the Bible. It has been expressed in subtly different ways, yet all saying essentially the same thing.

Naploeon Hill points out that there is a law behind the Golden Rule called “the law of reciprocity” or “you reap what you sow.” This has also been expressed in many different ways over the years. Some call it the “Law of Karma” or “What you put out, positive or negative, ultimately comes back to you.”

OK, all of this makes sense; this is certainly a good principle, but if we only go this far we still don’t understand enough for this law to have a major impact on our lives.

Perhaps the simplest way to express this law is, “treat others as you would like to be treated” or perhaps even better, “treat others as they would like to be treated.”

But how exactly do people want to be treated? Well, that’s not so hard; people want to be treated fairly, with respect, understanding and kindness.

But even that doesn’t go deeply enough. Something is still missing. What treatment do people want more than anything else?

The answer is in the “contribution koan” that states: “What people want more than anything else is to make a contribution, to make a difference. If we take that statement as true, then what is the greatest contribution a person can possibly make?”

Read this over and see if you come up with an answer. You may see that the answer is not hidden, it’s right there.

The answer:

“The greatest contribution one can possibly make is to acknowledge and appreciate the contribution that others make.”

And this is the greatest secret to success that virtually nobody knows or practices. Those who truly understand this and do implement it, will have success, fulfillment and happiness beyond their wildest dreams.

Perhaps the best name for this law is “The Law of Appreciation” which could be expressed as:

“As I would want my contributions to be recognized, acknowledged, validated and appreciated, I would recognize, acknowledge, validate and appreciate the contributions of others.”

Why does this work so powerfully? Consider…

– Who do we enjoy working for and with with the most? Those who genuinely appreciate us.

– What teachers did we love the most? Those who paid attention to us, validated us and encouraged us to do better.

– What marriages work the best? The ones where partners acknowledge, validate and appreciate each other continuously.

– What business associates help us the most? The ones that we pay attention to, appreciate and acknowledge.

– What clients give us the most business? The ones we understand the best and who we appreciate the most.

Another even simpler way to put it:

“A genuine, heartfelt, appreciative thank-you makes people like us, help us, want to work with us and to refer us.”

And that takes us back to the thank-you notes and how they transformed my client’s business. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but this strategy was simply “The Law of Appreciation” in action.

Give some serious thought to this law. I believe, without a shred of doubt, that this law can transform your business, your marketing and your life.

The More Clients Bottom Line: The Law of Attraction is important, but it is overshadowed by the Law of Appreciation. Those people which you appreciate the most will tend to return the favor. Make a definite plan to find ways to appreciate your clients, your associates, your prospects, and everyone else in your business and life, and I promise you’ll see some amazing results.

By Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit Robert’s web site at for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses.