I walk this funny line between believing in stuff like “The Power of Positive Thinking” self-help ideals and thinking it’s pure bunk. I could go on and on about how that hits me and what it means for my clients, but instead I’ll wrap it in a simple package:

Do What You Promise.

The “Do What You Promise” thing has appeared here several times, and it matters. Especially in a business change and customer service environment such as what exists when the only way you can differentiate yourself from thousands of other potential contractors and business partners, your word, and correctly setting expectations, is everything.

I’ve picked on Chris Brogan about this issue several times. Chris is one of those guys whose words are waited on, analyzed to death, and followed by thousands, and who, although incredibly smart, reached a point where he started sounding disingenuous. To be fair, Chris doesn’t sound disingenuous to me lately; he just sounds like a salesman. I say that with respect and approval, by the way; the world needs great salesmen, and now that Chris is being one and owning up to it, I’m back in his corner.

Another “business guru” who’s been the focus of my writing a few times is Gary Vaynerchuk. And Gary’s really pushed the envelope with the marketing campaign for his new book, The Thank You Economy. How hard? Gary’s put his cell phone number on billboards and is promising to answer you personally and thank you if you call him.

As this piece in TechCrunch points out, Mr. Vaynerchuk isn’t answering every call live. That’s fine, of course; there’s “Thank You”, and there’s “Thank You“, and nobody should feel compelled to say thank you to everyone who calls them at any hour of the day or night. And my guess is that the number Gary Vaynerchuk has set up for this campaign—646 401 0368—is a temporary one; once the billboards go down, Gary will stop using it.

But as the story at TechCrunch shows, Vaynerchuk is walking his talk—or at least he is when widely-read journalists and bloggers try to reach him. I actually texted Gary this morning instead of calling, and we’ll see if he gets back to me how long it takes for him to get back to me via either voice or text.

Thank You Economy, indeed.

I’m not telling you to do what Gary Vaynerchuk has done to promote The Thank You Economy. But I’ll tell you this: if you don’t make your customers understand that going the extra mile in the pursuit of great customer service is your way of doing things, you won’t have those customers very long.

Just Do What You Promise. That’s real business change.

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