Participating isn’t fun.  You know what’s fun?  Winning is fun.  Telling your friends you won is fun.  Being recognized for doing something very well is fun but you know, beating other people who are clearly better than you is really fun too.

This time of year there are a lot of awards being handed out.  Sure, people might make fun of them, particularly the folks that don’t have a chance of winning but seriously, I don’t believe anyone dislikes getting an award. I don’t understand why more people aren’t giving out awards.  In particular, I don’t understand why more companies don’t give awards to their customers and partners.  It’s such a cheap, simple, easy way to make your customers happy – why wouldn’t you do it?

Top 5 Reasons Your Company Should Give Out Some Awards to Customers and Partners:

  1. Winning Makes Winners Happy – Seriously, you do all sorts of other things because you want to keep your customers or partners happy, don’t you?  Why not recognize your best ones with a trophy?  You’ve probably spent hundreds of dollars taking them out to dinner but they can’t display dinner on their wall and trust me, everyone wants a wall full of trophies.
  2. Winners Talk About It – I was chatting with a CEO of a mid-sized company last week and he showed me an award that they had won from Microsoft.  They got to meet some senior folks from Microsoft, they put out a press release, they talked about it on their web site.  They didn’t know exactly why they had won but as he said, “Getting an award is cool.”  OK, so getting an award from your little company may not warrant a press release but I bet it still makes it into the display case and I bet they still talk about it.
  3. Award-Givers Get to Talk About it Too – I mentioned this in an earlier post but the neat thing about giving a great customer an award is that you get to highlight in public that the award winner is a great customer of yours.  They may not admit in public how much they love you but once you admit how much you love them you are officially dating.
  4. Account Champions are People too – There is a person in every account that stuck her neck out for you or fought like heck to make sure your software didn’t get thrown out.  Say “thank-you and please do that again sometime” by letting them put “IT Rock Star of the Year Winner” on their resume.
  5. It’s a Good Excuse for a Party (and to get employees talking to customers) – Developers complaining that they never get to talk to any customers?  Feeling like the company could be more customer-oriented?  Fine, your holiday party just became a customer awards celebration with tinsel.  Seat a set of customers at every table and watch what happens.  You can’t afford to fly everyone in your company out to talk to customers but you can bring a few customers in to talk to your folks.  Tell those customers they are getting an award at a party held in their honor and they might even show up.


And One More Thing (aka The Part Where I Ask You to Vote
)

First of all, due to some sort of MASSIVE oversight on the part of the folks that run the Canadian Blog Awards, I have not been nominated but I am pleased to say that my pals at On Product Management have been so please CLICK HERE right now and vote for them.  You don’t have to be Canadian, OK, this isn’t the Oscars.

Secondly, I am very pleased to have bribed my way into being nominated for been nominated for (turning on the echo machine) Canada’s Most Influential Woman in Social Media!!!!! (turning off the echo machine).  OK, so the other gals here look hard to beat because some of them have like, professional photographs and all that but trust me, I am super influential.  Just yesterday I convinced a guy at work to buy me a coffee simply by saying I didn’t have any cash on me.  Don’t think about it.  Just click here and vote for me so that I can win that sucker and put whatever it is they are handing out in my trophy case right next to my award for being the most popular female marketing blogger in Toronto with brown hair and big boots.