My work often involves travel and staying in hotels. I continue to be amazed by how different my stays are — and the differences are usually related to how the staff make the hotel guests feel appreciated.

Earlier this year I stayed at the Hilton Monona Terrace, in Madison, Wis., while facilitating a Remodelers Advantage Roundtable meeting. As usual, as I went from registration to my room, I was paying attention.

This hotel provided 3x3-inch pieces of notepaper, a little pile in a holder at the table on each floor near the elevators and in each guest room. Nothing remarkable there, right?

Here is where the staff made a positive impression on me that lasted. The top piece of notepaper in the hallway had “Thank you for staying with us” written on it. The top piece of notepaper in my room had written on it, “Thank you for staying with us. Housekeeping.”

I checked the notepaper holders over the next few days. I always saw the same sentiment written on the top sheet wherever I went. And they were always handwritten.

How did that make me feel? Appreciated and not taken for granted.

What can you and your people do, in simple, inexpensive ways, to let your clients know how grateful you are that they chose to have you work with them? Think about it, as a team, and start expressing your gratitude sooner than later.

Doing so will give your clients good stories to tell their friends. That will make them feel smart, and you will have more business! What a winning combination. Paul Winans, a veteran remodeler, now works as a facilitator for Remodelers Advantage, and as a consultant to remodeling business owners. Contact him at