We recently celebrated mothers day and are about to give some serious appreciation to the fantastic fathers in our lives, whether our own dad’s, husbands or simply friends with kids. When my little three-year old sang “Mommy, mommy, I love youuuuuu, thanks for all the things you dooooo”, it immediately wiped away thoughts of frustration around him refusing to walk uphill after Kindergarten or needing five invitations to join us at the dinner table.
This is the magic of gratitude. Thanking someone causes positive emotion. It elevates your sense of self-worth. It reinforces positive behaviour. Giving, as well as receiving appreciation makes happy and ensures that we don't feel taken for granted. Many blog posts have been written about the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal or saying “thank you” to your family members for all the little things they do. So, why do so many workplaces not embrace gratitude in a corporate environment?
In my opinion, adopting an Attitude of Gratitude is crucial, not only for your personal happiness, but also to improve effectiveness at work.
Here are three key areas where saying Thank You has a real impact on your Sales:
To grow referrals
Last night over a glass of wine, I had a conversation about Sales with a friend of mine. He heads up a PR firm and seems to be on Financial Planner’s lists of potential customers. After a number of irritating and disturbing phone calls, his assistant now does some serious screening before putting a call through to him. The irony is, that my friend actually would be interested in working with a new Financial Planner! But he has such distaste for being cold called and for being addressed with a sense of familiarity on the phone when he doesn’t know the person on the other line that he rules out the caller right away. “So what would make you consider someone as your new Financial Planner?”, I asked. “A referral.”, he said, “Or learning through conversation at an event that someone does Financial Planning.”.
Asking existing, happy clients for referrals should be a habit of any sales manager. When that moment comes and you are being referred to a potential new client, make sure to thank your client in a way he will remember. Being thanked differently than through a simple e-mail will make it more likely that your client will refer you again.
To create valuable success stories
The people we work with are key to delivering the product or service that we sell to our clients. Often, we are so focused on doing our jobs, that we may not notice when a colleague does something outstanding or goes above and beyond to ensure a happy customer.
At The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, all employees in our team had “Thank you” cards in their desk drawers along with colourful pens (and sometimes even stickers) to write a note of thanks to colleagues that had done something really well. We always made a point of describing how their action had helped us achieve something with our clients. We handed our cards to our peers during the morning meeting, which always caused a wonderful surprise to our colleagues and made for some motivating public recognition at the same time. These success stories fostered a culture where each employee wanted to contribute and to have a positive impact on the team. They also equipped us in Sales with great stories to share with our clients!
To keep a foot in the door
When a great sales presentation doesn't result in closing the contract, it is important to keep in mind that it’s never just one sale. You may not win this business this time around, but just because you don’t, doesn't mean that you will never be a great fit. Thanking the client for the opportunity to present your company is a crucial step to keep the conversation going. Think of everything you learned about your client throughout the sales process! The relationships you have now built and the information you have collected will put you in an even better position to win their business next time. Show your client how much you appreciate having been part of the pitch and don’t feel sour about the lost business.