When is the last time you said, “Oh my gosh, I am so tired of being appreciated. I don’t think I can take one more pat on the back or thank you note.” Yes, that’s what I thought. Those words have not recently left your mouth or worse, never been said.
It’s interesting to study companies. They invest thousands of dollars in systems and processes to improve efficiencies and achieve better outcomes. We have six sigma, lean, green and quality assurance programs. All very good systems and processes needed to win and keep business. Most companies are still missing a very important process: the appreciation and recognition process.
As Sam Walton once said, “Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune.” Put in or re-visit your appreciation and recognition system at your sales organization. As yourself two questions:
- Is recognition and appreciation on everyone’s daily to-do list? Is it a key performance metric for success?
- Are we talking or walking?
As the old saying goes, ideas are a dime a dozen. Execution is priceless. LET’S WALK!
#1: Call one customer a day and thank them for their business. Don’t up sell, cross sell or sell. Just let them know that you realize they have a lot of places to do business and you appreciate the fact they chose you and your company. You can also write a thank you note. Please look closely at the prior sentence. I did not say email. The last time we checked, no one has an email propped up on their desk or tacked up on the community bulletin board.
#2: Thank your peers at work. John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, said, “It takes 11 hands to make a basket.” Wooden was a huge proponent of teamwork. He knew there were a lot of things involved to win a game, besides the superstar on the court. When is the last time you took a stroll through accounting and thanked them for paying the bills and sending invoices? When is the last time you visited the warehouse and told the crew thanks for shipping what you sold? When is the last time you thanked your CEO or sales manager for their hard work and leadership. It takes a sales village to win today’s business climate.
#3: Thank your mentors. These are the folks that gave you time and expertise without expecting anything in return. These are the folks that saw potential in you that you didn’t see in yourself. These are the people that told you it was okay when you screwed up and assured you that with risk comes failure. Make it a goal to have your customers and colleagues say, “Stop. I can’t take any more appreciation!”
Colleen Stanley Chief Selling Officer