Thanksgiving is the time of year when people reflect and give thanks for the many good things in their lives. I suggest bringing this same thankfulness into your own companies by hosting a business Thanksgiving.
That simple thing called gratitude can make a company more productive and profitable. However, most companies choose to throw dollars at complex strategies and plans rather than execute the simple behavior of showing thanks and appreciation to co-workers, vendors, customers and colleagues.
Grow your bottom line this November by saying “Thank you.” Here are a few folks to consider.
Your internal customer: Good salespeople understand the value of attending external networking events. Great salespeople also recognize that the most important networking takes place in their own back yard. Salespeople are often in the spotlight because they generate revenue for the company. However, smart companies know that it takes a sales village to win and retain business.
Book a lunch with your internal customer -- your co-worker. At lunch, thank this person for her contribution is to your sales success. Share compliments you receive from customers and let your colleague know that this praise wouldn’t happen without them or their department executing. It’s a simple formula: When people feel a part of the big picture, they work harder to make the big picture happen.
Vendors: We’ve all worked with a great vendor. You know--the one that jumps through hoops, gives great service and returns phone calls at odd hours of the day or night. Instead of negotiating a lower price, set a meeting with your best vendor and share what an integral part they play in your company’s success.
Appreciation is the foundation of inspiration, and a few words of praise inspire even higher levels of customer service. When there are five priorities sitting on your vendor’s plate, which customer’s priority will get moved to the top? You can bet it’s the customer who has said two simple words: Thank you.
Sales Manager: Salespeople, yes you, go find your boss and thank him for being a pain in the neck. Thank him for making you stretch, exercise discipline and hit goals. As the great Tom Landry once said, “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.” Thank your boss for helping you do what you didn’t think you could do.
Salesperson: Now sales managers, go find your silent, stellar salesperson. This is the salesperson that consistently hits quota, plays well with others and doesn’t demand a lot of attention. During your next coaching session, don’t talk numbers, goals or quota. Instead, share your appreciation. Thank this salesperson for making your job easy, rewarding and fun. Thank her for making you look good. And, thank her for one less gray hair on your head!
Customers: Where would you be without them? Reach out to clients to share one thing: How much you appreciate and value their business. Thank those that buy on value, not price, and who appreciate expertise and relationships. Thank your customers for taking the work out of work.
Mentors: Anyone have a CEO or sales manager that spotted the diamond in the rough? Or, how about the veteran salesperson that gave up her personal time to give you advice and guidance?
Put down your phone and practice your penmanship. Drop a handwritten note of thanks to the people that are helping you be more successful. Then pay it forward. Take the next new salesperson to lunch and share everything you know about successful selling.
Host Thanksgiving at your place of business. Instead of teaching selling skills at your sales meeting, teach your sales team to say thank you. These two simple words inspire, build relationships and grow revenue.