Thanksgiving should be the patron holiday of sales people. We spend every day convincing customer how we can make their lives easier, businesses more profitable, and future brighter. And a lot of them agree with us and buy.
The natural next step is to say, “Thank You!”
Certainly this is common courtesy and makes your customer feel appreciated, but it is also a secret weapon in your sales process.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld, a notable French author of memoirs and maxims, tapped into this secret in his obtuse explanation of gratitude: “Gratitude is merely the secret hope of future favors.” And, Robert Cialdini confirms the power of this maxim in creating influence in his principle of reciprocity.
Okay, before you stop reading this article because you think I am some self-serving S.O.B., hear me out.
Gratitude is an essential element in any sales process. It does provide the sale person enormous value. However, it all crumbles if it is not genuine.
John F. Kennedy reveals the weakness of an empty expression of gratitude: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Gratitude also returns value beyond future sales and referrals. It makes you a better person.
Cicero might have captured it best when he said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all the others.”
So, let’s review why being thankful and showing gratitude is so important to a sales person:
- It (unfortunately) probably makes you unique
- It keeps you top of mind with the customer
- It helps build your relationships
- People like to work with people that appreciate them
- People like to feel they are contributing to success
- Gratitude makes you a nicer, more confident person
Take a little time today to think about who you are thankful for. Consider who (your customers, right?) are the real founders of your feast today.
Over the next week or so, start thanking them!