Here we are once again, Thanksgiving
time, and as in all of my years past I am taking time to reflect on what gifts
have come into my life. Of course I am thankful for my wife and children, my
parents love and support, my co-workers, clients and friends. I am thankful for
the lifestyle I have and for the enjoyment I can take in hobbies and my
children's activities. And, I would expect you feel the same.
However, in the business of sales, being
thankful needs to be much more than words, gratitude must be shown in actions.
Now, I’m not talking about running out of the office and taking a client to
lunch. Such activities, the client entertainment during this time of year, are
so overdone. I’ve written several posts about this topic in the past. What I
mean by actions speaking louder than words is simple: show your client how
grateful you are for their business.
Here is a personal example: I have a
clothing manufacturer as a client that primarily serves the outdoor worker and
outdoor enthusiast community. I’m confident this client knows how grateful I am
for their business. I say it often face-to-face and in notes (written and
Email). I also purchase an item of clothing from them every time I visit and I
proudly wear their clothing whenever meeting with their team. In an effort to
show my true gratitude, beyond what should be considered the norm, I made a
monetary donation to an environmental organization for which my client
supports, and I did so in their name.
On another occasion, with a not-for-profit
client serving underprivileged children, I enlisted the help of my own kids. We
worked with friends and neighbors to collect toys, games, video consoles,
clothing, etc. and donated these items to this organization to show our
support. I am not only grateful for their business, but grateful such a place
exists in Cleveland in support of children that do not have what other children
have in terms of these day-to-day items.
Giving to charity or one’s community
is certainly a personal choice. In reflecting upon all I have in my life, and
realizing my career in sales is a large reason I am where I am today, I cannot
ever sit back and think I did it all on my own. Without my clients trusting in
me and my company, I would not be where I am. Saying thank you goes a long way.
Showing gratitude in my actions will last long after my words fade.