Thanksgiving is coming soon, and one of the lessons of that holiday is that it’s important to be thankful for the good things in our lives, for the people we love, for the wonderful experiences that we get to share. But gratitude is not just for Thanksgiving Day! Sales people can boost their success by adopting an attitude of gratitude all year. Here are a few reasons why gratitude can improve your sales results:
Emphasize the Positive
Sales people are often known for being eternal optimists, and this is important! After all, the sales business can be tough. Sometimes customers don’t want to talk to you, you have to put up with rejections and complaints, and sometimes promising sales leads get derailed for reasons beyond your control. In the midst of a stressful day, it can be easy to get fed up and angry. But if you practice gratitude, there are ways to make the best of even the worst moments as a sales person.
For example, remind yourself of the great customers that you work with. Remind yourself of what you like about your job, even on the bad days. Think about the reasons why you’re grateful to be doing this line of work instead of a different job that might be worse for you – even if it’s something simple like, “I’m glad I get to work indoors, in air conditioning, instead of working outdoors in hostile weather. I’m glad I get to go out for lunch. I’m grateful for my friends at work – we’re going to have a drink at happy hour tonight and commiserate about that crazy client.”
Put People First
Sales is all about people, it’s all about building relationships. Practicing gratitude can help you get better at putting people first and staying focused on the human element of the sales process. Try a little exercise before you make each sales call: “I’m grateful to have the chance to speak to this person. I’m grateful that they are making time for me. I’m grateful to have a chance to make a positive difference in their life.”
Try to think of yourself not just as someone making a sales call, but someone who is a force for good in the world.
Maintain Perspective and Stay Resilient
Gratitude can help you navigate the ups and downs of life as a sales person. If you have a bad sales call or get hung up on or have a deal fall apart at the last minute, practicing gratitude can help you keep all of these disappointments in perspective and stay focused on your larger goals. Use humor to cope, talk to your team, find ways to stay emotionally centered even when things go wrong. One of the sales people on my team once lost a big account that he had been planning to land – and I remember he said, “The bad news is: I blew this big sales deal. The good news is: I saved 15% on my car insurance!”
Of course, sales people want to win, they are competitive, they are in a tough business where they get paid for results. But if you can have a spirit of gratitude, it can help you stay loose and stay positive – because sometimes the results fail to materialize, for reasons beyond your control.
Gratitude Gives You Momentum and Staying Power
B2B sales is a long-term process. Sometimes it might take 12-18 months or longer to close a deal on a new major account. Being a successful B2B salesperson requires patience and stamina. If you practice gratitude every day, you are more likely to have the long-term staying power to keep working with clients and keep nurturing leads. Gratitude helps you enjoy the process, not just the end goal. The best sales people learn how to enjoy every stage of the sales process, even the parts that they don’t love the most. Remind yourself of how your daily work fits into the overall picture. Remind yourself of what you enjoy about your job. Celebrate the little wins along the way. Be grateful for positive momentum, even if it doesn’t lead to a sale – such as finding a new prospect or getting a meeting with a new stakeholder or decision maker.
Sales people are some of the most energetic, quick-thinking, hard-working people on Earth. Sales can be a tough job, and not everyone can do it. But at its best, it really is the best job in the world, because we have a chance every day to make a positive difference in people’s lives, to build relationships with great people, to learn interesting new things, to get better at the craft of selling, and to experience success and excitement. All of these are good reasons to be grateful.