The best service professionals around the world show appreciation for their customers and internal team. Those of us in remote, professional selling (also known as Inside Sales) need to be more aware of the massive, incredible power of appreciation. I submit that there is more power in this idea than in most any other aspect of selling, and have written about its power before.
As a seller, the thanks you show for the following two situations can be directly related to the all-around success you will gain in the profession.
Appreciation for a Great Conversation with a Prospect
Let's say you have a great conversation with a prospective buyer. It is with a C-level decision maker, his or her Executive Assistant, or someone who is willing to be your "internal coach" helping you through the maze known as their company. You get off the phone, smile, and think, "wow - these guys could become a client in the next quarter."
Then what do you do? Typically most of us make a note in our CRM (hopefully) and set a next date to follow-up.
Instead, be ready and grab a note card and jot two sentences down on it - add your business card, and put it in an envelope. Hand address the person's name, company, and address - then add a return address sticker or use envelopes already imprinted with your name at your company.
I'm talking about HAND WRITTEN NOTE CARDS, folks. Yep, you know - the ones that you rarely receive? Those. There are some mighty powerful reasons to do this - with the first one being that NOW they will have a visual of your name to put on their desk or drawer. Most people will not immediately throw out a card showing appreciation for a conversation as well as your business card for at least a couple of months. You now have "shelf space" on your prospect's desk. What social selling tool can do that for you? NONE. Go old school and show them that you had two minutes to say thanks for a great conversation and you look forward to speaking again. You'll keep an eye out for any new information around the topic you two were talking about. That's it. Done.
Appreciation to a Helpful Colleague, Mentor, or Manager
They say talk is cheap - and a note is action. Next time someone really helps you out in your job - they help you demo your service, or they mentor you to help "show you the ropes" in your new position, put two sentences down on a note card and drop a $5 coffee card into it. You would be amazed at how far that will take you, because now your teammate or colleague knows you DO appreciate the time they are taking to help you. If the person helping you is your direct manager, take 5 minutes to write a note to his or her boss and let them know about the time or ideas your manager is investing in you. Your direct manager should be considered one of your top customers. When they need something from you, your success lies in whether you get it done or not. Treat them as such, and appreciate the time and effort from them. I know it is their job, but having been a manager I can only say that it can feel like a real uphill battle some days, and a note from someone on your team might be just what is needed.
Appreciation for Bringing a Deal to Closure
Next time one of the deals in your pipeline comes to closure, find time to thank those around you who helped make it happen. None of us work in a vacuum - we all rely on others around us to take a prospective buyer through their journey to our products and services. Take two minutes and jot a note down and get it right to the person who helped you.
Time is of the Essence
Have a note card kit with you at your desk - with stamps and a pen. You'll have no excuse. Send it out as soon as you think of it. With that said, it is almost never too late to thank someone.
Extra Proof on the Power of Gratitude and Appreciation
Expressing gratitude makes you a happier person. If you are down in the dumps for whatever reason, look at this research done on happiness and gratitude - watch the video of it in action. As they say, you'll thank me later.
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2013" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.