Do You See Gratitude as a Business Strategy?
As we ease back into the rhythm of work after the Thanksgiving holiday, it's important to remember that an “attitude of gratitude” isn’t something that should end when the turkey runs out. Being grateful and saying “thank you” is something that we can keep up all year long. In fact, picking up the phone or taking the time to write a personal note can be a powerful tool for deepening professional connections and unearthing new opportunities any time of the year.
Let’s look at five reasons to show gratitude every day in our professional lives.
1- Customers remember who picks up the phone.
In the age of emails and digital communication, the simple act of picking up the phone can make a profound impact. According to research by XANT, only 6% of salespeople use phone calls as part of their sales strategies. Just think—if you pick up the phone and call your customer, you might be the only salesperson who does. Talk about standing out!
Salespeople are often so worried about their customers being “too busy” to take a phone call that they miss the opportunities it brings. Next time your customer is looking to place an order, who are they going to remember first? The vendor who sent an email? Or the one who called? Phone calls are so rare these days that when you make one, your customers remember. (Even if you had to leave a message.)
Even when it’s more convenient to send a text or an email, take more time to pick up the phone instead, especially when pursuing that new account or investing in those important relationships. It can make more of a difference than you think.
2- Gratitude strengthens relationships.
People like to do business with people, not companies. Relationships matter. Reaching out in a personal, heartfelt way communicates that you see and appreciate the individuals behind the business.
Consider the value of handwritten notes, in particular. Remember how intrigued you become when a real letter with a real stamp shows up in your mailbox? Clients feel the same way. Studies have long shown that physical, tangible cards and letters create a stronger emotional connection than digital communications do. It’s how our brains work.
(For more on how our brains respond differently to paper, check out our blog post on this topic.)
3- Investing time uncovers opportunities.
Gratitude is not just about reflecting on what you have, but also looking forward to what the future brings. A sincere thank-you call can open conversations about future projects and partnerships. Clients are more likely to share insights and discuss upcoming needs when they feel valued and appreciated. Plus, taking the time to have those longer, more in-depth conversations can unearth previously unidentified opportunities.
4- Build a culture of appreciation.
The holiday season is the perfect time to instill a culture of appreciation within your business. Encourage your team to express gratitude to everyone with whom they have a professional relationship—clients, suppliers, and even each other. Consider implementing a thank-you initiative, where team members can nominate clients or fellow employees for special acknowledgments or holiday gifts.
5- Use gratitude as a business strategy
Expressing gratitude isn't just a nice thing to do. It's a strategic business move. Happy and appreciated clients are more likely to become repeat customers and advocates for your business. Bain & Company has found that increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits anywhere from 25% to 95%. Likewise, employees who feel noticed and appreciated are less likely to churn. This is good for them, good for you, and good for your bottom line.
Making It a Season of Thanks
As we continue deeper into the holiday season, let's not forget to extend our gratitude to those who contribute to the success of our businesses. Be genuine, be appreciative, and watch as gratitude transforms every aspect of your business—not just today, but all year long.