“When we get more intentional about our internal interactions, we strengthen trust with our teammates, we feel happier at work and we find more sales success” – Alex Smith in today’s Tip 401
Can you do better than just a thank you email?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Alex Smith. Alex most recently worked for Monster Worldwide as a Partner Sales Manager in the Media Alliances Division. He helped companies use technology to solve complex problems in attracting, recruiting, and retaining the right people. He loves fostering connections that make people feel inspired and fulfilled to do their best work. Here he is with today’s tip:
Alex Smith: Most salespeople are driven by a love of helping others. You know that people buy from people as my friend Dale Dupree always says, it’s never just business. You can never remove the person from the sale unless we all just woke up one morning as robots and let’s just hope terminators never really become a thing. We all try to build relationships and establish trust with clients so that they feel comfortable doing business with us, we go above and beyond for them. So it got me thinking, If we have this high level of intention and care for our clients, why can’t we exhibit the same care for people internally? I believe many of the same skills that make you great with your clients outside of your workplace can be transferred inside of it. When we get more intentional about our internal interactions, we strengthen trust with our teammates, we feel happier at work and we find more sales success because you have a team of people that’s fired up about working with and for you.
So my tip to bring this intention into practice with your coworkers is something I’m going to call radical gratitude. Radical gratitude is going above and beyond a regular thank you to show appreciation for your team. The thank-you that really connects emotion with intention. It’s showing our teammates how much we care and how much they matter through our everyday actions. It’s seeing the people we work with beyond just what we need from them. It’s bringing more of the things that make us human into the places where we work.
Have you ever had a coworker that really took the time to get to know you? Maybe ask where you grew up, if you had kids, what their names were, not just how your weekend was, but what you ended up doing. It really feels good. I mean we’re drawn to people that feel like they give a damn. Like the quotes says, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Part of radical gratitude is exhibiting curiosity with every team member you have. This doesn’t mean just the people that you work with directly care about knowing everyone. Everyone you work with is working towards a shared mission, vision and values. Start with your direct sales team but then look beyond it. If you’re in a larger sales org, look for people that indirectly affect your sales efforts and then move to departments that you want to learn from. Ask if people have a few minutes to get introduced, learn what they do and what they like to know about sales. Insist for an in-person if you work in the same office but then settle for a phone call. Your entire relationship can’t just exist on Slack or internal message boards or even email. Be proactive, slack is a great efficiency tool, but if you’re sacking with someone down the hall, why not just pop in? Same goes for picking up the phone. I challenge all of you to reach out to at least one person at work that you haven’t met yet. Find some time to meet in person, even if it’s through a volunteer day, company outing or a happy hour. You just never know what could come of it.
When you do have conversations with teammates, be present and listen. Shut down your phones and be in the conversation. You wouldn’t dare interrupt a client meeting with a call or an email notification, so why do we do it with our teammates? Think of your last meeting. How many people in the meeting had their smartphones in the room or even on a conference call? Even if they were lying face down. A recent HBR study looked at the effect of smartphones and meetings. They studied three user groups. Those who left them out of the room, left them in a bag and then finally face down next to them. Then they tested cognition afterward. Who fared the best will participants that kept their phones out of the room, followed by in the bag. And finally, the worst group were those that left their phones on the table nearby turned off. Even if the phone is in the room, face down, we think about it and our attention begins to drift. Consider not even bringing phones into your next meeting. We’ve all been to useless meetings make meetings worth our time and brief present. Treat every interaction internally as you would externally. Care about your teammates as if they were the CEO at your biggest client. Your SDRs can help you get into multiple CEOs after all. Finally, recognize people that have helped you at your work. Evaluate how you thank them.
Can you do better than just a thank you email? Do they like Starbucks? Get a gift card. You write handwritten notes to clients, but what about internally? Give a thoughtful one to a teammate. Surprise, a coworker with a gift outside of the holiday party. At a previous company, we used to empire orders, team pizza at the every end of every month to thank them for all their hard work. You’d really be surprised how it came back to us little things go a long way. If you’re in sales leadership, look at your own recognition system. Do your recognitions match what’s important to the individual? Some people might like Amazon gift cards, others like spot bonuses, maybe even lunch with a senior leadership team member could go a long way.
Radical gratitude is really making our workplaces more human and salespeople are already extremely gifted at the human skills when we’re more human to others, we put ourselves in position for it to come back to us even though we’re not seeking it out. Watch what happens when you start putting thoughtful actions to back up your gratitude. You’ll start seeing teammates act more positively to you, earn their respect, work even harder for you, and ultimately they will help you be the best salesperson that you can be.
Thank you. I really want to hear your stories about how you practice radical gratitude and maybe we can learn from each other. Thanks to everyone for listening.
Scott Ingram: Alex’s philosophy in sales is that we sell by being human not despite it. If you feel the same, he wants you to reach out and connect! We’ve got links for you to do that at DailySales.Tips/401
After you’ve connected with Alex. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip! Thanks for listening.