Giving thanks is part and parcel of the month of November, we all know that; Thanksgiving, beyond turkey, shopping, and football, has long been taught to us as a day to set aside, to stop and remember the good in our lives, and express a little gratitude.
Our tendency is to focus on the big things, if we’re lucky to enjoy them: good health, a steady job, enough income to live on, good feelings from friends and loved ones. I hope these exist for all of you, in some form.
Those are especially applicable this year, as we continue to struggle with seemingly endless challenges—it’s been a roller-coaster, indeed.
But these last couple of years can also serve as good reminders of the value of the little things in our lives, the things we don’t even sometimes notice until they’re taken away.
For example, the ability to acquire household products whenever we need them: cleaners, disinfectants, soap, and need I mention bathroom tissue? The freedom to buy groceries and take them home without scrubbing, or cleansing, or sanitizing them.
Sitting in a café, watching a play, taking in a movie—in a theatre. Holing up in a coffee shop to catch up on email. Working out in a gym, enjoying an indoor yoga class, going bowling.
Dropping by the library. Browsing a bookstore. Scavenging for antiques.
Sitting at a crosswalk, waiting for first-graders walking to school.
All of these casual everyday activities, and thousands more, have been disrupted over the past two years. And as we gradually work our way back to normalcy, it’s become apparent how much we missed them.
So it is in the workplace. Casual chats in the lounge. Meetings in a closed room around a small table. Elevator rides with strangers. Cubicles less than six feet apart. Handshakes.
Some of these have returned, some of them haven’t. Some may not at all. And for some, it depends on who you work for.
But whether or not you miss all of these isn’t the point—what’s key here is that you notice them. And remember how easily they can all disappear, given the set of circumstances.
That’s why, in every discussion I undertake about effective business and sales strategies, I always end with the concept of “gratitude.”
Expressing thanks when you’ve made a sale comes pretty naturally. Expressing thanks at the end of any transaction, whether it not it works to your benefit, is part of the game as well.
Gratitude is a critical step in the selling process, not just as an act of closure—but as a seed that is planted for a future harvest. Be it from a client who’s made a purchase, another who’s said no (for now), or something the seller has learned in the process, everything we do should move us forward. That’s how successful companies succeed.
And an awareness of the true value of those little things that can all too easily slip unnoticed is something we should all strive for.
Because riding in an elevator without worry is something we should all appreciate…even when it’s no longer an issue.