By Natasa Cvijanovic
Before you start daydreaming about cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, before the holidays, the beginning of the new year and all the associated traditions that usher in a time of gratitude and relaxation, there is still work to be done.
As Thanksgiving approaches, it is only natural to reflect on all the things for which one is thankful. Generally, expressions of gratitude are made within the context of close and personal relationships, such as friends or families. But what about gratitude in your professional life? For example, what about your merchants, sales teams and support teams? Have you thanked them recently?
Although gratitude can play a significant role in fostering a positive and productive work environment, its role in business is frequently overlooked. The words "business" and "gratitude" are rarely used together.
Expressing gratitude at work may be challenging. As professionals, we are conditioned to mask our vulnerabilities and emotions behind an air of confidence, decisiveness and unwavering patience. Showing these vulnerabilities and emotions at work can be viewed as a flaw. We can shift the conversation and this flawed thought process, but we will need those who have successfully implemented gratitude in leadership to set the example.
Even though fostering a culture of gratitude within your company may not be a priority yet, that doesn't mean it’s too late to start now. There are many ways to use gratitude in sales, ranging from being thankful to merchants to being happier in your sales career. It enables more effective selling, a more profound connection with merchants, and the creation of a work environment where people want to work.
If you want to instill this culture in your team, no matter how big or small your team may be, you need to set an example of gratitude for your team to follow. When colleagues appreciate one another, and when an attitude of gratitude is the bedrock of a professional workplace culture, entire teams are elevated, and one person's success is the success of all. But what does it mean to truly express gratitude beyond simply saying we are or engaging in acts of gratitude, and how can salespeople benefit from it?
Most merchant level salespeople (MLSs) recognize that selling is not always rainbows and sunshine. Merchants will refuse to speak with you, you will be rejected and ghosted, and promising sales leads will be derailed for reasons beyond your control.
On days like that, it is easy to get angry and upset. However, allowing yourself to become consumed by a lost sale or missed opportunity can leave you in a perpetual state of gloom that doesn't benefit your future sales success. You can, however, make the most of even the most difficult sales situations if you practice gratitude.
Even though you will always face challenges, you must maintain a positive outlook and attitude because even the most challenging circumstances can be turned into a chance for sales success if you cultivate a grateful attitude and keep an optimistic outlook.
Recognize and learn from your failures and mistakes. Gratitude as a response to setbacks is not the norm. Nonetheless, learning from one's failures, mistakes and other negative experiences is extremely valuable. Those who can overcome their initial disappointment over a lost sale or missed opportunity are typically able to gain some perspective and learn from the experience. These lessons learned are carried forward, making even the worst sales call experiences valuable because they provide the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve future successes.
Because sales are all about people, building relationships is central to the sales process, and practicing gratitude can help you connect with people. Maintaining the human element of sales and focusing on the needs and wants of one's merchants is made easier by developing a grateful attitude. Instead of viewing each sales call as a means to an end (aka meeting quota) focus on the person with whom you are speaking. Show your gratitude to this person for allowing you to connect with them. Your relationships with your prospective merchants will become stronger and more rewarding.
In the long run, MLSs who practice gratitude enjoy their careers more. To be a successful MLSs, one must have patience and perseverance. If you practice gratitude daily, you are more likely to have the stamina to continue working with merchants and nurturing leads over the long term. Consider how each stage of the sales process fits into the larger picture and be grateful for each stage. This mentality allows you to persevere through difficult times and long sales cycles.
Someone is constantly competing for merchants’ attention. Because they have other options, show gratitude to your merchants. You must continue to earn their business, so make sure they know you are grateful each time they choose you over a competitor. Because you are not entitled to your merchants' business, you should not expect it. To maintain merchants' interest, MLSs must continue to prove their worth. You cannot afford to take your current merchants for granted. Say "thank you," send Thanksgiving cards and express your gratitude that they chose to do business with you. Do something out of the ordinary for them in an effort to gain their loyalty.
There is much to be thankful for in this demanding and rewarding sales profession. We all know the road to success can be long and grueling, but gratitude enables us to appreciate the journey, not just the destination. We positivity and gratitude for our numerous blessings at any time. My word of advice? The importance of a good gr-attitude is too significant to be limited to one day of the year: develop a grateful attitude daily, not just during the holidays.
Natasa Cvijanovic, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Payments, has a proven track record within the payment industry of cultivating successful relationships with ISOs, MLSs and strategic partners. In developing national sales channels, she provides training and coaching to sales partners to enable them to become better business partners and advocates for their merchants, and to assist them in building portfolios producing steady residual streams. She is also dedicated to consistently delivering high levels of professionalism, integrity, dependability and trustworthiness. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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