"Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary." – Margaret Cousins

Gratitude is a powerful tool with roots believed to reach back to our primate ancestors. Science has proven that gratitude is essential for well-being, deep relationships, enhanced creativity, greater self-esteem, increased productivity, and much, much more. Further, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. And being happy makes you better at every aspect of your job (in fact, this article states happiness raises sales by 37%).

Salespeople know that Thanksgiving and the holiday season (read: the seasons of joy and gratitude) can be more challenging than refreshing. You’re spending these weeks – which should be dedicated to family and giving – chasing the deals you want to close before the year ends. The pressure to hit your numbers is potentially weighing heavy on you. Amidst all the extra hours you’re putting in, you also must find the time to balance family and personal commitments. You’re not alone if you find yourself more hung up on what’s going wrong versus everything that’s going right. You’re not alone if your ability to practice gratitude has fallen by the wayside. But even in the face of stress, doubt, and less-than-ideal sales situations, we all have things to be thankful for. After all, “If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.” – Tecumseh

6 Things to be Thankful for as a Sales Professional

  1. Colleagues who are friends. Studies have shown that office friendships have a direct link to engagement, productivity, and morale. Most importantly, having friends at work simply makes work fun. Here’s your reminder to show appreciation for your colleagues who fill up your cup, even if you think they already know how much you value them.
  2. Mistakes, and the lessons you have learned from them. A sales career is full of experimentation. Every opportunity or customer interaction can present new challenges and allow reps to test new processes, and sometimes it doesn’t end well. The one thing you can count on in your career as a sales professional is that you will make mistakes. Embrace your failures and be grateful for them, as some of the best learnings come from our missteps.
  3. Effective CRM. In a study of more than 720 sales reps, CRM was explicitly called out by respondents as a big frustration, which is maybe why only 18% of a sales rep’s time is spent in CRM. But CRM fulfills a necessary role in the sales process that will not be going away. So, if your organization’s CRM is easy-to-use, automates manual tasks, centralizes your data, manages your pipeline, or just makes your life a bit easier, then you have something to be thankful for.
  4. Your marketing team. Sales and marketing should be aligned around messaging, strategy, and tactics. You and your organization's marketing team are working towards the same goal: to attract the right set of customers to your business and help them solve their problems with your products/services. From the content your marketing team creates to the creative campaigns they run or the valuable collateral they provide, a lot of your work depends on marketing efforts. Don’t forget to show your appreciation.
  5. Your professional development. All human beings have a set of basic needs they try to fulfill, one of them being growth. Each day that allows you to hone your sales skills and grow professionally is a blessing. Be grateful for a boss or employer who encourages growth and embraces continuous learning.
  6. Your customers. Last but certainly not least, say ‘thank you’ to your customers this holiday season. Recognize that although they have other choices on who to buy from, they choose to do business with you, and you should never take that for granted. Show your customers love, and then work hard to earn their loyalty.

Sales is a challenging yet rewarding career, and there is so much for which to be thankful. It’s never too late to focus on the positive and show appreciation for all your blessings. My last thought? Expressing gratitude is an amazing daily habit, not simply a practice to think about once Thanksgiving rolls around. As writer and philosopher G.K. Chesterton said, “When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”

On behalf of Carew International, Happy Thanksgiving!