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BK Magazine BK Business
Posted by Jan Stringer, Founder and Pres. , PerfectCustomers, Inc. .
Jan H. Stringer, Speaker, Coach and Author of Attracting Perfect Customers and BEE-ing Attraction.
“Simplicity, order, harmony, beauty, and joy-All the other principles that can transform your life will not blossom and flourish without gratitude.”-Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance.
While a vice president of sales for a telecommunications company, I learned the importance of expressing acknowledgment and gratitude, even when there did not seem to be anything to acknowledge.
One constant issue that confronted our team was the long sales cycle in our business. It took many phone calls, action steps, letters, appointments, proposals, and negotiation conversations to close a sale. Through that process, I could see the excitement of each salesperson diminishing as the cycle extended over several months. It was easy to feel as if we weren’t achieving any results.
I am a strong proponent of the concept that we create our realities with our perceptions-to change our realities all we have to do is change our perceptions-and we change our perceptions by expressing gratitude for what we have received instead of focusing on what we are lacking. So, I decided to create an atmosphere of accomplishment by implementing a monthly meeting to share self-acknowledgments.
The first meeting began with a heavy feeling in the air. The heaviness was caused by the burden that the salespeople were carrying due to the dissatisfaction they felt with their results.
The purpose of the meeting was for each person to share about what they did and did not accomplish. Then each person was acknowledged by their fellow team members for something that was noteworthy. Most of the time, the accomplishment was NOT a sale. A typical acknowledgment might be “I would like to acknowledge how you always have a smile on your face and how you always keep the team laughing.”
At the end of each meeting, the whole team, including and especially me, was much lighter and happier. Every person had the opportunity to clear the air, to restore their self-esteem, and to regain what was lost along the way during the sales process. This was worth the time and energy expended a million times over.
The ultimate benefit for the company was that people kept playing the sales game-even when they didn’t produce the results they were expecting or hoping to produce. In addition, they played the sales game longer and more effectively. Most importantly, they didn’t carry over the failures of the last month into the next month.
If you would like to create your own atmosphere of accomplishment and self-acknowledgment, I recommend that each person on your team:
I invite you to stop for a moment and begin now creating an atmosphere of accomplishment and self-acknowledgment for yourself and your team.
Jan Stringer is central executive officer, PerfectCustomers, Inc. and coauthor of Attracting Perfect Customers (Berrett-Koehler, 2001). To learn more, go to: www.perfectcustomers.com.