Business Operations

The Gratitude of Selling

Study after study finds that in the workplace, grateful people outperform those who are not grateful.

Study after study finds that in the workplace, grateful people outperform those who are not grateful. And, critically, the research shows that it’s the gratitude that leads to success, not the other way around. That is, gratitude makes us successful, but success does not make us grateful.

If you are not grateful on the way to success, you not only have lower odds of reaching it, but you will not suddenly become grateful if you get there. Among salespeople, gratitude is sometimes a rare commodity. It’s understandable why:

We get rejected all the time.

Customers tend to only call when they have a problem, or need something urgently, so we are only hearing from our customers when they are upset or angry. (Even though the vast majority of your customers are happy, but they are not the ones who are calling.) So, we’re solving problems all day.

And the 10% of customers who call us, who we spend 100% of our time interacting with, are always unhappy.

Tough environment to be grateful in, right? Totally understandable.

But in the interest of increased sales success, and bringing home more money to your family, and making customers happier so they can pay you more, let’s consider all there is to be grateful for.

You have customers who have been with you for years, and if you do not, your company does. They been with you for five or 10 or 20 years for a reason:

They are happy. Even if they have a problem today, you will resolve it, and they will be happy again. How lucky are you, that you have customers who trust you, depend on you, and turn to you for help when they need it.

This is certainly something to be grateful for. You deal with problems all day, right? Well, you get to solve your customers’ problems. And you’re damn good at it. How lucky are they to have you? I’m sure they are grateful for you. (Customers of my clients frequently tell me this when I interview them as a part of the revenue growth projects I do.)

You get rejected all day? Welcome to sales. In baseball, if you fail 70% of the time, you go to the Hall of Fame.  Each rejection brings you closer to the next yes. We have to work through the losses in order to reach the victories.

Also, every important success is almost always preceded by a bunch of failure. Want to do something important? Plan to fail a lot first.

We get to be rejected. It means there is a market for our work. It means there is real interest in what we sell. And that’s a heck of a thing to be grateful for.

What else is there to be grateful for? You do good, important work in the world. Your customers need you. They can’t help their customers without you.

Your can make more money by helping more people more. How cool is that?! Who else gets to do that? If you help more people some more, by definition, you will make more money. That’s amazing!

The amount of money you make is determined only by how hard you work, and how much you persevere. Your success if totally in your own hands. In my own work, I am incredibly grateful for this every day.

That’s an enormous amount to be grateful for!

Why is being grateful important in sales? Grateful salespeople also tend to be confident, positive, optimistic salespeople. Therefore, grateful salespeople offer additional products and services. Ungrateful, or cynical, salespeople do not.

Grateful salespeople make proactive calls to customers and prospects, ungrateful salespeople do not.

Grateful salespeople follow up on quotes and proposals, and ask for the business.

Choose gratitude. It pays better.


Alex Goldfayn

Alex Goldfayn, Revenue Growth Consultancy, can be reached at

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