A different kind of thanks this holiday season

As the commercialism of Thanksgiving fades into the commercialism of Christmas (or whatever name you’re allowed to call it these days), several thoughts have occurred to me that will impact you as a person, you as a salesperson and your business. More

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A different kind of thanks this holiday season

Posted 12/9/13

As the commercialism of Thanksgiving fades into the commercialism of Christmas (or whatever name you’re allowed to call it these days), several thoughts have occurred to me that will impact you as a person, you as a salesperson and your business.

People try so hard to express good cheer in the holiday season they often miss the mark. “Don’t eat too much turkey!” or “Don’t drink too much eggnog!” is your way of saying, “I have nothing new to say.”

My bet is your “thank you” is somewhat like your mission statement. It’s there, but it’s relatively meaningless, and no one can recite it. (Most employees, even executives, can’t recite their own mission statement, even under penalty of death.)

Hard questions:

• Why is this the only season we give thanks?

• How sincere is your message?

• Why do you find it necessary to thank your customers at the same time everyone else is thanking their customers?

• If you’re thanking people, what are you offering besides words to show them you value and care about them?

• Why do you have a shiny card with a printed message and foil-stamped company signature – and nothing personal?

Why not start by thanking yourself? Thank yourself for your success, your good fortune, your health, your family, your library, your attitude, your fun times, your friends and all the cool things you do that make you a happy person.

If you’re having trouble thanking yourself, that may be an indicator that things aren’t going as well as they could be. In that situation, any thanks you give to others will be perceived somewhere between “less than whole” and “totally insincere.”

I don’t think you can become sincerely thankful to others until you have become fully thankful TO yourself and FOR yourself. And once you realize who YOU are, your message of thanks will become much more real, and passionate, to others.

The good news is this is the holiday season. The bad news is it’s so full of retail shopping incentives, mobs of people, and “today-only deals” that the festivity of the holidays is somewhat lost in the shuffle.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday – or wait, is it Cyber Tuesday, or Small Business Saturday or Throwback Thursday? Whatever it is, it’s a strategy for advertising and promoting. And I’m okay with it, totally okay with the free enterprise system, I just think the hype of it has become more dominant than the giving of thanks and the meaning of the season.

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