By: Bryan Scholz; Account Director at Salesforce
In our series, Voices of Gratitude, some of our favorite leaders in business tell us about how gratitude impacts their lives and how they share it with the people around them. As a company that believes in the importance of acts of gratitude, we’ve invited prominent and admirable business leaders in the Nashville area and beyond to tell us about maintaining relationships, feeling appreciated, and what they’re most looking forward to. You can find other guest interviews from this series here.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company’s background.
I am an Account Director at Salesforce and have been working within the Retail & Consumer Goods vertical since I
joined the company in Jan. 2019. I was introduced to Thnks in my role preceding Salesforce. My first month on the job, a member of our leadership team asked me for feedback on what additional resources could be brought to RCG to make the vertical more efficient. My immediate recommendation was to take a hard look at Thnks since our team did not have any official gratitude application or mechanism at the time. We ran a proof of concept with a small team of us here in Chicago. Eventually the partnership grew to other RCG teams and offices, and now to other verticals across the company. I'm not sure the official user count today, but I know it's a lot higher than where we started!
Why do you think gratitude is important in business?
Salesforce builds bridges between companies and customers. Businesses succeed when they create meaningful connections, and our mission is to deliver it. Expressing gratitude is a big part of that. As an Account Director working exclusively in new business acquisition, I understand that the businesses I'm reaching out to have a lot of vendors to choose from. When we land a meeting, we want to first and foremost show our appreciation for their time and the opportunity to learn more about their business. Gratitude is an extra step we can take to make others feel appreciated and to continue building upon a healthy relationship.
How have you used Thnks to show gratitude in your business life?
There are multiple ways... It could be something as simple as offering a cup of coffee in exchange for a 15 minute phone call or even a reply to an email. We value feedback and free coffee or food is a great way to show appreciation for that feedback. Occasionally, I get auto-replies via email that indicate someone is on maternity leave, or out sick... Thnks comes in handy here as well with baby baskets, get well care packages, etc. I like to buy my soon-to-be customers bottles of champagne to celebrate a contract being executed, or to help them celebrate a big deal they landed within their own target customers. We send free rides for customers and prospects attending a conference or event we're hosting so they can get around without spending their personal funds. We buy lunches for organizations bringing their entire C-Suite or department on a conference call with us. I've even gone as far as to send ping pong tables or corn hole sets randomly to my customers when they need something to enhance a new office space they just moved into. The possibilities are truly endless.
How has using Thnks been beneficial in maintaining business relationships?
It keeps my company and I top of mind when I'm certain there are plenty of other vendors and competitors out there who aren't sending gifts. We can differentiate ourselves from the rest of the pack when we're being more thoughtful, more considerate than the rest. I've rarely received a negative reply when I'm sending a Thnks to any number of my accounts, and even if the Thnks isn't welcome, they still have the option to donate the value of the Thnks to charity and feel good about it!
How do you recognize that your work is appreciated? What actions from others make you feel most appreciated?
My RVP is an avid Thnks user, and during some of the more stressful times of the year, he'll send our team coffees or lunches to keep us on the court with energy and a clear, motivated mindset. Receiving random Thnks from my RVP is always a terrific way to start a busy day. I've also gotten some pretty great "Thank Yous" in replies from customers and prospects where I've sent them something, and it's always rewarding to know the Thnks you chose landed with someone in particular.
How can others start integrating gratitude into their daily life?
Overall, just be grateful for what you have. Sales is no easy line of work and we get a lot of "No's" before we get our first "Yes". We should be grateful for both, because answers help us drive for deeper feedback and create a focus on what's important or not important in our work schedules. I try to ensure that every response I receive gets the gratitude it deserves, that every good deed within my team or company is properly rewarded. Thnks allows us a fast, efficient way to take action on these things.
How do you practice gratitude in your personal life?
In my opinion, it's much easier to remember to express gratitude at work than it is in your personal life. I do my best to mirror how I express gratitude in the office with how I express gratitude at home. Now, I can't just send my family free Thnks and expense them through work... but I can let my family know when I'm grateful and make it a more regular practice. I often take for granted all the great things about my personal life and have many around me, friends and family included, to thank for that.
What is your favorite Thnks to send?
I'm from Wisconsin, so I'm partial to Thnks items that speak to my home state. I enjoy sending sports memorabilia to any die-hard college or pro-sports fans. I enjoy sending crafty food Thnks because I'm a huge foodie. I like taking a gamble and sending nice bottles of scotch or bourbon to folks who I hope can appreciate a nice snifter after a long day at the office.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for right now?
My job! In today's economic climate, and the older I get, job stability is everything. Salesforce is exceptional at caring for its employees on a level I've not before seen or experienced. I'll always be grateful for my time working for this company.