Expressing Gratitude in Business

The ultimate guide with everything you need to know to grow your business with gratitude

Why is Expressing Gratitude in Business Important?

If asked, most people would agree that gratitude is important to incorporate into our daily lives. According to a poll by the John Templeton Foundation, “More than 90 percent of those polled agreed that grateful people are more fulfilled, lead richer lives, and are more likely to have friends. The polls show that we agree gratitude is important for a fulfilled life, but did you know that there is science to back this up as well? Numerous studies (Emotion, Personality and Individual Differences, University of Kentucky, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) have been conducted that show the strong correlation between gratitude and an increase in health, productivity, happiness, and more. 

With gratitude being such a powerful force, it only makes sense to incorporate gratitude into the workplace, as well as our personal lives. Science also demonstrates the value of expressing gratitude in business, and the positive difference it can make. One example of this is a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology. The study found that nurses who were more frequently thanked for their efforts during the workweek resulted in higher work satisfaction, better sleep quality, and less headaches. 

Similarly, a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that “93 percent of employees who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work and 88 percent reported feeling engaged. This compares to just 33 percent and 38 percent, respectively, of those who said they do not feel valued.”


More Studies on Gratitude:

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Gratitude Makes a Difference 
Physiologists Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted a study that involved splitting participants into three groups. All three groups were asked to write a few sentences every week for ten weeks, but each group wrote about a different topic. Group one wrote down positive things that they were grateful for. Group two wrote things that caused them irritation, and group three wrote about neutral events.
At the end of the ten-week experiment, group one, who wrote about positive events, reported they were significantly happier than their counterparts who wrote about negative or neutral events. Group one also lived a healthier lifestyle during the study period than their study counterparts.

How to Express Gratitude in Business

The most impactful method for expressing gratitude and building strong relationships in business is with personalized and thoughtful gestures of appreciation. Genuine expressions of gratitude are the best way to build better relationships with those you do business with. Your colleagues appreciate the personalization because it proves that you are an active listener and take an authentic interest in them. 

Personalized gratitude creates strong relationships with prospects and clients by making you stand out from the competition and showing that you care about forging a connection, and not just hitting your sales quota or client retention goals. Personalized gestures of gratitude take many shapes, requiring you to consider the specific recipient and their unique circumstances. For example, personalized gratitude can be sending a handwritten note to someone to say thank you. It can be sending a children’s book to a client who mentioned their small child. Or, it may be sending a bowl of warm soup to the person you know is feeling under the weather. 

Expressing personalized gratitude in business requires small, thoughtful, and often simple gestures that have big impacts on your professional relationships.

Feeling Inspired? Check Out These Gratitude Ideas
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When to Express Gratitude in Business


It is important to always keep an eye out for opportunities to spread gratitude and show appreciation. For sales people, knowing when it is the right time and acting on it can make all the difference. A great time to show gratitude is when someone accepts your meeting request. Something as simple as a coffee and a quick note can make a big impact, build greater rapport, and reduce no-shows to your meetings.

Learn More About the Best Times to Show Gratitude in Sales

Account MAnagement 

Account managers have many unique opportunities for personalized gratitude as they  establish relationships with their accounts. Send a housewarming basket to the client that is moving, or baby supplies to the new parent. The key is active listening and showing a genuine interest in your clients. This is often the deciding factor between success and a missed opportunity.

Learn More About the Best Times to Show Gratitude in Account Management

Event Marketing

When planning and hosting an event, there are many points along the way where showing a little gratitude can lead to greater success. For example, send a coffee when someone signs up for your event, or a rideshare to get them from the hotel to the venue. These are great ways to show that you are excited that they are attending and thank them for giving you their time. Regardless if your event is virtual or in person, there are many tactics for expressing gratitude that you can implement. 

Results of Expressing Gratitude in Business

The results of expressing gratitude in business are plentiful. First, many studies show an overall increase in happiness and health as a result of showing and receiving gratitude. A recent study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology demonstrated an increase in happiness and sense of wellbeing for both the giver and receiver of gratitude. 

Expressing genuine gratitude in the workplace has many positive benefits, such as helping sales professionals prospect more efficiently. Gratitude helps salespeople stand out from the crowd and get more meetings booked by building stronger relationships with the people they are trying to do business with. Gratitude is a proven way to ward off the infamous specter that haunts all sales people - getting ghosted.


Similarly, expressing gratitude in business increases customer retention. Gratitude helps keep current customers happy and engaged, which, in turn, results in big wins for your business. 

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Expressing Gratitude in Sales 

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Read the case study to learn how expressing gratitude became Pure Storage's most powerful sales tool.

Now, let's dive into specific ways gratitude can be applied to different areas of business. Gratitude is a game changer in sales and helps break through the noise. There are countless people trying to get a little bit of your prospect’s time. However, not everyone is showing genuine gratitude and true interest. 

At every single step in the sales process, gratitude can make a difference. One opportune occasion to show genuine gratitude is when a prospect agrees to a meeting. This develops an instant connection from the start, and ultimately saves sales reps time.

After the initial meeting, gestures of appreciation help you stay top of mind and shorten your sales cycle. Lastly, after the deal is won, it is best to always show gratitude and say thanks for doing business with you.

Expressing Gratitude in Customer Engagement

In the current age, what attracts and keeps customers is authenticity, and expressing real gratitude to your customers is a great way to provide that authenticity. For example, Thnks’ customer, Point of Reference, saw their Client Renewal Rate increase to 96 percent after partnering with Thnks and revamping their customer engagement strategy to focus on gratitude. Read the full Point of Reference case study here.

Whether it's appreciating your customer for renewing, helping them celebrate an achievement, or simply saying “thanks for being a great customer”, showing appreciation is a core part of a strong, successful business relationship. In the long term, these investments into your customer relationships will yield huge dividends.

Gratitude in Customer Engagement Use Cases 
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Influence customer retention and contract renewal

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Incorporate gratitude into high-touch service model

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Increase satisfaction survey response rates

Expressing Gratitude in Marketing 

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The importance of expressing gratitude in marketing is just as prominent as in other departments. Particularly in event marketing, the opportunities to show gratitude are endless. Thanking people for spending their time at your event, whether it’s a conference or an online webinar, is a great way to move prospects down the funnel. A thoughtful touch can be all that was needed to encourage them to learn more about your product or service. Check out our Best Times to Say Thanks in Event Marketing blog post to learn more about the ideal times for gratitude throughout your virtual or in-person event. 

Additionally, gratitude is good for your brand. By showing gratitude to people who interact with your company - at an event, an online webinar, through content download, or a demo request - you are building good will. These gestures of gratitude can become a part of your brand image and it will only help you to be known as a company that appreciates your prospects and customers.

Expressing Gratitude in the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a uniquely wonderful time to step back, reflect, and say thank you to your clients and coworkers for a great year. Even though it is the busiest time of year, remember to take time to make gratitude a priority.

One common mistake business professionals often fall into is sending the same generic things to everyone. Personalized gratitude means so much more to people and shows that you truly value them.

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