This will be the first of many posts on the subject of gratitude and thankfulness. This one will be longer than normal. I want to share a letter I wrote to my sales staff I just found in a drawer. It was dated April 24th, 1991. I was the Commercial Truck Manager at Biddulph Chevrolet in Santa Rosa CA where in April 1989 I began that department. I think it is important to tell people in various ways how much they are appreciated. It may be unusual for a sales manager to write such a letter to his sales staff, but it isn’t for me. Pardon the length, and I hope you appreciate the depth of the message. I will even use the real names for they are all readers of this Daily Inspirations.
To: Greg Martin, Ron Reinhold and Peter Halpin
I was just working on a request from Barry Biddulph to write out a business plan for the balance of 1991. In the process of writing my thoughts out regarding personnel, I felt that I needed to write some of my thoughts and feelings out to you. So, it’s official and in writing. (Put $.50 with that and you may be able to get a cup of decent coffee. . .)
I am proud and pleased to work with the likes of you three gentlemen. I don’t see your faults when I look at you, but your assets. And they are many.
I appreciate how you take responsibility to follow through on tasks and promises. That is so important and often taken for granted, but I do appreciate it.
Your skill and knowledge are superior. You don’t go around giving out misinformation, but take the time to look it up if necessary to make sure it is accurate–even if it means losing a sale based on the information. That too is extremely important.
Your word is as good as any signature or collateral is concerned with me. You don’t know how much I value this virtue. It is worth everything as far as I’m concerned.
You negotiate and close your own deals. How else would we run this kind of business and get anything done? I’ve been chastised for this, but so what? I think it is the way it should be done and I’m proud of how well you do it and how you improve the process.
You deal with people in a very straightforward, pleasant manner. What else could you want in a professional? And, your customers appreciate it too though they probably won’t say so generally. You know they do.
You care about your customers. Some care for the commission far more than the customer. You’ve seen it, but you don’t act it. Your frustrations have been with others not feeling the same and I understand that. And, I appreciate the fact that you care.
You help each other. If one of you has a question or a problem, you listen to them and help them. What more could one ask of a “team?” It’s teamwork in action at the Giant Biddulph Chevrolet Commercial Accounts Department and I appreciate it.
You give me good feedback. I don’t have all the answers. Sometimes I don’t have any, but you offer your assistance freely and it does not go unnoticed.
Sometimes I feel unneeded. I feel that you guys run this department and all I do is go along for the ride. Well, I put something in, but I know that you could make it happen without me being here. I like that. That is what I wanted to set up. (Although, it may cost me sometime. . .)
Little things. The cars are opened daily without the slightest hesitation or a word ever from me. The lot is arranged well and periodically changed.
You don’t hesitate to go the extra mile to serve your customers well. Picking up units at their business and bringing them into the service department, outside deliveries and whatever hours or days the customer may request. You deliver promptly and take good care to insure that the paperwork is done right and monies collected. What else would someone want of a professional?
You’re creative enough to think of switching bodies, changing suppliers, all toward getting the job done well and as promptly as possible.
Your deliveries are thorough and done well. You definitely go the extra mile as far as I’m concerned.
You’ve thought forward enough to invest in a computer, [side note: dealers didn’t supply computers back then. It was extremely rare for a salesman to invest in one] answering machine, etc. You don’t hesitate to buy lunch for a customer or each other–or me. When going out to the store, you ask if there is anything you can get for the others. You share easily and seem to completely respect each other (as much as car salesmen can. . . just kidding)
Bottom line, upper line, middle line, whatever line I look at, you guys come through as far as I’m concerned and upon thinking about it (although I appreciate it more than I say), I felt a need to put this down for the record. Thank you for all of your help; your support; your encouragement; your professionalism; your skill; your dedication and follow through; and lastly, your friendship. I appreciate all of you.
Terry R Minion
The Greatest Benefit From Gratitude Expressed To Others Is The Feeling Within Yourself In The Doing.
Spread Some Joy Today–Tell someone, or your team how much you appreciate them.