The Power of Being Thoughtful
by Tim Healy
Being thoughtful is a topic I have never written about. I hate to say it, but being thoughtful was never really a topic I incorporated into my training and coaching. Maybe I thought it was assumed, or maybe even too touchy feely. I was wrong.
Why is being thoughtful so important?
The key to becoming a successful sales professional is knowing how to build relationships. But how do you build relationships? It takes more than just exchanging a few emails or phone calls. Truly strong relationships are the result of being trustworthy, attentive, offering great service, always wanting to help, and the list goes on.
In so much of the sales literature I have read I, don’t recall reading a lot about being thoughtful. I have read a lot about being empathetic towards prospects and clients which is critical. If you exercise empathy with your clients you are being understanding, responsive, and compassionate, which are all key values in sales.
Being thoughtful is different.
Being thoughtful is about being considerate, kind, caring and selfless. Let’s be honest – being thoughtful isn’t easy. It takes time. It requires that you genuinely care. Again, that’s not always easy.
A Thoughtful and Meaningful Gift
Why am I writing about thoughtful now? Well, I experienced one of the most thoughtful gifts during one of the toughest moments in my life.
If you are a fan of my blog you will recall the blog “People Don’t Come with Expirations Dates.” I decided to share my experience of the loss of my sister and aunt from Covid-19 in June 2020.
My family and I were truly blessed to receive an outpouring of love and support. There seemed to be countless calls, emails, texts, flowers, and gift baskets from family, friends, and clients. As we all know when you lose a loved one, the support of family and friends means everything.
One example of support came from a client of my mine. Their gesture was by far and away one of the most meaningful and thoughtful things anyone has done for me.
I won’t name my client. Instead, I will describe the relationship. I have been working with them for almost two years now. I only met them once in person before they hired me, and we have worked exclusively via phone and Zoom since.
They are great to work for, and I am very grateful they are clients. When they got word of my sister’s passing, they asked if I could forward her obituary. With the confusion of the funeral and everything that goes with it, I forgot to send it to them.
My brother Chuck created the obituary. In it, he highlighted my sister’s involvement as a mentor in the non-for-profit Everybody Wins DC. Their mission is to help children thrive by building connections through reading. My sister had volunteered there for years reading to young school children.
However, Chuck didn’t mention the organization by name in her obituary. So, my client found the obituary online and wanted to do something special. Not knowing who Maureen volunteered for, they chose to make a generous donation to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
When I received a card from the Barbara Bush Foundation letting me know of the generous donation in Maureen’s name, I was utterly shocked. I couldn’t get over how incredibly thoughtful the gift was.
First, my client took the time to find her obituary. Then, they found an element in my sister’s life they could honor in a beautiful way. As I wrote earlier, being thoughtful is about being considerate, kind, caring, and selfless. It’s not easy. It takes time. It requires that you genuinely care.
A moment like this may only come once in a client relationship. However, the opportunity to be thoughtful is more apparent than you think only if you care enough to pay attention and go the extra mile.
The donation in Maureen’s name was incredibly thoughtful. It is something I will never forget.