Every human interaction is an opportunity to connect — and then to sell
The title of this post comes straight from Frank Luntz’s book, Win: The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary.
I am not going to lie — I am using this headline to pique your interest, but I also want to encourage you to be more purposeful with your daily interactions.
Many of us (me included) just tend to let things happen. Our friends book a time to get together with us, so we meet with them. Our family wants us to come for dinner, so we do. Our boss wants us to take on a little bit of extra work, so we stay late to finish up.
There are times when it’s appropriate to consent to outside demands, but we must mindful in evaluating whether it constrains us.
We hear about values, and how we should place our friends and family at the top of the totem pole.
But what sometimes ends up happening when you do that is that you become a people-pleaser, and that can only work against you.
Ultimately, your values are a transient thing. They change based on what matters most to you at this moment. And, if you’ve ranked your values by how obligated you feel to a person, business, project or otherwise, you’re sacrificing your aliveness.
Why Pleasing Everybody Works Against You
You might have an instinctual desire to try to please everyone around you. If this doesn’t describe you, fine, but if there’s a part of you that’s resonating with what I’m saying, read on.
People-pleasers tend to think the better people know them, and the more people like and trust them, the more successful they’ll be.
That’s not always the case.
It is important to be known, liked and trusted, but that won’t necessarily propel you to success. If you constantly put other people’s agendas above your own, you won’t have time for yourself. Your self-image will plummet too.
You can’t help or please everyone — you must help yourself first. This is because helping yourself will ultimately benefit those around you. You can give to others out of the surplus you create for yourself.
Every Human Interaction Is An Opportunity To Connect
When was the last time you learned something new from a friend or family member? When was the last time they challenged you to be better and to do better?
I’m not saying that you don’t have people like that in your life, but it is easier to hang around those that don’t have a vested interest in your future success than to around people who prompt you to stretch further. It’s easier to maintain the status quo.
You need to begin building some awareness around the fact that you can always be better than you are right now. If you stop growing, you don’t just stop. You start going backwards.
Leadership expert John Maxwell talks about the fact that he has an agenda for every meeting he goes into.
This is the type of deliberateness that you want to apply to your relationships. If there’s no reason to meet, there’s no reason to meet. If, on the other hand, there’s a chance to add value to someone, or there’s an opportunity to learn something, then there is a context and a purpose for the interaction.
And Then To Sell
I imagine some of you are going to have a hard time with this one.
I know what you’re thinking: every human interaction is a chance to sell? That sounds shady and manipulative!
I know what you mean. But here’s the thing.
Even if you’re not selling a product or a service every time you meet some, you’re still selling yourself. You’re either building trust or you’re losing credibility. You’re either developing rapport or you’re closing yourself off. You’re either earning respect, or you’re being exposed.
None of us are perfect, of course, and ultimately it’s the human qualities that draw people to each other anyway. There’s nothing more attractive than vulnerability. It’s the little imperfections that makes you relatable. You must be comfortable in your own skin to be that transparent though.
So it’s not about being perfect. It’s about being on-purpose.
How deliberate are you with your interactions? How often do you let other people’s agendas rule over your own?
If you don’t feel comfortable putting yourself first just yet (you are the most important person in your life), it’s time to get on a personal growth plan.
Do you sell every time you connect with a friend, a family member or a fan? Why or why not?