“You can get everything in life that you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”
At this time of year, we take time to give thanks for everything we have … no matter how much or how little that might be. We know that giving thanks is not only the right thing to do, it’s also a good thing to do. It’s good for our spirits.
But giving is also good for our businesses and good for our relationships when giving comes in the form of helping other people. That’s why I wanted to share an article written by Bill Lee, a friend of mine. Bill is an excellent speaker on the topic of sales, but he also gives several weeks of his time every year building orphanages.
Bill’s article comes from the perspective of a salesperson, but I believe it has applicability for all of us. Read on, and take a moment to reflect on how you can give more to others … on the job, at home, and everywhere else.
How To Get Everything You WANT In Life
As just about everyone intellectually understands, there’s a huge difference between WANTS and NEEDS. In the USA, the great majority of us have everything we NEED: food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. Evidence of this fact is that obesity is one of the most major health problems in every state, while malnutrition is practically nonexistent.
But the title to this article is: How To Get Everything You WANT In Life
Years ago, I heard Zig Ziglar say, “You can get everything in life that you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.” This is one of the truest statements you’ll ever hear. It pertains not just to customers, but also to your family of support personnel.
If you are a salesperson, you are highly dependent on a lot of other people in your company. You cannot be successful at sales unless your company has a conscientious group of operations people, administrative people and management personnel. In fact, I can’t imagine a halfway intelligent salesperson not understanding that he or she really needs every other person on their business team.
But few days go by when I’m on a consulting assignment that salespeople don’t tell me how stupid and undependable the men and women are who work in support roles and how insensitive most of them are to the customer’s (and, of course, the salesperson’s) interests.
Salespeople are naive if they don’t understand how they are quite often perceived by other members of the business team, especially by operations personnel. While many salespeople take personal credit for creating opportunities for operations people to have a job, operations people more often than not see salespeople as arrogant, selfish and self-centered.
The truth of the matter is that both salespeople and operations personnel are critical to the success of any business. No salesperson could earn a living wage if he or she were required to personally deliver everything that he or she were able to sell. It would be equally time consuming to try to sell in between unloading and putting into stock incoming deliveries from vendors.
The key to it all working is found in Ziglar’s statement. Give people what they want and they’ll give you what you want. Here are few ways you can do that.
=> 1. Treat everybody like a customer.
Wise salespeople know that every person on their business team is an internal customer, and they treat them like customers. And wise salespeople know if they want their internal customers to give them preferential treatment, they have to give their internal customers preferential treatment.
Quite simply, it’s a lot easier to get people to do favors for you if you have already made a significant investment in building a relationship with them.
=> 2. Treat your internal customers to some treats.
While on a consulting assignment in Connecticut, I spent some time with an outside salesperson as he called on his customers. As we drove from job to job, he was forever honking his horn and throwing up his hand to say hello to the driver when he would see one of his company trucks approaching. On one occasion he saw a driver making a delivery and stopped by the job site to say hello.
“You sure do go out of your way to be nice to the drivers,” I commented.
“Yeah, these guys can make me look awfully good or awfully bad. My job would be a lot more difficult without them on my team. In fact, just last week, I told the drivers not to bring a lunch to work. I told them that I was buying pizza for the whole crowd.”
“That must have cost you a lot of money.”
“No, it didn’t cost me anything. The money I spent on those guys was an investment, and I promise you, I’ll get a good return on that investment.”
If you want to be in a position to ask for favors from other people in your organization, if you want to hear a cheerful yes when you make a request, make sure you’ve taken the time to build relationships with those people a long time in advance. Treat them to some treats once in a while.
Bring in donuts for the operations personnel in the morning. Occasionally buy pizza for lunch. There’s always something you can do. Even if you’re a truck driver with a cooler full of cold drinks, you could pass them out as you pass by other coworkers in the lumber yard.
=> 3. Treat your internal customers to lots of attention and appreciation.
Try some of these ideas.
**Pay special attention.
Occasionally ask your internal customers this question: “What can I do differently to make your job easier?” And when you make a mistake that creates extra work for one of your internal customers, apologize for your goof and thank him for bailing you out of trouble.
**Be generous with your appreciation.
Send a lot of thank-you notes. Each time an internal customer does you a favor, send a short thank-you note. And TELL members of the operations team how much you appreciate them.
When you’re talking to external customers, make positive comments about your operations personnel. If you’re in the lumber business, for example, occasionally jump in a truck and ride with a driver who’s taking a delivery out to one of your jobs. Introduce him to the builder or crew chief. Make him feel like an important member of your team by bragging on him to the customer.
And when one of your internal customers catches a mistake you made and corrects it, give them a big thank you.
The better the relationship you develop with the people in your company, the higher the odds are that you will not only have everything you NEED in life, but many more of the things you WANT.
The same goes for relationships outside your company. As difficult as this economy is, there are people out there who are in a position to send business your way. By treating everyone you meet like they’re ten feet tall, you’ll discover how much those relationships can do for your sales volume.
Expand your relationships and watch your business expand, as well.
Bill makes a very important point. The more we give others what they want, the more they give in return.