Little Words That Motivate BIG Results From Others

If you’re a parent, when your children were born, you might have said something like, “My son or daughter is going to become a doctor, lawyer, preacher, or a ___________.” You filled in the blank with any honorable profession that came to mind and you said it with pride.

Chances are you didn’t say “I hope my son or daughter becomes a salesperson.” That never crossed your mind.

But the fact is everyone is a salesperson. Everyone is selling something … whether it’s their ideas, skills, looks, time, products, services, personality, or whatever.

The only question that really counts is whether or not you’re going to be an effective or ineffective salesperson. Because when you come right down to it, selling is nothing more than motivating others to work with you.

So let me give you some little words that motivate BIG cooperation from others.

► 1. Say “we” and “us” more often.

Words make a huge difference. When you talk about we and us, you’re encouraging cooperation and reinforcing inclusion. You’re saying, in effect, “We’re connected. We’re in this together.”

Just the opposite happens if you have too many I’s and you’s in your conversation. Your communication focuses on your differences. It focuses on areas of disagreement, dissent, and disapproval.

And from my point of view, public discourse has fallen into this destructive pit. Instead of referring to Americans as Americans, the media pits us against one another. As Lee Iaccoca, the former chairman of the Chrysler Corporation, noted, “We are no longer Republicans and Democrats. We are what the media calls ‘special interests’.”

And the same criticism can be and should be leveled at Congress. As Iaccoca went on to ask, “Ever notice that the members of Congress call those who agree with them ‘constituents’ and all those who disagree with them ‘special interests’?” It’s outrageous and it’s destructive.

The same goes for your communication at work or at home. Whenever you use or overuse “I” and “you” language, you create a disconnect. Start using more “we” and “us” to connect with other people

► 2. Ask more confident Will-You questions.

After we’ve left our teenage years, most of us hate being told what to do. We don’t want our bosses, coworkers, service providers, friends, spouses or anyone else telling us what we should think or do.

We want to be asked. It feels so much more respectful and so much less demanding.

And yes, you have to ask. You can’t expect people to magically read your mind and just give you what you want. And you can’t tell someone else, “If you really loved me, you’d know what I wanted.” That’s sheer lunacy.

It’s like the patient who said, “Doctor, every time I eat fruit I get this strange urge to give people all my money.” To which the doctor replied, “Would you like an apple or a banana?”

Of course that’s a silly example. On the serious side, however, ask more will-you questions. Ask such things as “Will you give me that report at 2:00 pm on Friday?” or “Will you take me out to eat this week?” Be specific, direct, and firm with no hinting or beating around the bush.

Sound confident. If you don’t sound like you’re sold on your ideas or really need the cooperation you’re requesting, the other person will take you and your points less seriously.

If you lack a confident self-demeanor, then practice. Practice what you’re going to say to the other person or what you’re going to ask before you open your mouth. You might practice your request in front of a mirror, or you might ask someone else how you sound when you ask. You want to come across with sincerity and enthusiasm.

When you ask from the heart, when you’re perceived as warm, polite, passionate, and friendly, you increase your odds of getting the other person to go along with you. So make sure your voice sounds confident. And make sure you maintain steady eye contact to show that you are serious.

► 3. Use T.I.P.S. to insure prompt service.

In most cultures, we’re taught to tip service people AFTER they have completed a certain task — IF their performance was satisfactory. But that’s exactly the opposite of how T.I.P.S. were originally used.

T.I.P.S. were given to someone in advance. The T.I.P.S. were intended to insure prompt service.

I think there’s a lesson to be learned from that custom. Instead of hoping or waiting for others to give you more cooperation and motivation, do some kind things in advance to make sure you get it.

And when you learn to do that with real sincerity and caring, the results are magical. Edward Reede told me how Ryan did it. He considered Ryan to be the world’s best shoe salesperson because he was always giving out T.I.P.S.

When you entered Ryan’s shop in Huntington, Pennsylvania, you always got a warm greeting. But before you could discuss shoes, Ryan had to check your feet.

And Ryan didn’t just measure your feet. He gave you a foot massage. He rubbed and pressed and cracked your feet. Of course, it was great, but he wasn’t just working out your tight muscles. By the time Ryan was done massaging your feet, he knew more about your feet than you ever did!

Then Ryan would ask such things as, “How is your mother, Bert? And your sister, Alice?”

Eventually you were ready to look at shoes, but then Ryan became the consultant. He might say, “With those contracted arches, you really need a special size, and a support under the instep.” Maybe that style you had your eye on wouldn’t work too well with your feet, but he had a comfortable pair in another style that wouldn’t cause your feet any trouble in the long run.

As Edward reported, “From the time I was old enough to walk into Ryan’s shop, I learned why my parents were willing to make the seventy-mile round trip just to buy shoes from Ryan. It wasn’t because Ryan’s shoes were better than the shoes you could buy in State College, but Ryan cared about you, and he cared enough to make sure you wore shoes that were good for your feet.”

But here’s the clincher. Ed said, “Ryan didn’t treat people well just because he was selling shoes. He truly loved people as much as he loved selling shoes and always went out of his way to do his best for people. Every time we left Ryan’s shoe store, we always felt special and happy all the way back over Tussy Mountain and every time we put on Ryan’s shoes!”

Ryan did more than his customers ever expected and as a result, he got more of their business and more of their loyalty than anyone else around. He got their willing cooperation!

Could the same thing be said about you? That you’re giving out more T.I.P.S. to your coworkers, your customers, and your family members than they expect?