If you’re a nice guy, you don’t need to give me a monologue about how you’re kind to animals, recycle and call your mother once a week. And if you’re ethical you don’t need to tell me about your beliefs or that you’ve never stolen so much as a pen from your office. Instead just be nice and be ethical.
“Who You Are Speaks So Loudly I Can’t Hear What You’re Saying.”
– Ralph Wald Emerson
There are so many layers to this Emerson quote as it relates to life and business that I hardly know where to begin. I want to first start by explaining that people will forget the vast majority of what you say to them. Every painstaking presentation you make, every networking event you attend, and every meeting you suffer will largely be forgotten. This could be somewhat heartbreaking for someone who has devoted her life to teaching, training, speaking and performing; UNTIL you understand what people do remember. People never quote a line from my show or a statistic from a case study. When I reconnect with former students, clients or audience members, they recall how they felt. They remember that I answered their call at midnight my time from across the country, they remember that I worked hard to make them laugh in a class that ended at 9 pm after a full day of work and they remember how it felt to have someone in their corner when they were asking for a raise for the first time in their life.
Why does it matter? Because making people feel good is free. It costs you some time and consideration, but not much else. So why is it so damned hard to remember to do just a little more to make people feel good? We get caught up in being overwhelmed and burdened and distracted and we forget. I used to joke in my trainings and classes that my students could not get back the time we would spend together so we might as well enjoy it. I frame this obvious fact and then I promise not to waste their time. I therefore commit to showing up fully with extremely high expectations of myself to be worthy of that time I’m occupying.
But what in the hell does this have to do with you, your business or your life? When people feel good around you, they want to be part of what you’re building or selling or sharing. They want to be an extension of your work or life. This only works of course if you are sincere. If your kindness is something you extend only to get something, then well, let’s be honest, that’s just gross.
Really excellent sales people actually give a damn. They want their client to be happy and feel good about their buying decision. I have zero interest in trying to convince someone to write me a check. I’m interested in figuring out if I can help them with their challenge and if I can’t who can and how can I facilitate an introduction. If you behave with integrity then you won’t have to say all that much because people will carry that experience with them long after they’ve tossed your brochure in the trash and forgotten all of your features and benefits.