Curated Leadership for Today's World

How to REALLY win friends and influence people….and grow your business

Posted on 24 June 2010

We’ve been told to always have an agenda when you occupy someone’s time. But what would our interactions be like if we just went to have a cup of coffee, or participate in a mastermind session, or attend a business luncheon and we had NO agenda. Call me naïve’ but I assume if someone calls me up and wants to meet, it’s to hear about my business’ mission, not what I can do for them. After all, why would you call me up to take an hour or two of my time when your sole purpose was what I could do for you? What if someone wanted to spend time with me, and actually wanted nothing from me, other than find out what they could do to help me? Do you know what I would do for that person? Everything! It’s the old adage, people hate to be sold, but they love to buy. I don’t want what anyone’s selling, but if I like you and feel like you are an honest person, I will do better than buy from you. I will advocate for you!

There have been people who have come into my life who wanted nothing other than to offer me support and serve in whatever capacity I needed. Many times I wouldn’t have even known enough about what to ask them for, but just having them share with me was such a great comfort and lesson. And then there are others who come to do something for me, only if I do something for them. They align themselves with me not because they believe in me, but for what I can do for them. It’s a real sign of maturity and growth to be able to spot the difference. Now I’m all about networking and meeting folks who can help further my business but my advice is this: If you are meeting with someone, make it all about them. Ask them how things are going and what you can do for them. If they’re worth their salt, they’ll want to know more about the wonderful individual who’s sitting across from them and intently listening to their story. They’ll instinctively look for ways to compliment and assist you without you having to ask. And don’t try to sell them on anything other than the fact that you are a huge advocate and know they’ll succeed.

So check your emails and recall your most recent conversations with your most influential contacts, those you routinely network with, or someone you met on a referral. Is the only time you get in touch with people when you need something from them? If the answer is yes, it’s time to redirect your efforts to asking what you can do for them. It is such a hectic pace in today’s business environment across all fronts. We get inundated with emails, phone calls, tweets, Facebook wall posts, blogs, videos, samples, dinners, meetings, awards ceremonies, donation requests, golf sponsorships, etc, all our waking moments. So take some time and put the humanity back into growing your business. You and your network are all about people. As Dale Carnegie so eloquently said, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." I would say the same is true about growing your business.

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4 comments

  • traceyjones: February 20, 2016

    Thank you so much Laura!

  • Laura Stocker: February 20, 2016

    So well said, Tracey!

  • Tony Michalski: February 20, 2016

    Hi Tracey!

    Nicely done. A certain movie that was released a few years ago had people concentrating on what THEY wanted and what THEY desired. That was one of the reasons that I did not like the movie and railed against it.

    What I’ve found to be true — and about which you wrote here so eloquently — is what I call the Third Axiom of Success:

    “All successful people don’t focus on the things they want, they focus on the things other people want and then supply those wants to them.”

    We all know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. It IS important to let the world know about what you have to offer and what you’re able to do. One should also be cognizant of the fact that while the squeaky wheel will get the grease, the noisy, pesky, never-shutting-up wheel often gets yanked off the car and replaced by one that isn’t. ;-)

    Thanks for these posts, Tracey. All the BEST!

    Have fun … Tony.

  • traceyjones: February 20, 2016

    Hi Tremendous Tony! What a great axiom! I’m going to make sure I keep that in clear site. What a way to get focused each day….and the squeaky wheel analogy made me laugh! That’s great! You said it be, it IS important to let people know what you’re able to do, but the more clear I am in my skills and my gifts the more I can “boldly go” toward helping others:-) Live long and prosper….and have fun!

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