Why most people have business success backwards, and therefore most people aren’t successful.
Success and wealth are crazy things. You must first give something away for them to be obtained. It is like planting a seed. You must give away or plant that seed before it grows and multiples This sounds absolutely crazy. Most people think how can I have wealth and success if I give away the little that I have? After all I don’t have much, therefore I must hang on to it if I ever want to have something.
Here’s what the truly successful have found out – they only achieved enormous success after they learned to give even more of themselves. The more they gave the more they received back. This is the philosophy too many people have and it is the philosophy of those who remain poor. For two much of my own life I had this philosophy. Most people can’t be blamed for having this way of thinking, as the secrets of success aren’t typically taught. They must be sought out.
First we must understand what wealth is, wealth is not money. Money is only paper. Ask a guy stranded on a desert island with 50 million dollars how much that money is worth. Not very much. Material wealth is only the items we can purchase with that money – cars, TV’s, vacations, houses, you get the idea. So in this frame something of value (the car for example) must be produced for us to be able to use it. Thus the more value that a person can produce (cars, TV’s, computers, even information and time) the more valuable you become.
Think of it this way, if you were the only person who could do a very valuable task that many people wanted how wealthy would you be? Extremely to say the least. But that is all just background information.
Here is why people have success backwards especially in the area of sales and marketing. They mistakenly go about trying to sell their product or service, thinking people will want to buy from them. Instead of thinking how can I be of value to others. How can I give away my value so I receive even more in return.
Here is where it really gets crazy. We already said we must give away our value to others to obtain wealth, and the more value we are able to give to others the more wealth that will come back to us.
Think of it like this.
A doctor goes to school for many years to become a doctor. He gives countless hours of his time to you to learn to become a doctor. Many doctors will study/work 4000 hours per year times 10 years = 40,000 hours plus many hundreds of thousands of dollars in money spent on education. So when you go to the doctor he has 40,000 hours invested in you in a sense, as you are the only one he is dealing with at this time. For which he might charge you $100. Even if you were to go to him for $40,000 worth of services in your lifetime where can you get this kind of value for $1 an hour and he even pays his own education cost out of his pocket.
The same thing can be said of a famous athlete, or musician, or actor, etc. who spends countless thousands of hours of practice perfecting their craft before you spent $15 on a CD or bought a ticket, etc. from them.
Think of someone like Bill Gates and Microsoft. He sells you a computer operating system like Windows, which has literally thousand of hours of development time in it, to you for $129. What an incredible bargain this is, somebody spends millions of dollars and thousands of hours to develop a product that you want for which you get for only $129. What a steal.
The point is in all of these cases these people had the vision of giving away their talents (isn’t our wealth really what we have the capability to earn with our talents), before they expected to receive anything in return. And yet in each of these cases the more value they were able to give away to people the more wealth they got back in return.
The Bible talks about the principal of tithing. God says give me 10 percent of what you can do and I’ll give you much more in return. God also says you can’t out give him. I think he must see it as like a contest. He must be thinking, you think you are a big giver. “Check this out, look what I’m going to give you in return, try to top this.”
The point is in all of these cases people first gave of themselves and then they received much more in return. And yet we too often as sales people simply go out and try to sell somebody on our product or service. And we wonder why the customer doesn’t buy from us.
Let’s look at this from the customer’s perspective-
We’re saying, “This is a great product.”
They’re thinking, “I’m skeptical what’s so great about it?”
We’re saying, “This product will make your life easier.”
They’re thinking, “Okay, but I can get the same product somewhere else why should I buy from you?”
We’re saying, “You need our product or service.”
They’re thinking, “Why, I’ve gotten along okay without it this long.”
We’re saying, “In so many words and body language, I need you to buy this from me.”
They’re thinking, “You’re bugging me, I don’t want to buy your product, go away.”
People have a built in radar that detects when they think you’re trying to sell them something, and when their radar detects this it automatically raises this built-in defense barrier to protect them from buying from you. Some sales people are so obnoxious that people will actually lower this barrier and buy from the sales person to get him to go away. The pain of dealing with them was greater than the pain of buying.
But they’ll never buy again from these sales people. The remarkably successful people first find ways to be of value first, then people will want what they have because they sense they are getting back more in return. What they are getting is a bargain.
Having said all this, value like beauty is really in the eyes of the beholder. You don’t have to become a doctor, athlete, or actor to be of value to others. Learn what people want and simply give it to them. There are certain basic human emotions that everyone wants but few provide them. So if you are one of the few who learn to give people these things doesn’t this make you valuable to them? Doesn’t this make people want to do business with you because you are providing greater value? Sure it does.
Here is a list of some of the things that people desire:
Make someone feel important, find someway to make them feel that they have a special way of doing something. Get them to talk about themselves. Find out something that they may have accomplished, no matter how small it may seem. And ask them to tell you about how they were able to accomplish this task. They will love telling you about it. You have to remember that to them their favorite topic is themselves.
The point is if you show genuine interest in them you are showing interest in their favorite topic. Automatically they drop their guard and will even discuss sales with you because, now you become more of a trusted friend – you are not just a sales person. But it can’t be phony interest. People will see through that.
By showing interest in them you are providing value to them. And remember everyone truly is special. Don’t ever judge someone by appearance by thinking, “They can’t help me, no need to be nice to them.” If you do this eventually other people will see this in you and think, “He is such a phony, he is only acting like this with me to get my business. He doesn’t really care about me, only my money.”
The point is people who really do want to provide others with value will develop an attitude of caring. When you show people you care you can’t help but be rewarded and you mind will become conditioned to liking this caring and being of value to others as it will come to enjoy the associated rewards.
In this regard we are almost like trained animals. Animal trainers get animals to do the things they want by rewarding them when they do good and withholding rewards for incorrect behavior. Like animals don’t we like doing things for which we receive rewards, of course we do.
Other tips I have found useful.
Smile and be courteous – remember what there is very little of, people cherish and crave it.
I know this is hard and I have done it but please resist the urge to one-up or outdo the other person. Let them have the high ground. If they tell you about their weeklong Caribbean cruise resist the urge to blurt in about your 2 week Caribbean cruise. You won’t score any points doing this. Let them have the glory.
And one last point, you don’t have to be world famous and have the secrets of life to give value to others. Remember most people have it backwards and are out just trying to sell others instead of offering them value.
In the land of the blind, the one eye’d man is king.
People always want to buy value and if you offer value you will never have a shortage of customers.