6 Ways to Thrash and Burn Your Blind Spots

Confession – This problem of mine has been improved over time but it is my kryptonite.

Ever offended someone unknowingly and responded by saying, “But I didn’t mean it that way”.  If so, read on.

Fortunately for me, I’ve worked for some great managers that would not tolerate such an insufficient response.  They know that perception is reality and if you offend someone, your intentions are dwarfed by your result.  If you are in sales, you cannot afford to miss this lesson.

Listen to how others react to you.  This might be overt like in a verbal way.  Or it might be subtle, as in people just clam up on you.  Notice this.  Most people won’t give you an explanation when it’s unpleasant.  Only those who truly care about you will give you that chance, and even many of them won’t even risk offending you back.

Don’t Justify what your intent was.  It doesn’t matter once you’ve offended someone.  All that matters is their feelings, not your unpolished intent.  Once you’ve offended someone, the only response is, “I’m sorry.”

Own it.  Take personal responsibility for everything that comes from you, all words and all actions.  There’s simply no alternative if you wish for the respect and trust of others.

Get outside yourself and try as best as you can to see it from their perspective.  Some people can do this.  Many cannot.  Work on it.  Begin with awareness.

Consider the source.  If someone tells you something and it seems they might be wrong, ask yourself about that person.  Have they accomplished things that evade you?  More friends?  Better career?  Parenting success?  If yes, their wisdom is your freebie so take it.

Be gracious.  Accept all compliments with grace.  Suppress the urge to neutralize the gift of a compliment.  Don’t deny others’ joy in giving them to you.

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Be memorable by showing others you remember them

Today I bumped into a former co-worker who was with his wife who I once met briefly.  However, I do make an effort to remember names and personal details.  Life’s nicer that way.

I asked his wife if her daugther had recently joined a particular youth group, indicating to her that I not only remembered her, but  that she had a daughter the same age as my daughter.  I knew there was a likelihood they had both just joined branches of the same youth group.  Could be my imagination, but I could see her body language instantly warm to me as we were moms making a connection.  Mom to mom connections are pretty personal.

There’s no substitute for personal connections.  It’s been said people don’t care what you know until they know you care. 

Give the gift of letting someone know you remember them; even better if you remember something personal about them.   The gift will be yours in return.

5 things you didn’t learn in kindergarten

There’s a popular book called, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.  However, to optimize your chances of success, here are 5 things you probably did NOT learn there.

Talk to strangers:  The stories people have to share can be amazing.  Some of them have lived through hell and offer a sense of hope; others are clambering through life at the same pace as you and can offer fellowship.  You’ll never know unless you talk to those around you.  Make friends wherever you go.  Be genuine.

Network with others in your industry, even competitors:  It never hurts to expand your network.  You never know who you might want to hire, or who might have a job for you.  There’s a new way of doing business that has sprung from social networking.  Experts in any given field offer their expertise for free online and potential customers find their way to THEM. 

Count your blessings:  You must fill your spirit with gratitude, for from it springs positivity.  If you feel positive on the inside you will radiate it on the outside and people will draw to you. 

Study to improve your skills:  This will boost your confidence, improve your marketability and will anchor you to be comfortable as your environment changes around you.  You’ll think better on your feet.

Keep your head up:  The universe will speak to you through other people.  Remain aware of everything around you.  Develop a keen sense of intuition and follow that inner voice.  When people get on your nerves, remember you probably have that affect on others.

Note: This blog was inspired by Casey Cavalier, whom I’ve quoted in some of the above content.

Is your customer smarter than you?

I just read a blog post entitled The Sales Pitch is Dead by Geoffrey James.  Click here for the full post: http://tinyurl.com/mcxjhw  It contains wisdom about how to keep an open mind and encourage real dialog with your customers.

Consider that your prospective customer might know something that you don’t know.  After all, you certainly want them feel that way about you, right? 

Consider that your prospect has good reason for doing things the way they’ve been doing them.  Ask about that and you’ll learn what’s important to them.  This doesn’t negate the possibility that you might have a better alternative, but it will encourage them to engage in dialog with you if you sincerely show that you stand to learn something from them.

Who doesn’t want to feel validated?  Always assume you can learn something from your customer.  It will guide you to the right language, approach, attitude and will do much to establish rapport.

Be irresistable.  Humility works.