Attitude of Serving and Going First

The Principles of Influence described by Cialdini are simply ways in which we, as human beings, naturally operate.

Reciprocity is one way in which we automatically try to compensate someone who has given us something we find valuable.

Usually, the syntax of the process is: we first receive and then we want to give back. The process can be used as a tactic, to make us do something, to obligate us to a particular type of behavior.

What happens, though, in your mind, when you KNOW you’re about to receive a gift that you want and value? As you imagine that now, look inside and notice: can you catch a tendency to also make a valuable gift to that person?

What if you make that gift to be an unconditioned Appreciation for the other person, a sense of Connection (that we all want to have with others), a sense of “I know that You are valuable and I want to know more about You”?

Moreover, what if you Go First and Give your gift First, BEFORE you even meet that other person – Not to obligate him to behave in a certain way, but from a deep KNOWING that your gift it’s already on its way towards you?

In how many ways would this subtle change in attitude will actually change the entire dynamics of the interaction?

What is it that you actually sell?

Look beyond your product and take note of “what problem does it solve?” Your customer does Not want your product. He needs to Solve a Problem. Unless you can solve a problem for them, you have no business selling.

A good book on this subject I found to be “Sell the Feeling”, by Larry Pinci and Phil Glosserman. It’s an easy read, the message is laid as a story which is fun and entertaining. Pay attention, though: the principles underneath the story are solid, taken from Neuro Linguistic Programming.

They made available an excerpt from the book. You could find it here:

(by the way, I am not affiliated with them in any way; I just happen to know it’s a good book)

Nothing has a meaning until you give it one

(I posted this message on my Coaching Blog – You Have More Options – couple of days ago. Talking with some sales persons I realized how much they hurt themselves by not paying attention to the Meaning they give to their activity. So, I decided that it would serve sales persons to look closely at this message)

As humans, we crave to make sense of our environment. We walk around, silently asking, over and over again: “What’s happening here? What does it mean? How do I deal with it?”

The moment you look at something, your Mind is jumping to help you make sense of it. Your Mind instantly goes back in your history looking for similar situations – reference experiences, and chooses one of them (more or less randomly). Then, basically, your Mind helps you make sense of what’s happening Now by telling you to think that “this” situation ‘now’ is like “that” situation ‘back then’. It offers you a Frame, a pair of lenses that you should look at that situation through.

… On a side note – that’s where the expression “my mind went blank” comes from: when the current event is entirely new for you, your mind cannot find any resembling experience in your past…

That’s how you assign Meaning to things and events around you – the instant you activate a certain Frame, you unconsciously decide “Oh, I know, this means that…” When you assign a way to look at things, you set a Meaning of those things for you.

Then you [unconsciously] prepare for dealing with the Present Situation, just as you dealt with it ‘back then’. You will [automatically] activate the necessary Resources from within, as if “now” is “back then”. You’ll actually start to Think, Feel and Behave exactly as you did in the Past Event, and, most probably, you’ll get the same Results. [so, as a sales person – what do you compare this appointment, or this phone call, with?]

… That’s how we become to “live in the Past” instead of “in the now”, by behaving as if “now” is “back then”…

Just as if you were a king and you are threatened by an enemy at the border [that’s the ‘event’].
– You take a look and you estimate the enemy – its size, its strength, its motivation, etc. [so far, there’s no meaning attached. Just observing.]
– Then you remember that you had a similar battle in the past, and you dealt with it successfully by using the archers, for instance [that is the ‘old’ situation that is “like” this one that’s happening now; that’s now your Frame around this battle]
– according to this Frame, you activate the archers. [These will be your Resources. You don’t find any need to activate the cavalry, for instance]

This is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s actually a great feature to have, because it saves us time and effort when making decisions about dealing with a particular type of event.

But what happens if you remember a Past Event in which you lost the battle? Your Mind will now try to protect you by sending you messages like “Boy, you better prepare for this disaster. You know what happened last time, don’t you? You better prepare to cut your losses and see how you can get alive out of this!”

So now, instead of preparing for the win, you prepare for the defeat. And, in order to motivate you move towards this kind of behavior, your Mind activates inside you the fear, anxiety, worry, dread, and so forth.

But, really, the fact that some years ago the king lost a battle – does it really mean that he will lose this battle, too? Of course not. But, preparing for defeat will prevent him from activating the necessary Resources for winning.

My question for you is this: when are you most creative, most resourceful in finding solutions and enjoying life?
– is it when you feel afraid, insecure and guilty?
– or is it when you feel safe, joyful and happy?
Most people will agree that the second scenario is bringing more creativity to the table.

In conclusion, knowing what you know now:
– that Nothing has a Meaning until you give it one, and
– that an Empowering Meaning will activate Positive Resources
——- what would happen if you deliberately Choose to assign Empowering Meanings to the things and situations around you, and thus, get to open the door towards those Positive Resources?