[Imc-chicago] A Different Kind of Deference - Sales Muscle - Issue 109
ezine at aboltfromtheblue.com
Wed Jun 20 12:29:47 PDT 2007
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Sales Muscle - Issue 109
presented by Bolt from the Blue
June 20, 2007
Author: Tom Richard
Editor: Gina Sares
A Different Kind of Deference
Three men, all strangers, are in a gym locker room. As they change out of their gym clothes and get ready for the day, they listen to the sports news in the background.
Can you believe Tiger Woods lost the U.S. Open? one man says to another.
I know! If only he would have made that Eagle putt
the second man replies.
Soon, all three are talking, sharing their opinions and laughing. Even though they are stripped to their underwear or just a pair of pants, they are completely comfortable together, chatting on a first-name basis as good friends would.
After about ten minutes, each man is dressed and ready for the day. One man in a suit and tie, the next in a heavy Carhartt uniform, the third in torn jeans and a T-shirt. With each outfit, their identity has changed, and a level of formality has been established. They have transformed from Bill, Fred and Alex, into Mr. Smith, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Miller.
What changes occur in social structure between the gym and the office, that we must add a false layer of formality? Is there a strange power that business dress has on otherwise ordinary men and women that make us call one another by Sir or Maam?
The knee jerk answer is that those who hold a particular position in life, or within a company, deserve a certain amount of deference. They have earned the right to be placed distinctly at a higher level. While this may be true of some ego-dependent executives, those who are truly successful often find value in a more mutual form of respect.
The only way to show true respect to those around you is by treating them as an equal human being, just as you would with any other person. If you find it polite to call your mailman Mr. Smith, then, yes, you should continue to show the same courtesy to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. However, if you refer to the people you meet every day by first name, why would you treat someone different just because of the title they hold or the fancy suit they wear?
The truth is that high-level executives and businesspeople put their pants on one leg at a time, just like everybody else. Treating them different creates a barrier, and distances yourself from a potential business partner. By figuratively bowing your head and not making direct eye contact, you are giving off signals that say you are not a person of equal stature. This hinders you from connecting with the other person and making the sale.
The most effective form of communication occurs when there is a fluid sharing of ideas between two or more individuals with a common objective. Your prospective customer, no matter what level in life or in a company they are in, must be able to trust and understand you before doing business with you. They are putting their money, their business and their success in your hands. They will not be willing to do that if you convince them that you are not as smart, as talented, or as hardworking as they are.
The only way to give others the respect they deserve is by giving yourself the respect you deserve. If you walk into a business meeting with an inferiority complex, it will show. You will cut off your ability to connect with others on a real level and develop a mutual respect and trust.
Be proud of who you are and what you do. Be confident that you know your business, you know your products, and you know you can deliver what you promise. Hold your head up high, walk with confidence, and speak with the respect of equals. If you find yourself still having trouble, simply picture the other person in their underwear.
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