Everything in Life is a Sell

by Brian on March 11, 2010

Kaylee in her bouncy seat.

So my daughter Kaylee smiled at me yesterday for the 1st time at 3 1/2 weeks old. I’m officially wrapped around her little finger. With Zoë (who is 22 months old) it was and pretty much is exactly the same.

The one thing about having young children is you get to watch them grow and develop, which is cool and fascinating at the same time.

Kaylee’s only way of communicating is to cry. She cries for 4 basic reasons:

  1. She wants to be fed… She cries… We feed her…
  2. She wants to be burped… She cries… We burp her…
  3. She wants a new diaper… She cries… We change her…
  4. She wants to be held… She cries… We hold her…

Zoë on the other hand has a limited, but ever growing vocabulary; she can point and communicate her basic needs. Zoë is also at the age to where she is testing her boundaries, she wants everything when she wants it and is readily able and willing to throw herself into a hysterical tantrum on the floor to get what she wants.

Zoë being told "No."

So what does any of this have to do with selling anything?

All of it has everything to do with selling everything.

From the moment we are born we are naturally programmed and conditioned to get what we want and need from other people by communicating that we want it. As we grow we continue to follow those same guidelines.

As adults we may not cry or throw tantrums to get what we want or need… But that’s only because we’ve learned (most of us anyway) how to communicate what we want and need in a more efficient manner.

If screaming and throwing ourselves on the ground worked, you’d see grown men in business suits on the floors of conference rooms all over the world chanting “buy it, buy it, buy it…”

There are 2 types of interactions:

  1. Intentional
  2. Unintentional

We have interactions with 4 different types of people:

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. People we associate with on a daily basis (work, school, clubs, blogs, etc.)
  4. Strangers

When you have an intentional interaction with someone it’s so that you can satisfy a want or need that you have.

If you think about it, most (if not all)  intentional interactions you have with other people are so that you can get something from them. It’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of… It’s life.

If you call your friend on the phone just to talk, you’re calling because you want to talk… you’re getting conversation from your friend.

If you talk to someone at a family get together, it’s because either you want to share what’s going on with your life, you need something from them or you want to talk with them to pass the time until the get together is over.

If you comment on a blog post… you want people to understand your point of view or reaction and possibly visit your blog.

If you do something for someone, you do it because you’ll feel good about it.

Is there a time you’ve ever spoke to or communicated with someone when you didn’t want or need something out of the interaction?

I doubt it.

When you have an unintentional interaction with someone, it’s typically because they want or need something from you.

When’s the last time someone communicated with you? What did that person want? That’s my point…

When’s the last time anyone communicated with you and they didn’t want or need something?

I’d guess never.

We’re conditioned to tell people what we want and/ or need.

If you are calling someone at their place of business, the 2 most common questions asked in various forms are:

  • “Who are you?”
  • “Why are you calling?”

One thing that is preached in sales is to always state your reason (want) for calling…

  • “My name is Brian Johnson, the reason I’m calling is…”

When you initiate a conversation with a friend or family member, you are taught to give a reason why you are starting the conversation.

  • “Hey Mark, how’s it going? I’m just calling to see what you’re up to…”

When you initiate a conversation with a work colleague it’s because you want or need something from them.

  • “Hey Jeremy, I need a count ran for people who are up to 90 days late on their mortgages in California and have 70% or more equity.”

Something to think about.

Whenever you have an interaction with someone, think about what you are getting out of the interaction and what the other person is getting out of the interaction. This will help you read between the lines and see the true motives of the conversation are.

I’m curious, have you ever had a communication with anyone that you or the other person didn’t want or need something from that communication?

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