There is so much overemphasis, in the business world, on “success,” as well as in popular psychology and personal development, that people fail to gauge how their pursuit of winning alienates others, interfering with the goal.
In consumer psychology, we know that over 90% of the time, if a customer believes that your company, enterprise or bid to be hired will provide them with outcomes which they favor, and that you can do so better than the rest, you will achieve your end.
What are the most relevant outcomes, we must ask? Cost-effectiveness is perhaps the biggest, in a Depressed economy, namely that people want to know that you will provide them with a necessarily adequate level of product, at the least expensive price. How is cost-effectiveness established? Not by bragging or repetition of catchphrases, but by explanation of the means by which you pull this off, and proof that you do. These may come through marketing materials and customer testimonials, but not through grandiose tactics, which indicate ruthlessness and an obsession with self, like claiming to beat anyone’s price or advertising which makes sweeping, negative characterizations of the competition. Those are indications that the company or job applicant does not care about accommodating those it or he/she claims to want to serve.
Actually, the personal touch is maybe, itself, the most essential outcome desired by people who would spend money on your behalf. Most companies and individuals, including myself, even in hard times, would rather spend slightly more money, when the product/service is provided by an individual who possesses more of a friendly, responsive, other-centered orientation, rather than a selfish one. Especially in tough economic circumstances, where things are more competitive, constant proclamations from individuals, regarding their own success, are seen as an interference to the success of others.
For example: which collision company would you rather take your car to, one who advertises “Over 30,000 satisfied customers,” “In business for over 12 years,” “Body Shop To The Celebrities,” and “We Do It For Less,” or one who advertises: ” Every Restoration a Work of Art,” “Full Compliance with OSHA and Clean Air Regulations,” and “Twenty-four/Seven towing?”
I found that what has made me a top salesperson boils down to the same ingredient which is associated with many millionaires I have met: being centered on others, whether that is manifested in sharing your passion for your product, and the benefits it brings, in asking a potential client if it is a good time to talk, rather than launching into a canned shpiel, showing a sense of humor, or refraining from asking a person you’ve never met, how they are doing. It also is revealed in writing follow-up letters and emails, and making calls, which convey what incremental benefit you feel you would provide to the people you are soliciting.
So, if you want not to fail, FORGET ABOUT SUCCESS!