Getting to know other people

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By Bob Mueller

My life’s quest has always been to know myself. I believe if I can figure myself out everything else will be easy.

In this attempt to know myself, I have also learned that it’s important to know the traits of others. I believe there are some essentials things we need to know about other people.

1. People want to be happy. When I go to any place of business, if the receptionist or owner or person on the phone is upbeat and friendly and makes me feel upbeat and happy, they’ll get my repeat business. How can you help people feel happy? Treat them with respect, show your humor, radiate your own happiness and you’ll attract more sales and win more friends.

2. People like flattery. We like to know we’re smart, hip, sexy, popular and other positive traits. Everyone responds to flattery. You, me, everyone. Don’t you feel good when I tell you how brilliant you are?

3. People will respond to you if you get out of your ego and into theirs. When you are talking to prospects, writing to customers, or in any way interacting with people, focus on them and you’ll increase your sales and deepen your friendships. Why? Because people quite naturally are interested in themselves first. People want to talk about themselves.

4. People want to be recognized. Stroking egos can be a big money maker for you. Recognize your customers, family and friends. Acknowledge your customers, family and friends; and you can keep them for life. Recognize them multiple tiems.

5. People are deeply affected by what others think. Most folks can’t decide to do something on their own. They need to know what the rest of the world thinks. To sell or convince anyone of anything, deliver a long line of endorsements and testimonials from real people who have experienced real results. Keep your service and quality top notch. People won’t decide totally alone if you are valuable or not; they will look to their family, friends, coworkers and peers to tell them what to think. Help people to think about you the way you want them to think about you by giving them quotes from people that make you look good.

6. People idolize the past, complain about the present and fear the future. We all long for the good old days. We tell stories that embellish the past. And we all complain about the present and fear the future. If you want to make more friends or sales, tie your product and message to the nostalgia of the past, or urge people to buy now to solve the agony of the present, or convince them that your business will make the uncertain future less risky. Until more people are enlightened, and realize that now is the point of power and the moment of greatest joy, you can increase your happiness by playing to what people already believe.

7. People do things for the good feelings they get. Why did you buy the new car? Or the new suit? Or move into a new home? You did it because on some level it would make you feel better. Focus on those good feelings and you’ll increase sales. Remember, even if you aren’t in sales, you are always selling. You are selling yourself, your ideas, your personality and your beliefs.

8. People feel deprived. Few of us are really satisfied. We expect more form life and feel deprived when we don’t get it. We are much like babies in adult bodies. To make more money, help people feel fulfilled. Serve and cherish them. Give them more than what they expect. Surprise them with life gifts, notes or visits. Show them you care.

Plants grow best when we pay attention to them. That means watering, touching them, putting them in places where they will receive good light. They need people around them, to notice they are drooping at the edges or looking particularly happy in the sunlight. The more attention a plant receives, the better it will grow.

We need to be noticed in the same way. If we notice a family member or friend is drooping, perhaps we can pay some special attention to them. All of us need someone to care about how we are and to truly listen to us. We can share and double someone’s happiness by noticing and talking about it also. We help the people around us to grow by listening to their droopy edges as well as their bright days. Other people need this as much as plants need light and water.

Bob Mueller is Senior Director of Mission & Stewardship at Hosparus. The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.