The Platinum Rule
Selling and, indeed, all of this business of marketing is about relationships. Until someone likes and trusts you enough, you will not be able to create a true relationship. Turning strangers into friends, friends into customers and customers into raving fans is the new definition of marketing, Seth Godin said in his book, “Permission Marketing.”
Many of us try to live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you really want to build relationships, I suggest that you elevate your attitude and actions to the Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would like you to do unto them.” How do you do that? You do it by finding out what they want to accomplish and help them to accomplish it.
When you can change your selling from transactional—you give me money, I give you stuff—to relational—I help you, you help me and we create value—you move to a higher level where price becomes less important, and loyalty and a long-term mutual respect sets the tone. Here’s how you can become better at understanding what others want so that you can deliver the Platinum Rule.
Understand both their work agenda and their personal agenda. We’re all people who have both.
Ask yourself, “How can I help?” What can you do to advance someone else’s agenda?
Understand what is going on with other people and their world. Be curious with caring. You can ask them:
- What are the major goals your boss is expecting you to accomplish this year?
- What resources do you need to support and grow your business now?
- What are you working on that you’re most excited about?
- How will you be evaluated?
- What do you want to celebrate?
Questions such as these will help you to get deep and determine how you can really help another person. When you do that, you create value, you solve problems, you stand out and you differentiate yourself. You’re now making yourself indispensable and part of the team.