August 22, 2014
A few months ago, I had the great privilege of interviewing Mr. Bob Burg, author of “The Go-Giver,” on my podcast. And what a great interview it was!
In his book, he talks about giving in order to get. It’s the foundation of the Go-Giver mentality and primarily refers to the act of helping people, even if there’s no direct benefit to you (e.g. a sale).
By helping people such as potential clients, power partners, friends, family, your next door neighbor…even your competitors, you create good will and establish yourself as a valuable resource. In return, you’ll be the first person they think of when they (or someone they know) want what you’re selling.
Have you noticed this trend? I have, but this trend isn’t the one I’m writing about. The trend I’ve noticed is how people are misusing the Go-Giver philosophy.
Sure, people are embracing the philosophy, but their implementation of it is way off. I’ve noticed a lot of people talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
Let me explain…
When you say to someone, “Let’s meet for a coffee and see how I can help your business.” That’s the Go-Giver TALK.
When you show up to the meeting and start the conversation with “I’d like to pick your brain about…” or “I think my product/service might really benefit you because…” or “Do you know anyone who might want my product/service?” That’s NOT the Go-Giver WALK. That’s what I call, a misrepresentation.
If you’re walking the Go-Giver talk, your goal is to understand their business, which means you need to ask a lot of questions and listen attentively. Along the way, you offer up advice or contacts that can help them…and the contacts may not be you!
If you’re sitting across the table from another (true) Go-Giver, you’ll need to take turns. It’s ok to talk about your business and what you do, but only as a means of helping the other person understand so they know how to help you.
Now, I’m the first to admit I’m not the best Go-Giver around. That may be why I never ask anyone out for coffee to see “how I can help their business,” except my closest confidants, of course.
That ploy is certainly not a sales tactic I use. You’re more likely to hear me say, “Let’s meet for coffee to see if my team can help you get more paying customers from your website.” My honesty may lead to more no’s, but I refuse to use a trendy term to lure people to Starbucks.
My advice to you is: don’t pretend to be something you’re not. If you’re not truly feeling the Go-Giver mentality, if it’s not internalized inside you, if you’re not driven to help people whether it benefits you or not…then don’t use the catch phrases.
You’re much more likely to win a new client if you’re honest with yourself and honest with them.