Tag Archives: relationships

Recognizing selfish questions

Some questions:

Q1) Where are the people from that shop here?

Q2) How do you make money blogging?

Q3) How old is your dog?

These are FAQ’s of me have always been easy to answer.

A1) Around here.

A2) Promoting products like Vitamix.

A3) Between 2 and five years old.

But upon closer examination, those questions are not what I’m being asked. The real questions are much more selfish than what I heard.

Real Q1) Do people like me shop here?

Real Q2) Should I be worried about you paying rent or that you’re going to ask me for money?

Real Q3) Can I pet her?

The lesson? Answer the question they asked. It’s rude to jump to conclusions. But, don’t be afraid to take a stab at the real question being asked. At best, you make a deeper connection. At worse, it’s a lot more fun.


The Grateful Dead Channel

On Sirius XM is hardly a radio station.

There’s no variety. No commercials. No zany DJ’s.  It’s just the Grateful Dead.

There are other stations that play The Dead. But they also play Zeppelin, Allman Brothers, and U2. So if you want to hear some Grateful Dead, and you don’t want to risk having to flip away from, say, the Eagles, where do you go? Station 23. The Grateful Dead channel.

There, you’ll also find a great example of how to build loyalty, longevity and trust in your business and personal relationships. Better to be The Grateful Dead channel than Classic Rewind.

Busy Butt

Busy, busy, busy.

Ask someone how they’ve been. When their response is “Busy”, how does that make you feel? “Ugh” about sums it up.

Ask an old friend to get lunch. When their response is “Busy”, how does that make you feel? Zero empathy about sums it up.

Ask your food delivery guy why it took him two hours.  When his response is “Busy”, how do you feel? Still hungry and aggravated about sums it up.

Hearing someone has been busy or is busy or was busy might be the truth.  But, when do you ever want to hear it?

Adding a “but”, however, on the end of the “Busy” softens the blow. “I’m busy, but good.” “I’m busy this week, but what about next week?” “We were super busy, but went as fast as we could and are really sorry to make you wait.”

Everyone gets busy.  But if you must tell someone about it, make it “Busy, but.”

Expectation Setting and Timing

Expectations setting is a necessary ingredient to any success relationship. It’s as simple as, “Here’s what I expect.”  But, mastering expectation setting timing might be more crucial than the expectations themselves.

Tell your cab driver you have a sensitive stomach and need him to drive smoothly is okay before the ride begins.  Set that expectation halfway through the ride and…

Tell your girlfriend that you value experiences over material things on your first date, and she’ll be cool with getting less [material] gifts than she has before.  Set those expectations after six months and…

Tell a potential employer that you need to earn X dollars and be home for dinner at Y o’clock during the interview process, and that’s what you’ll get if you’re hired.  Set those expectations during your first review and…

It’s true that you might not agree on what’s expected.  So what?  There’s another cab right behind.  There’s plenty of fish in the sea.  And there’s other good job opportunities out there.

More likely than not, you’ll find a match that can meet your expectations.  If not you can always adjust.  But adjusting expectations, especially from none at all, usually ends in disappointment.

And that feeling is always mutual.

The Immediate Ask

In sales, take advantage of the “immediate ask.”  If the ask is not too big, it works quite well.

First date went well?  Immediately ask for a kiss and you’ll get it.

Close a new account?  Immediately ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn and you’ll get it.

Sign-up a new subscriber to your email list?  Immediately ask them to like you on Facebook and you’ll get it.

If the “immediate ask” is too big, however, you’ve made a grave mistake.

Go ahead.  Immediately ask her to come up. Immediately have a colleague your new account has never met call to solicit more sales for the company.  Immediately ask the new subscriber to take a survey.  You might get what you want.  But the relationship you worked so hard on creating is frayed forever.

So, the immediate ask works.  There’s just a fine line between one step forward and two steps back.

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