In my job as a sales and marketing trainer and coach, I often work with small groups of salespeople. After a couple of months working with a group of new salespeople, I asked what they had learned. One of the answers was, “Every interaction is an opportunity.” What a wonderful perspective to have, not just in business but in life as well.
While I am delighted by this answer, it deserves some explanation. We’ve all run into people who saw every interaction as an opportunity…to promote themselves, their products and services. To them, every interaction is a selling opportunity. They never stop. They are the people that even family members avoid sitting next to at Thanksgiving. That interpretation is not the one that delighted me nor is it the one intended by the salesperson who offered it.
“Every interaction is an opportunity” means approaching each conversation with an attitude of seeking ways to help; help the person you are speaking to, identify new resources that will meet the needs of clients, and to help those you have business referral relationships with. Opportunities are uncovered by truly communicating: asking questions, listening and speaking in sentences, not in paragraphs. As we let people get to know us and we find those similarities that we share, we create connections that can become meaningful and productive.
Entering every conversation with the expectation of finding ways to help others adds a pleasurable dimension to attending meetings and networking events. It’s all in the attitude; get out there and meet opportunity.