What is the golden rule in sales? While listening to Napoleon Hill’s book “How to Sell Your Way Through Life,” I was surprised about the author’s mention of the “Golden Rule” in business. Hill suggested that if it were practically applied to all businesses, that it would solve the vast majority of economic problems. Even though this sounds like a lofty goal, I can certainly see how it applies in the world of selling. As a result, we all stand to benefit from its application!
The Golden Rule Definition
What is the Golden Rule? Most of us know it to mean “treating others how we want to be treated.” I recently read a re-phrasing of this ancient principle to “treat others how they want to be treated.” This re-wording is clever. However, I feel that it is fundamentally communicating the same message. In treating others how we want to be treated, we are applying empathy to our behaviour. We must first relate to and understand what others are going through before acting. It is interesting that thousands of years before we even had a word for it, wise teachers were preaching this very concept.
The Golden Rule: The Vision
Imagine how different things would be if all salespeople applied this principle to their profession. I’m pretty certain that none of us like being pushed into buying decisions, cheated, or lied to. These unethical and immoral practices would immediately be eliminated. Hopefully these should be a given in this day and age. However, there are more subtle applications too. For example, we all enjoy being listened to intently when talking about our passions. We all enjoy sincere praise and compliments. We all love and deeply appreciate when people put our interests before their own.
The Golden Rule: Application
Here’s how to increase our empathy and application of the Golden Rule. Firstly, we need to shift our focus from our commissions to the benefits and value that our clients will enjoy. Secondly, we need to prepare thoroughly in advance. As a result, rather than thinking about what to say next, our sole attention is put into listening and understanding our prospects’ ambitions and pains. Sometimes, we need to just sit down, close our eyes, and imagine ourselves in the other person’s position to know how best to treat them.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this principle. The power stands behind its application rather than its lack of complexity. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” I have heard it also said that “applied knowledge is power.” Consequently, I’m quite fond of the latter! It is unfortunate that for us as human beings, we tend to lean towards the unhealthy kind of self-interest. Therefore, it behoves us to mindfully apply it in our personal and professional lives.
The Golden Rule means treating others how we want to be treated. Paradoxically, shifting our focus from ourselves to our clients will bring about greater success. This applies for us and the greater community. How do you apply the Golden Rule in your profession?
If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to click ‘like,’ leave a comment, or share it with others!
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/