Giving and Taking

The business networking group, BNI, has a mantra that is constantly repeated, which is, “Givers Gain.” This mantra was recently made clear by a friend of mine who attends several other networking sessions and commented about feeling the fatigue many business people experience when he stated that he does not always see easy results from his many networking encounters with others. While relating the story, my friend went on to note that he realized he was approaching these networking sessions with the wrong attitude. He was going to these meetings with the attitude of taking something away after it was over, when he should have been attending with the attitude of giving something to others.

When you meet with other people, what is your attitude? Are you meeting with the other person with an eye toward taking something from that other person, or are you meeting with the other person with an eye toward giving something away to that other person?

When you’re meeting with customers, what is the approach you take? Are you trying to sell your product/service/self regardless of whether it meets the customers’ needs? Or are you trying to sell your product/service/self to meet the customers’ needs?

My wife’s brother, who had a successful career selling cars, understood this concept and thrived by taking the time to sell the customer what he/she NEEDED rather than what the dealership was pushing at the time. Personally, I have used this approach when I sell wines to people visiting the wineries I work at. I will take the time to understand the customer’s individual preferences and needs as I try to pair them up with particular wines. The result has been spectacular, as I see repeat customers who come back time and again for tastings and bring their friends.

This was a BIG lesson I had to learn through trial and error. But as the BNI saying goes, “Givers Gain”.

What is your sales style?


Steve Oviatt is President of Battlefield Telecom Consulting LLC ( and also writes about Telecom Expense Management issues at


About battlefieldtelecom

I'm an experience trainer and customer service consultant who has worked extensively in the high tech, telecom and call center arenas around the world.
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