Nobody wants to buy from a people pleaser. it’s a business killer.
Now, we all want to make other people happy. We’re social animals. And caring about the opinions of others is hardwired into our brain. It’s in our DNA.
But when you make the happiness of others your primary goal, it can lead to some pretty disastrous consequences. And that goes double, triple, and quadruple for sales reps like you.
So, how do you stop being a people pleaser?
5 problems with people pleasing. Why is being a people pleaser such a bad thing in sales anyway? Well first off, it leads to…
1) Wasted Time with Bad Clients
Wasted time with bad clients. People pleasers hate confrontation. And that can make it difficult, if not impossible, to cut bad clients loose early on.
The result? Tons of wasted time. Tons of wasted effort. And a buyer that sucks all the value out of you possible and then leaves you high and dry.
2) Great Relationships Are Built on Equal Value
Great relationships are built on equal value. People pleasers are notorious for being taken advantage of. And that sets the foundation for a wholly unequal relationship. When equal value isn’t brought to the table because of what’s known as covert contracts (more on that in a sec), a buyer won’t think twice about ditching on a deal at the last minute.
3) Finding the WRONG Solution
Finding the wrong solution. People pleasers are bad communicators. And as sales reps, it’s our job to connect the right buyers with the right solutions. But since a people pleaser’s so avoidant to conflict, they may end up misleading the wrong buyer to believe the solution can fix their problem rather than risk disappointing them.
And that, as you can imagine, can lead to some very serious problems.
4) Inauthenticity Breeds Contempt
Inauthenticity breeds contempt. Nobody likes a suck-up. And more importantly in sales, nobody trusts a suck-up. When you can tell someone isn’t acting authentically, the promises they make, the guarantees, the assurances—they don’t mean a thing.
And that’s enough to leave buyers heading for the hills.
5) Your Boundaries Will Suffer
Your boundaries will suffer. Perhaps the biggest problem with being a people pleaser is that others won’t respect your boundaries. You’ll tell them you need to be out of the office by 5. Yet, they’ll still ask you to stay late to help them finish up their work. And being the people pleaser you are, you’ll agree.
The problem here is your own needs will suffer. And that means you’ll be way more likely to burn out sooner.
So, how do you stop being a people pleaser?
The How to Stop People Pleasing Framework.
The How to Stop People Pleasing Framework. This framework has just three simple rules. Yep, three. That’s it. And the first one is perhaps the most important.
A) Prioritize Needs
If you don’t make your needs a priority, someone else will inevitably come along and take advantage of you. That’s just a fact. And it’s just how we’re wired.
That’s why the number one rule of the framework is to take stock of your needs and start prioritizing them.
After all, if you’re not in a good place, you won’t be able to help others as effectively.
It’s like in those airline safety videos—“Always put on your own mask before helping others during an emergency.”
But to do that, it helps to understand one of the most nefarious aspects of being a people pleaser—covert contracts.
Covert contracts are unconscious, unspoken agreements that people pleasers use to interact with everyone around them.
A people pleaser’s covert contract might look like this:
“I will do X for you, so that you will do Y for me. But I’m not going to tell you what the contract consists of. Instead, I’m going to hope that you understand what I want and I’ll get mad if you don’t deliver on it.”
The problem of course is that the contract isn’t agreed upon by both parties. And as a result, a people pleaser will often put in tons of effort only to be snubbed when it comes time to sign on.
The challenge, then, is to uncover these covert contracts and take responsibility for getting your own needs met. If you want an exchange in value, you need to be overt about this, especially to a would-be customer.
Remember, this is a business transaction, not a personal relationship. You have to understand that having your needs met in business is a part of the game. And being an adult means making your own needs a priority.
B) Shift Validation
Shift your validation. See, other people are terrible judges of the value of your own work.
They have their own lives to worry about. Their goals, their ambitions, and their endless thoughts and emotions are filling their heads every hour of the day. So if they don’t hand out the validation you’re looking for, it may not be because you aren’t worthy of it. But rather, it’s because they’re just concentrated on themselves.
If you truly want to be successful, you need to only care about how you judge yourself.
When you depend too much on others to build up your own self-worth, you’re at their mercy. You have no control over your life. And the goals you set, the dreams you have for what you can accomplish, those are all going to be under the power of someone else.
The result for you is feeling exhausted, anxious, and unfulfilled.
Worst of all, you’ll have zero control over your life and where you want to take it.
But when you shift your validation standards away from others and towards yourself, you’ll have the freedom to make decisions for yourself. And there’s nothing more empowering than that.
C) Power Words
The two most powerful words you can use in sales.
Can you guess what they are?
“Yes” and “no.”
Unclear instructions lead to uncertain results. And if you’re not clear when you say “yes” or “no” to people, it’s your fault when they pester you to do something that you don’t want to do.
When you learn to wield these two power words effectively, they’re going to help you set boundaries. Boundaries that you should never, ever waver from. And once those boundaries are set, you’re going to find yourself with more time and more energy on your hands.
Now, you should also practice eliminating the word “maybe” from your vocabulary.
Outside of job commitments, if something isn’t a “hell yeah” then it should be a no. Plain and simple. When you approach situations with this mindset, you can start weeding the low-value activities from your life and start concentrating on those that are high-impact. Like creating insightful content, filling up your buyer pipeline, and expanding your skillset.
So kill the maybes and stick to the absolutes instead.