Do you genuinely care about the people you are prospecting?
Do you genuinely care about your customers?
Do you genuinely care about your colleagues and peers?
Do you genuinely care about your people?
Do you genuinely care about what you are doing?
I receive calls and outreaches from dozens of people a day. My inbox is filled, my social channels have dozens of, “Can we connect/meet” requests, my phone rings with calls from people/locations I’ve never heard of.
And then, I get the sequences, “Dave, did you get my email/LinkedIn request?” “Dave we’ve phoned several times…”
And, in all of them, I get the feeling they are just going through the motions. I know I am one of 100s if not 1000s of outreaches they are making. They don’t know anything about me or my business (it’s clear in their outreach), I’m just an email entry on the lists they are sending out.
I see this in deal reviews. One of my favorite questions when a seller is talking, with great confidence, about a target close date is, “What happens to them if they don’t make a decision by that date?” Crickets…… I realize, they don’t understand what the customer is trying to achieve, what it means to them, why it’s important. They are just seeking a PO.
Or I ask something, innocently, of sellers, “How is your customer measured? What are their goals/dreams?” The response is usually, “Huhhhhh?????” Somehow, they seem to have lost the idea they are dealing with other human beings. The focus is on a transaction.
Or I ask the same of managers, “What are the goals/dreams of each of your people?” The response is, “That’s easy, make the numbers!!!!” Again, managers are so caught up in running the business, they forget the business is really about people working with people.
And then I speak with the people those managers seek to manage. I ask, “How do you feel about your job? How do you feel about the company you are working for? What would you like to achieve?” Most shrug their shoulders. Most work for the company until a better opportunity arises, then they go to that….. and the next…. and the next… The work they do is a source of pay, something they can leverage for the next opportunity.
We have a “caring” crisis.
But caring isn’t one of those “touchy-feely” things, it’s a cornerstone of all human interaction.
Every day, we see countless articles in both business and other media about mental health, engagement, inclusion, our physical health and well being. We see trust plummeting, we see challenges to social cohesion in both business and social environments.
Relationships are deteriorating, empathy seems non-existent, many of our social norms have disintegrates, values are in disarray, and too often ethical standards are non-existent.
In our companies, we see declines in employee engagement, tenure, and satisfaction. We hear new concepts like “quiet quitting.” All seem to be an outcome of the absence of caring.
But is it that important? Do we really need to care?
Caring is not only the cornerstone of humanity, it is the foundation of our success as individuals, organizations, communities, and societies. We rely on others to help us learn, grow, and achieve. In our organizations, we are bound to each other by commons values and culture, leveraging these to achieve our common goals. Sadly, we have adopted a mechanistic view of business–particularly in selling and management. We stop thinking of our customers as human beings, instead treating them as widgets we move along the sales assembly line. Those assembly lines are failing! As managers, we treat our people as replaceable widgets, forgetting that our success is driven by their engagement, experience, and ideas.
If we don’t care, we don’t learn, we don’t grow, we don’t succeed.
Action: Start with yourself. Care, genuinely, about what you do, why you do it, how you do it. Seek help in doing this. And in seeking that help, demonstrate that you care about those that are helping you. See how you might reciprocate in helping them. It’s amazing what happens when you get the snowball rolling!