Flattery Will Get You EVERYWHERE

I like to be flattered. Who doesn’t? Being told I am pretty by anyone other than a salesman trying to sell me hand cream at the mall can make my day.

But let me tell you a few things about women like me… [I suspect the same is true for some men, but I am not a man, so you’ll have to chime in and let me know.] We like to be told that we are pretty, but what we like even MORE is to be told that we are valuable, smart and important.

So, if you are in a position to identify specifically WHY someone you are talking to is any of those things, you should find a way to express it.

Here is what I mean. I was on the phone with someone in the industry who was seeking to pick my brain about a few things. He had logged into one of our recent PI webinars, and decided to reach out to me because he wanted me to expand on a few of our observations.

In the course of our very interesting discussion, he asked my opinion about a few things, gave me a few pieces of advice that were VERY valuable to me and my business, and managed to flatter me in the process—both overtly and subtly. He expressed himself on specific attributes he felt I possessed, all on the basis of one 30-minute conversation and one hour-long webinar in which he listened to my half of a discussion with the always fabulous Bill Farquharson.

Was he being sincere? I think so. Because he was not trying to convince me, persuade me, or sell me a timeshare, he had no reason to be anything but honest and open with me. And there’s the kicker. If you are in a position to flatter someone—sincerely, honestly and specifically—you ALSO have to find a way to make it sound genuine, and not that you are just trying to curry favor so your services will be chosen.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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  • dgprint

    Hey Kelly,

    I agree with you whole heartedly.

    It’s great to be sincere when you are complimenting someone or as you call it, “flattery”.

    We all, guys or girls, love to feel appreciated in the moment as well as to be the most important person in the world at that time.

    But you have to keep in mind there is a very fine line between flattery and butt kissin.

    I know how blessed I have been for my successful career in this crazy printing business for over 32 years but I have come across more butt kissers than I want to count or even remember.

    The higher up the food chain you rise, the more butt kissers that crawl from the wood work.

    People that truly know me and what I’m about, along with the values that I stand for, know this approach is not worth a s@*t with me.

    The great people I have met and the relationships that I have built along the way will be friends and acquaintances forever.

    Please make certain to differentiate the flattery from the butt kissin in the approach.

    Just a comment from a guy…..


  • Jim T

    I always enjoy salepeople that tell me I’m smart. It’s funny because I’ve met a few different salespeople over the years that after first introductions, will then talk, talk, talk, talk, and finally say "Jim, you’re a smart guy…." I left one guy speechless by responding "How exaclty do you know that? You’ve been blowing wind for 15 minutes." Ahhh the fun.

  • Bill Farquharson

    Kelly, you are PI World’ best blogger! And yes, I am being completely sincere. Trust me. I’m in Sales! 😉

  • broudyprinting

    Great advice, thanks!