Getting Past “What’s In It For Me?”

Getting Past “What’s In It For Me?”

At least weekly I get offers via Instagram, FB, email, etc. to turn my coaching into a 6 or 7-figure income business. That used to appeal to me. 

It didn’t take long to understand that some of the ‘techniques’ to do so don’t sit well with me. 

For sure there is growth to be had in all of our businesses from well-worded marketing. Sometimes we don’t have customers because we have failed at ‘the ask’. There is a line though where marketing and sales can cross over to make use of fear, insecurity, pressure and manipulation. Not okay with me. 

It seems that for many who are truly trying to make it in business it’s hard to imagine putting their own needs and desires on hold to truly help their customers and colleagues succeed. This requires a genuine checking in to see if what they are selling is truly what the customer needs or needs then. 

I think behind it, even subtly is that if I think I can get my needs met by you ‘buying’ from me then I am less likely to genuinely be concerned about what you really need in your business or budget. 

Research says that we long for genuine. We long for authentic. What does that really mean? 

It is getting used as the best way to get more sales. Check out an article in the Huffington Post: "6 Reasons Why Authenticity Results in More Sales"

I know I am longing for a level of care and selflessness mixed in with my business interactions. 

“I really need to move my career along and I’m feeling nervous about making my sales quota this month. You buying these 4 items from me would really help me meet my targets and sleep better tonight.” 

This may be genuine, transparent and vulnerable but it is still all about the person doing the selling. 

“Of course I’d love to do this work for you. I truly believe that it would benefit your business. How does it fit in your overall plan right now? Will this purchase put too much stress on your budget? Is there a creative version of this we should consider?” 

These are not questions we hear often. 

How do we maintain a core value of genuinely caring about the well-being of other businesses, when helping them get what they need most threatens what we need most? It’s with a focus on the long game. I’m going to choose to do business this way. I will choose to make sure that my ‘solution’ is the best fit for you or help you find another one that is better. Behind this is the belief that there are enough people in the world that my business will be the right fit for. 

At times though this takes a huge amount of courage. It requires that we move away from selling or doing business out of fear, desperation, insecurity etc. It sounds cliche but this kind of business interaction requires some faith. 

If I think you can meet my needs, I have two choices: 

1) I can continue as if the best plan is the one that meets my needs or 

2) I can take the path of faith or trust and seek to understand what would benefit you the most, choosing to believe that if I conduct my business in ways that respect my customers and colleagues the most, it will come back to me in beneficial ways, eventually. 

The short game is to apply pressure on you so that my short-term needs are met. The long-game is to step back and see what you need long-term and sacrifice ways that you might be able to meet my needs short-term by partnering with you now. 

Faith. Trust. Kindness. 

These are hard concepts in business where we feel justified to focus on the short-game in the name of business and survival. Usually we find ways to hide behind ‘this is the best thing for my customer, they just don’t know it’ thinking. 


How much will we decide out of fear? 

How many of our business interactions will be based on what we want to get from the other party instead of genuine care and authentic interactions free of manipulation and an attempt to control others. 

I’m so so sick of manipulative tactics in business. I want the real deal. I want to do business in ways that don’t include pressure tactics, guilt, or pressure. 

Are you with me? 

I want to put all my eggs in that basket, that there are people, there are businesses that want to do both life and business this way. 

Until next time, 


Marilyn Orr, MA, CEC, PCC is an Executive and Leadership Coach with Capacity Building Coaching, holding her Professional Certified Coach designation with the International Coach Federation. Marilyn provides professional coaching for executive and business leaders, mentor coaching for coaches, and leadership development support in the form of coaching skills training and soft-skills development. Reach out to Marilyn for more information.

Marilyn is author of everyday resiliency workbook “How Absorbent Are Your Shocks?”, available on Amazon. Subscribe to “Marilyn’s Musings” twice monthly blogposts for more leadership and professional development content.

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