Finding common ground with your customers was a golden rule of sales. Back when I was fresh out of college working as a sales manager I received this important piece of advice. I was taught the skill of walking into a client’s office and quickly scanning the room looking for something about their surroundings that I could relate to.
Throughout my career, I felt that if I could find common ground with my customers, I could quickly gain their trust, and then be able to sell my property. I was never comfortable just busting into someone’s office and throwing the hard core sales pitch at them. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not an “in your face” kind of person. In finding a commonality with the customers, it made my job easier as they saw me as a person, not a sales person looking to make a dime.
How often do we find common ground with our employees? You may lead a very different life than your employees, but that does not mean that you have nothing in common. I once worked for a general manager who had a gift for finding the common ground with everyone in the hotel. Through his actions of actually getting to know all of his employees, he was successful in encouraging all of us to learn something about one another. This led to a very cohesive work environment with engaged employees. This also led to a work environment where people cared about one another, including the guests.
Through the process of finding common ground with your employees, you are showing that you care about them and value them as individuals. After all, finding common ground shouldn’t be that difficult, as don’t we all walk on the same earth?