You’re Boring Me With Your Passion

 

I’m glad you have a passionate interest. If we share that interest, we’ll never run out of things to talk about. However, what if we don’t share this interest?

Bored man

I was at a business luncheon and the president of a local software development firm sat at our table, next to a gentleman I’ve know for more than 20 years. It was clear that she was very excited about her company and their projects. She kept telling my friend how they could help his company and what a great job they would do. There were claims of how they had been successful, how they could save clients money, and how well they managed the projects.

Afterwards, I asked my friend what he thought about his lunch conversation. He laughed and said, “Wow, not once did she ask what my company did or what problems we might have that they could solve. Not once. It was just sell, sell, sell.”

I had overheard the conversation and he was right. In her passion for her company, she forgot (or ignored) the customer perspective and needs. She was not there to help clients, she was there to be passionate about her business.  I’m sure she thought the luncheon went great because my friend is very patient and let her talk. This likely made her “feel” successful, even though she was actually killing the value of her company in my friends eyes with every word.

I often work with entrepreneurs and start-up companies. This group of business people are typically very passionate and focused on their great idea, product, or service.  They can be guilty of the same overexuberance and self-focus. They can push so hard to get others to see their great idea, their passion runs all over their ability to actually connect with clients and find common ground. They mean well, but it is really very counter-productive.

It’s great to have excitement. In fact, I think it is critical. But that energy has to be transferable to the clients, their needs, and their goals. Be passionate but make the most of that passion by understanding the true needs of others and how you can be of honest value. Take your energy and help clients be passionate about their business. This is hardly ever done and will make you exceptionally memorable.

 


Glenn S. PhillipsGlenn S. Phillips is the author of the book Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself.  You can email Glenn directly at glennsphillips@nerdtoenglish.com.

Glenn is also the president of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.

© Copyright 2012. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111

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About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.