By John Hall, Forbes Contributor
For the past couple years, I’ve followed one rule that I thought would help me break down barriers and build strong relationships more quickly.
Before I got off any call, I would always ask people how I could help them. In my mind, it was simple. I like building relationships that are meaningful — not just transactional — and some of the most valuable partnerships and client opportunities have materialized because I helped someone and formed a trusting relationship.
However, I’ve realized this isn’t the best question to ask. While some people are receptive, most people assume I’m trying to sell them with that question. It’s unfortunate that the business world revolves around hidden agendas where asking someone how you can help immediately elicits the response, “What do you want from me?” or “What are you selling?”
When Good Intentions Are Misunderstood
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