Opening relationships, closing sales

A small note on opening relationships, closing sales.

“The more you are grateful for what you have the more you will have to be grateful for” – Zig Ziglar

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness” – Seneca

After coming across the idea in a few books and talks in the recent past, I have tried to follow the practice of thanking people for their thoughtfulness. Random acts of gratitude are almost guaranteed to make anyone’s day. Also, in general, I have tried to develop a spirit of gratitude within myself. These practices have helped me on a personal and professional basis on many levels. This is definitely something I need to work on in an ongoing basis.

How tension is good for the soul

The word tension is often viewed in a negative light, along with a word like stress. However, of late, I have almost found myself looking forward to stressful situations since I realized that stress is one of the best and most effective ways to bring about growth. In nature, there is a process called hormesis, which refers to the growth that occurs on encountering minor stresses.

For example, our bones require small stressors in order to gain strength. Walking, sprinting and lifting weights are examples of helpful stressors for the bones. Of course, too much stress – like a big rock – will break our bones and likely kill us. At the same time, lying in bed for six months is guaranteed to make one’s bones brittle and weak. This indicates that this phenomenon is more of a spectrum, rather than being black and white. The concept of antifragility, as formulated by Nassim Taleb in his book Antifragile, I think applies well to this discussion.

Practicing silence

Silence as a tool has been great in helping me develop good relationships with the people around me. On many occasions, remaining silent and letting the other person speak has been helpful in getting to know them better. This is a way of indicating to the other person that one is interested in hearing what they are saying. It is also a way of giving importance to others.  I have realized this is a skill that I have had to work at. It forms part of an other-centered approach to life. I think this practice of other-centeredness develops beautifully out showing gratitude towards others. Practicing silence and listening to others forms a crucial part of opening a relationship.

A recent example where silence came in quite handy was in a recent sales transaction I was involved with. I wanted to buy a used car. After going to a dealership, I found the car I was looking for and made my offer to the salesperson. In this process, I found the practice of silence a great negotiating tool as it gives you the power to walk away at any time. In the end, I got what I thought was a good deal.


For me, the best part of this idea is that it is an ongoing one.  As far as silence is concerned, of late I am finding myself very comfortable with silences. I read somewhere that as you are closer to a person, the more comfortable with sitting in silence with them, of course along with the usual talking. I would say that rather than pushing the other person, silence perhaps lets them to naturally fill it with their own true inner thoughts and feelings about any subject we may be talking about. This could possibly even help in resolving any disputes and, generally, help in building good relations.

I think the idea of goodfinding is great as it allows us to show appreciation to others. However, on many occasions, recognizing or even just acknowledging the other person is itself very helpful. I do think I would want to continue the below practices both in personal and professional life on a ongoing basis:

  • goodfinding
  • recognizing. acknowledging & showing appreciation
  • being silent and absorbing as much as possible from the thoughts and experiences of others

Of course, I would say I am no expert on these and I have indeed fumbled on many occasions. I do hope to learn from these mistakes and keep up this practice.

When it comes who benefits, I think expressing gratitude mainly benefits the relationship, which has the potential to benefit both myself and the other person.

I often find that most people give off bad vibes because of they may be having a tough day or going through some personal problems, not necessarily because they have some agenda against me (although this could very much possible in theory). The below Zig Ziglar video illustrates this well in my opinion: