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What's love got to do with business?

It's harder to stop using the L-word than it is to quit smoking

Liz Wendling //November 12, 2015//

What's love got to do with business?

It's harder to stop using the L-word than it is to quit smoking

Liz Wendling //November 12, 2015//

Everyone is overloaded and overwhelmed with hundreds of daily emails. Many of these emails have a similar theme. A theme that is self-serving and ego-centric. A theme that is “all about you.” These emails are littered with the word “love.”

When you barge into someone’s inbox dropping the four letter “L” bomb, it causes them to roll their eyes and resist your message. Why? It is all about you and what you want to do to them. Is the “love” word infesting your prospecting emails and business correspondence?

Here is what it sounds like. “I would love to meet you for a cup of coffee? I would love to set up a meeting and tell you about my business. I would love to get together to tell you about our new products. I would love to work with you. I would love to set up a time to get on your calendar. I would love to schedule 20 minutes of your time to show you a demo.

The ‘L” word is also abused and overused this way. I love your hair. I love your tie. I love your blouse. I love your boots. I love your house. I loved your presentation. I love your book. 

Love―the other four letter word―has become a ubiquitous phrase used by professionals everywhere. Continued use of this word will get you nowhere.

Now that I brought that to your attention, I challenge you to look at the last 25 emails you sent. You probably sent some love to many people. You infused love in your emails and voice mail messages.  You shared lots of love with your prospects.  If so, you are officially on auto-pilot. You now sound like everyone else. You are blending in. You are not standing out.

I have talked to dozens of business owners who state how much they “hate” the word love. When they see that word in their emails or hear it in voice mails it makes them shake their head, roll their eyes and classify you as another self-serving professional. They wish you would stop. They want you to get off auto-pilot and be more creative. It’s time to move from being mindless to becoming more conscious in business.

Using the word love adds no value, fails to engage prospects and moves you no closer to getting what you want.  Emails filled with love will generate low interest and produce high resistance.

Here’s the fix for both scenarios.  I show professionals how to take the spotlight off themselves and focus on a more collaborative approach. I teach how phrases such as:

•          Are you open to grabbing some lunch to discuss X?

•          Do you have some time to get together for coffee?

•          Are you available over the next week or so to talk about X?

•          What are your thoughts on sitting down and discussing X?

•          What do you think about syncing up our calendars to finish our conversation from last week?

This collaborative approach allows the other person to be part of the decision. They have a say in the matter versus telling them what you would love to do to them. It’s not all about you. Really, it’s not.

Instead of saying, I love your hair. I love your tie. I love your blouse. I love your house. I loved your presentation. Say, your tie looks great with that suit. Your hair looks nice today. Your book was fantastic. Your house is beautiful. Your boots look great with that dress. Are you seeing a theme? Take yourself out it. When you make it about them the compliment feels genuine.

Try this subtle and powerful language shift.

Stop spreading so much business love and watch how differently people respond to you. Love is great! Love is good! Everyone loves some love. Love your family. Love your pets. Love the planet. But please, leave the love out of your business correspondence.

Final note: I have been told that breaking this bad habit was harder than quitting smoking. Good luck.