Is helping someone worth being disliked?

The fear of being disliked by people is, in my opinion, the number one reason why people fail to take action. Or, it’s the number one reason that people fear changing at all. 

Many cultures have a philosophy of “wind your neck in” or not sticking your head above the parapet. Don’t get too big for your boots. Know your place, know your station. Remember where you came from. 

These kinds of thoughts often prevent people from taking action, making a change or even doing what they think is right. 

The fear of offending people, or being disliked is also the reason people shy away from selling. I think there are a few reasons why people don’t like the idea of selling. 

First, despite driving the entire economy, sales is seen as something unintelligent or beneath those with education. It’s also linked to greed and pushing us and selfishness. 

Which is interesting because I’ve worked many different jobs from cheffing to manual labour to head of UK Digital Marketing strategy and I found greedy selfish pushy chefs, waiters, business owners, workers and of course sales people. 

But I’ve also found salespeople who are thoughtful, empathetic, hard-working, diligent and caring. 

I believe the reason that people inherently don’t like “being sold to” or salespeople is because they’re worried about buying something and having someone else convince them to buy.

It’s a bit like not liking hamburgers because you’re fat. If you’ve got a problem with self-control, don’t blame other people for your lack of self-control. 

Interestingly, another reason people don’t like salespeople is because they hate to turn down or offend the salesperson by saying no. Which is a bit like saying you have no control over your own finances. 

Another reason I think people don’t like sales and selling is because it’s seen as “desperate”. Which again, is both hypocritical and bullshit. 

I’ve met desperate people in catering, insurance, software, media, art and every other industry. Selling and sales isn’t tacky, gauche or bad taste. 

It’s pretty much the entire driving force behind human history. The concept that someone can sell an idea to somebody else and both parties have to agree it’s the best route, is literally the entire ethos behind human civility and progress. 

The question now becomes are you willing to risk being disliked, for the sake of helping someone? 

Unfortunately despite you and I knowing that sales is not only important, it’s vital to both businesses and the human race. We can’t control how other people feel about us. 

And unfortunately no matter how openly ethical, moral and chilled your sales approach is, you are going to attract criticism. No matter what you do, even outside of sales and selling, people are going to dislike you. 

If you are hesitating about pitching or publishing a new piece of content, ask yourself why are you hesitant. Is it because you’re worried about what others will think? 

Is it because you’re worried about offending someone, maybe even the customer? We have to move away from trying to satisfy everyone and leading the least offensive and least impactful life possible, towards helping out the few, and risking offending the many. 

The truth is that you won’t offend that many people, 80% of your audience won’t even care. 99.9% of the entire population of the planet won’t care. 

They will be completely apathetic to your actions and intentions. But there will be a tiny segment of your audience who dislike you and even hate what you do and what you stand for. 

However, we must risk that in order to help the portion that does value your help and does want your input. 

Abortion, vaccinations and blood transfusions are just some of the medical procedures that most people think are not only lifesavers and necessary for the health and comfort of the entire human race. But should also be considered basic human rights. 

Many doctors, nurses and consultants must deal with uneducated and ignorant vitriol from thousands of people to potentially save the life of one person. 

You and I might think it’s actually no one else’s business whether they are vaccinated or have an abortion or a blood transfusion. But many people believe that those things are unsafe, “against God” or some other bullshit uneducated opinion. 

But educated doctors with years of medical training and experience know that saving the lives of the few, or in some cases the many, is worth attracting the disdain of others. 

Chances are you’re not selling medical procedures. But you will attract dislike. It’s just the nature of human beings unfortunately. 

But if you can make the conscious choice that helping someone and making their life better, is worth attracting the occasional criticism, you’ll find it much easier to help more people.

Every time I send out a sales campaign I’ll probably attract at least one email response telling me that I’m spam, another info-marketer or greedy. But every single time I will also make thousands of dollars in sales, and help hundreds or dozens of people at the time. 

If I listened to the infinitesimally small number of people who don’t want me to sell (usually because they don’t like the idea of someone succeeding), I would be failing to help dozens of other people. Which I believe to be the more selfish action. 

I’m going to push this one step further and even suggest that your customers might dislike you at some point. It’s actually surprising to me how many of my long-term customers and even friends at first openly admitted to not having entirely positive first impressions about me. 

I’m very pro-money, pro-sales and on the surface I can see how people would see me as a selfish bullshit salesperson. I’ve even had customers get annoyed with me when I refused to back down from selling them something. 

But I’ve also had customers thank me for my commitment and refusing to quit on them, and eventually selling the product which has massively helped them. 

Going back to the medical analogy, imagine breaking your leg, and the doctor telling you everything you’ll have to go through. 

Set the bone, give you painkillers, x-ray, keep you in overnight, hook you up to fluids machine, maybe dress and clean the wound, plaster you up and then potentially have surgery down the line. 

In a hospital, the doctor knows best. 

Which is why if you said “no, I don’t want you to fix my broken leg”, they will push past that and refuse to listen to you. 

They know better than you. They know it’s going to hurt, and they know that you’re afraid. They don’t quit on you. They will do everything they can to make sure that you get that broken leg fixed. 

And you object, and you call them names, but when it’s done you thank them. Parents are exactly the same with their children. They know better. 

You need to know better than your customers. 

I believe that most people are terrible with money. Therefore their money is better in my pocket and safer, because I will give them something of value in return.

I have seen too many people conned out of thousands of dollars, in exchange for low quality products, for me to give up on them. 

I understand if this philosophy makes you uncomfortable, and you don’t want to embrace this straightaway.

But the next time someone says “no” to you, think whether you really know better than them and trusting yourself. 

Refuse to quit on them and continue working with them and I promise you, they will thank you for you pushing through. It’s worth attracting a little bit of dislike in order to help someone.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.