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How To Understand People

Why do people act the way they do?

Why do people make silly decisions that you can't understand?

Why do prospects avoid your money-making opportunity?

Because people make decisions based on their personal value system. People don't go out of their way to make bad or illogical decisions. They make the best decisions they can based on the values they put first in their life. Since each individual is unique, everyone has slightly different values and goals. That means most people won't look at and judge opportunities the same way we do. Instead, they will use a completely different standard to judge what's best for them.

We all have different values and different emphasis on these different values. However, here are some common values that we can study. Understanding these values will be invaluable in our path to understanding people. Once we understand which values are dominant in people's lives, then we can understand and better communicate with them about their needs and desires.

Let's get started by investigating some common values.

Power

John organizes the church choir and the local homeowners' association. These are not elected positions, he simply assumed them. When John wants to get projects done, he doesn't hesitate to delegate and assign duties to anyone and everyone. Is John satisfied with the results of his delegation? No. John feels he could have improved on every duty with more personal intervention.

John doesn't listen to critics. He strongly believes in what he does, and how he does it. If you wanted to get something done you'd call on John. He sees the big picture (with him on top) and won't let frustrating circumstances, regulations and negative people stand in his way.

People who are focused on power are assertive, confident, and productive. They are strong organizers and supervisors. Decisions are fast and certain. They are also controlling, nosy and bossy. They are also never wrong. Just ask them. With energy to spare, people who value power like to delegate jobs and tasks to others but are rarely satisfied with the results. They always want and expect the best.

Power people are always looking for new opportunities to gain more power. Changes of jobs or opportunities are common if the new position offers more power, authority or control. Money takes a secondary role in the decision. You can find power-motivated people as leaders of the church choir, politicians, and officers in organizations. They love to give meetings and won't back away from a challenging situation.

Financial security

Steve is only $1,000 in debt. This bothers him though, so he takes a job as a part-time taxi driver to pay off this bill. He drives a sensible car, seldom eats out, has conservative clothing, and has a reliably stable job with the government. With savings accounts in two different banks, Steve feels obligated to make regular deposits from his biweekly paycheck. Steve saves his frequent flier miles from business trips and uses them for his holidays and often integrates business meetings in those holidays for tax purposes.

Those concentrated with financial security accumulate lots of assets in bonds, CDs, etc. They are safety-conscious and conservative. The mere thought of bouncing a check can give them hives. They carefully accumulate money for the future, while postponing the small luxuries that can make life easier. Avoiding risk is extremely important in both financial transactions and personal relationships. Every decision considers how the choice will affect an uncertain future.

Common signs of financial security values? Look for people who take part-time jobs so that they can contribute more to their retirement fund. Look for loyal employees who stay with one company. These people will talk often about money and are always open to new ideas for financial independence. You can find them cornering financial consultants at parties.

Desire to be rich

Carol lives in an exclusive apartment complex. Her apartment is furnished with top-of-the-line appliances, entertainment system, and decor. Every week she has a housekeeper come in and she routinely meets with her personal shopper. All of her credit card balances are high and she has very little in savings. She spends money on lotto tickets and betting pools. Recently, on two weeks notice, Carol moved halfway across the country for a new job with higher pay and better benefits. Already Carol, a highly social person, is well-connected with people all over the city.

This group of people has the philosophy that if you look like you have wealth, and live like you have wealth, someday you will surprisingly wake up with wealth. They buy expensive clothing and jewelry on credit cards. Luxury salesmen love them as they lease big luxury cars and belong to the elite country clubs so they can lunch with their idols.

Like those who value financial security, this group often talks about money. However, instead of discussing how to gain money, they talk about how to spend money. Exact figure amounts (the higher the better) of their latest new boat, car, or house pop up frequently in conversation. A big motivating factor is envy of others and keeping up with the Joneses.

As aggressive risk takers, they put money in high-risk stocks and other big-earning (if unstable) investments. They can be hard workers if the job looks prestigious enough to complement their lifestyles. They are open-minded to new opportunities in order to attain their goals.

Desire to look good

Tim is a gym fanatic who works with his personal trainer five times a week. He is not a professional body builder but takes six different herbal steroids and weight-gaining protein formulas every day. He has standing monthly appointments to get his hair cut and colored (along with his beard) and a manicure. In his bathroom are seven types of shampoo and conditioner and four different styling formulas for his hair. The stylish gym bag and bottom drawer of his office desk each have duplicate sets of his hair care products.

Focused on the appearance of their body, these people spend all their time and money going to health clubs, spas, and salons. This used to be primarily a woman's value but today more and more men are joining them. We've all seen the increase in ads for men's hair coloring, belly busters, etc. It's not a bad thing - vanity has now become an equal opportunist. Frankly it may be good for men as it will make them appreciate what women endure in the name of beauty. Of course men will never truly understand a woman's plight until confronted with a full leg wax...

Their work schedule must compete with the spa appointments and workout times. Their first loyalty is to their physical appearance, so they are receptive to opportunities that would enable them to enhance their appearance. Attention to detail is another trait they embody as well as a tendency towards perfectionism. You won't find this group working where store uniforms are mandatory. Designer clothing and smart dressing is the norm. The key word in their vocabulary is "accessorize." Look for the stylish watch, bracelet, or pendant and don't forget the oversized ring.

If you asked someone from this group to speak at your meeting, they would first want to check the lighting to make sure they'd look good.

Loving relationship with partner

James is a newlywed. He and his wife, Sara, have just bought their first home and spend most weekends working on the renovations together. Although they often have friends over, they rarely go out for the evening. James has a stable job but is constantly looking for new opportunities to improve his and Sara's lifestyle. He takes off several days a month to spend quality time at home with Sara but makes up the work on lunch hours. He rarely takes business trips and avoids work-related dinners and events.

People who prioritize a loving relationship with their partner rely heavily on their mate for decisions and are rarely seen alone. You can find them kissing in public, wearing matching outfits, and holding hands. They call their "significant other" 12 times a day from work. You can hear them when you pass their office door making smoochy noises into the phone.

Codependency makes their relationship work. They make slow, calculated decisions while taking into account how it will affect their partner. They work hard but are not work-obsessed. Finding a line between work obligations and personal life is important to them.

If you want to be nurtured, this group makes a perfect upline. Not only will they call you regularly, but they will listen to your personal problems and opinions for hours. They are the ultimate in support.

Family

Paul is a family man with four children. He makes certain he attends their little league games, recitals, plays, swimming meets, Christmas concerts, fundraisers, and parent nights. Every night the family sits down for dinner together and talks about everyone's day. Paul can change a diaper, fix a leaky sink, call a plumber (when he's finished breaking it), and brandish barbecue grill tongs with authority all at the same time. The house is always bustling with kids, two dogs, a cat and a goldfish named Squeak. He and his wife take the family out to the lakeside cabin for two weeks every year.

Family-oriented people have different priorities and values other than work. The majority of their time is devoted to the family. Family vacations and dinners are important to them. They are loyal and can be motivated by opportunities that will benefit the family. Decisions are ponderous as they will discuss decisions with every member of their family including the 4th step-cousin twice removed living in Europe. You see them at Disneyworld with an extended family group of 200 - all wearing identical T-shirts with "Reunion '97" on them.

Commitments mean a lot to this group. Long-term goals and relationships come easily for them too. This group is especially popular with grandmothers, but not so popular with teenage children. Look to this group for stable and consistent leadership.

Career fulfillment

Michael powered his way through college and found a good job with opportunities for advancement shortly after he finished. Since then he has changed jobs once, and only then for a nearly identical position with a larger company. He and his wife communicate largely by phone and e-mail because he is often on the road for business trips or spending late evenings and weekends at the office.

Although he is very successful and the youngest VP in the company, Michael is still frustrated about his progress with the company. Michael's schedule is fast-paced and high-stress. He receives pressure from work and compounds it with pressure he places on himself. Because of his career goals, he refuses to take time off to relax and regroup. Instead, Michael relies on pain relievers for his chronic migraines and visits the chiropractor.

People focused on career fulfillment are often workaholics whose time is focused on getting ahead, getting the promotion, and being handed the key to the executive washroom (the "golden key" so to speak.) Where do you find them? Rarely seen outside the office, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of them on planes buried behind files and pounding furiously on a laptop. They feel undervalued at work and believe their efforts lack acknowledgement and appreciation. New opportunities are not always considered unless they lie directly in the pre-mapped business plan they have made for themselves. When defining the word "focus" you would have to include this group. They are constantly watching for ideas and opportunities that will help them reach their goals. Leadership is easy for them as they are quite willing to set the example for the group. You won't have to call them to remind them of an upcoming opportunity meeting.

Desire to feel needed

Cathy is a second-grade teacher. She volunteers at the local hospital and works with the youth group at her church. Her husband owns a business and she takes care of the books and payroll. Every morning she makes lunches for her children and drives them to and from school. In addition, she has an extensive network of close friends who rely on her for advice, favors, and a general sounding board. She has a cell phone "in case anyone needs her" and a beeper in case she's on the cell phone and it's an emergency.

People who want to feel needed are always willing to give you the shirt off their back in return for a smile and a pat of appreciation. They can sometimes become a martyr. They willingly make sacrifices for everyone and actively seek acknowledgment. Many are social workers, volunteers, charity workers, and hospital staffers.

Because they like the responsibility, people who value their usefulness are efficient and productive. They are loyal friends and employees. If you wanted to delegate a monthly newsletter project to someone in this group, you would know that the project would shine with excellence.

Personal enlightenment

John would rather meditate than watch cable television or play Nintendo. He has checked out every philosophy book in the library and is an avid attendee of self-development courses. Understanding who he is and how he fits in the universe is more important than money, job promotions, weekend sports and lawn care.

People who are focused on personal enlightenment are intent on "finding themselves." You can find them in New Age bookstores, yoga classes and self-help workshops. The CD players in their BMWs and Volvos are often playing audio books about simplifying their lives and the understanding of the universe. Because their personal journeys of exploration offer them positive rewards, they spend a lot of time and energy sharing their insight with others. They choose activities based not on the activity itself, but on how they feel about the people involved. Alternative careers blend well with their lifestyles and they will sometimes will take on odd jobs to move away from the rat race. They are often open to new ideas, but if they are looking for the child within, don't offer to baby-sit.

This group possesses incredible teaching and explanation skills. They can decipher complex information and present it clearly and with insight. If they give a lecture on a subject that interests you, it will be a fun learning experience.

Adventure/Travel/Adrenaline junkie

Pat lives for the next quest, escapade and journey into the unknown. He has started several businesses over the years but has abandoned them one by one for long-term adventures around the globe. Once it was a six-month endurance challenge in Antarctica. Another time he explored southern Asia on mountain bike for almost a year. He knows pieces of several languages - most if it consisting of phrases requesting beer and bathrooms and a few to compliment the women.

The adrenaline junkie misses the meeting because he's off on a whim. He's moving double-time through the airport to catch a flight to Africa, planning to hunt lions - barefoot with a pocketknife. He is easily influenced. When a new obsession hits, he takes off full force and focuses all his energies.

Highly productive, he charges through new projects. On the down side, he also has a short attention span and needs a constant source of new challenges. He can tell you where to get the best cup of coffee in 58 countries. He's been parachuting over Guam, rock climbing in the Andes, scuba diving with the sharks and crossed a busy street in New York City. He is very spontaneous.

As distributors, this group surges ahead with tremendous growth and momentum. However, unless there are new challenges, their focus will quickly turn to the next adventure.

Aim for fame

Jerry was once in a crowd that saw President Clinton walk to the podium. When Jerry meets a new person he says, "When President Clinton and I were in Tampa back in July…." Jerry loves to drop names of anyone famous and hopes their reputation will rub off on him. Look inside Jerry's house and you'll see every trophy and award he won displayed in his living room. There is even a copy of his kindergarten graduation certificate complete with two gold stars for coloring within the lines.

People looking to become famous save every magazine article that has their name in it. If an article they write is published, their byline and picture will be larger than the headline. They will then proceed to send a copy of the article to everyone they know. Because of their desire for fame, they are easily swayed by the media or celebrity endorsement. They trust big names and equate fame with importance.

If a celebrity endorser goes on tour, this group would volunteer to make the arrangements, carry the luggage, and to personally escort the celebrity endorser from city to city. And, because of their attention to detail, everything would go just fine.

Popularity

Stacy is a personal assistant for an advertising executive. At work she volunteers to assist others and run extra errands. She knows the names of every person in the office and makes uplifting personal comments to them in the morning. Every week she brings flowers and homemade cookies to the office. Although she is well liked, she has been passed over for many promotions. Her work is fine, but she doesn't have the time and energy to go that extra mile to qualify for a promotion. Why? Because she is too busy helping others. Stacy's social calendar is full, but often the commitments she makes are overlapping one another. Everyone loves Stacy. That's great because that is what Stacy wants -- to be loved.

It's easy to spot people who place a high value on popularity. They were popular in high school and now want everyone to be their friend. Often times the popular person will agree to anything in order to please someone. You want the perfect "yes man?" Here is your person.

Sometimes when this person says, "Yes," they will have a hard time following through because they have already made too many commitments to help others. "Popularity-minded" people are great confidence builders and are able to motivate those around them.

People and prospects are naturally attracted to this group of people.

Accomplishments

Martha leaves the house with her "to-do" list clipped prominently on the outside of her organizer. She also has a duplicate copy of the "to-do" list for the sun visor in her car. Every task on the list is assigned a certain amount of time and Martha knows she can increase her productivity by taking a shortcut down Ninth Street. These lists are important to Martha. Shas to balance her time carefully as she is actively involved in the Boy Scouts, PTA, Community Center, and the Republican Party. There are no unfinished projects in her hobbies.

The person who values her accomplishments compulsively writes out list so that she can cross things off and feel productive. Her home is filled with diplomas and trophies. She sets up milestones in her life and likes to refer to them. A talkative person, she will explain in great detail the course of action she took in achieving her latest goal. She likes to tell stories about conquering things and is easy to find in a social setting. Look for the person animatedly telling stories to a crowd - endlessly.

While the rest of humanity believes in setting goals and wish lists, this group sets goals and achieves them. When they make a New Year's resolution, they keep it. This trait makes them consistent achievers in networking.

Desire to have a good time

Kenneth has an office job. Technically he has an office - he's just not sure exactly where it is. When he's at work, he is usually on the phone with out-of-town friends or making plans with friends for that evening. He takes off work early two afternoons a week for his racquetball games and is king of the three-hour lunch. When he tells everyone at the office, "I'll be back in a minute," they assume he's gone for the day.

This group is relaxed and easy-going. Work to them is a necessary evil but a great way to meet new people. Obviously they prefer jobs that have lots of flex time and free time. You will find them having dinner with friends or at sporting events instead of working. They favor conventions, web surfing and motivational meetings instead of bookkeeping, building a business and telephone calls. As extremely social creatures, they spend time playing tennis and golf, going to the bars and hanging out with friends. Organization is not a big priority to them, but they will motivate themselves to work hard for a travel bonus.

Open-minded? Yes. This group finds alternative careers and opportunities exciting as it fits in with their values and lifestyles. And there is no danger that anyone in this group will become a workaholic.

 

The Test.


These are some of the basic values people have. I'm sure you recognize that many of your friends and acquaintances are strongly aligned with certain values. For instance, I have a friend named Mark. Mark's values are travel and adventure first and everything else is a distant second place. So what happens when you talk to Mark about network marketing?

If you describe the financial security and the residual income, Mark will politely turn you down. If you didn't understand Mark's values, you would think, "How could anybody turn down financial security?"

However, if you describe the adventure, travel and challenge in network marketing, then Mark will grab you by the throat and demand that you give him an application to join immediately. Why? Because that is what is important in Mark's life. He makes his decisions based on how they will affect his values of travel and adventure.

Once you've established the values of a prospect, it's easy to show him how network marketing can help him satisfy those values. Some people join to make friends, others join to build a residual income. And yes, some even join for travel and adventure like Mark.

Before you evaluate and establish another person's values, why not practice on yourself first? Here is a chance to rate your own values in order of importance to you. Once you've arranged your list with your most important values at the top, ask yourself this question:

"Do these top few important values explain why I do the things I do?"

I think you'll find that the answer is "Yes."

Values List


1. Power
2. Financial security
3. Desire to be rich
4. Desire to look good
5. Loving relationship with partner
6. Family
7. Career fulfillment
8. Desire to feel needed
9. Personal enlightenment
10. Adventure/Travel/Adrenaline junkie
11. Aim for fame
12. Popularity
13. Accomplishments
14. Desire to have a good time

Take a pen and paper and write down which of the 14 values listed here are the most important to you. Then, write down the next most important value, etc. When you are finished, your most important values will be at the top of your list and your least important values will be at the bottom of your list. This should tell you a lot about yourself and what criteria you use to make decisions.

And finally, notice how these most important values shape the direction of your life.

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