Sending a gift can open otherwise locked doors. Cold-calling is a very ineffective sales strategy. Why not choose generosity instead?

Getting more and taking care of yourself and your family appears to be the order of business. However, in a connected economy the natural instincts of self-preservation and independence do not provide optimal results. Fact: We need others and they need us to get the most out of everything we do.

We need customers. We need good employees. We need friends. We need others who are willing to help us survive, and even more importantly, achieve our dreams. As ceo and author Harvey McKay said, “No matter how smart you are, no matter how talented, you can’t do it alone.”

Haven’t we learned in this economy that it’s almost impossible to find a job, unless you know someone? Most jobs are found through networking and not mass-mailing hundreds of resumes.

The question, of course, is how can we find people who would be willing to help us get what and where we want? What can we do to attract people who would momentarily set aside their own dreams to assist us with ours?

Is the secret charisma, that compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion? Yes, charisma will initially attract people to you. Your charm may compel people to want to be in your presence. However, it is just froth and frosting, and fleeting unless you give people reasons to stay and help you. Remember, others do things for their reasons not yours! Like you, all people are motivated to satisfy their own needs.  

What need is basic for all? At the heart of mankind’s existence is the desire to be loved by another. Love makes us feel valued, important and that we matter. Love is such an emotional need that when it is lacking, it is often the root of deep emotional pain. The Beatles had it right in their song, “All you need is love.”

Being loved feels good; in fact, it makes us feel great! So, the secret of long-term attractiveness and charisma is making people feel better than they did before they came into your presence. Since being loved make us all feel better, give people what they need. Give them love.  

I’m not talking about romantic love that charges up our hormones. I am talking about that conscious decision to make the needs of others sometimes more important than one’s own. It’s a decision and a choice.  

Lasting charisma requires that you choose to be a lover. Lovers are givers and put generosity into action. Generosity makes people feel loved and cared about. Generosity makes a difference. If you make a difference, people will gravitate to you. They will want to engage, to interact and to get more involved.

Today, the gift you give almost always benefits you more than it costs. If you make a difference, you also make a connection. You interact with people who want to be interacted with and you make changes that people respect and yearn for.

Here are five tactics to become a lover/generous giver. One way or another they are all gifts.

First, give an actual physical gift. Gifts are symbols of love and demonstrate our thinking of the other person. Michael Vickers in his book, “Becoming Preferred” uses gifts to replace cold-calling. He claims that sending a gift (one specifically selected to meet the interests and needs of the prospective client) will open otherwise locked doors. Cold-calling is a very ineffective sales strategy. Why not choose generosity? It opens doors and creates customers.

Second, give the gift of your time. In a time-starved world, sharing your time with others is a huge gift. The essence of this gift is focused listening. Great salespeople pretend, if they have to, that everything the customer says is fascinating.

I have learned that patient listening is one of the greatest gifts I can give to my children and my wife. I have also learned that if I listen hard enough, I begin to understand, and what’s being said becomes very interesting. Initially, what’s said may not be important to me, but it’s certainly important to those talking. Understanding the customer or empathy is the most important attribute of selling.

Third, choose to be generous with your efforts through acts of service. Lighten someone else’s load. Help an elderly man or lady across the street, shovel your neighbor’s walk, or mow your neighbor’s lawn. Carry your customer’s baby to the car, or escort her to her car during a rainstorm with an umbrella.

What is your response when you get extraordinary service at a restaurant? Larger tip? Helping others pays and you’ll certainly find that the more you give the more you get. Have you chosen to be in service to others?

Fourth, be generous with your words. Lovers use words that build, that are kind, and that are respectful. My mother taught me to say, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” But she was wrong. Words can hurt to the core. Some words leave wounds that never heal. As the Dali Lama has said, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

Choose words that build others’ self-esteem. Make them feel important. Be free with compliments. You will be amazed how people will gravitate to you. The word “love” in Anglo-Saxon means look for the good.

Five, lovers are generous touchers. They shake hands, they touch and they hug. They are not afraid to reach out and touch someone. And, of course, I am not talking about inappropriate touching. Waitresses, who touch their patrons as they give them their bills, receive a 38% increase in tips.

In today’s business world, connecting with people and networking generates results.  Making a decision to be a generous lover will optimize your efforts. You don’t have to be a Casanova. Choose how you make others feel as they interact with you. You can make a decision to be generous; you can make a decision to be a lover. Generosity pays. And remember, love isn’t love until you give it away.