Pop quiz.  Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 6.18.58 AM

You’ve purchased a sweater from a department store and 5 months later you see that sweater on sale.  You

a) march into the department store demanding your money back;

b) write a blog post about the unfair business practice of the store that won’t give you your money back; or

c) congratulate yourself that you were ahead of the fashion trend and wore your sweater in winter, when it’s appropriate to wear a sweater.

Somehow it’s obvious to see when we’re talking about a sweater.  Most people would choose c.  Similarly you would not expect the price of your movie ticket back if you chose not to attend at the last minute.  But somehow people hold a different standard to those of us who run training companies or large communities.

Yes, I’ve dealt with lots of demands.  A student who took my course 18 months ago who hears I offered another organization a special rate who suddenly wants their money back for the difference.  A man who wants the early bird rate even though it’s the day before the event.  The student who hears I did a favour for someone else and gave them free coaching when they were stuck, so they demand the same.  The person who is indignant because I’m not willing to spend an hour on the phone coaching free of charge.  The student who successfully completed a course with great results who now wants their money back because they found a video I did for free with some of the same info in it.  The list of places people want to renegotiate can be endless.

Here’s the thing most people don’t think about amidst these complaints.  What’s it doing to your relationship to that influencer?

Especially in my case.  I teach influence.

Gaining influence, involves getting into relationship with influencers.  And to quote Cheryl Hubert “How you do anything, is how you do everything”.  So when you make demands of me, I know you’re doing that everywhere.  The true cost of how you’re being is that it stops me from wanting to connect you with key people who could likely really help you.  I value my connections, and frankly, I don’t want to impose you on them.  Because if you’re too unaware to realize how your landing with someone who teaches influence, how will you land with others?

10 examples of places to take stock if you’re being “high maintenance” with influencers in your life

1. you ask for their support before building any relationship with them,

2. you ask for things that demand more than a few seconds of their time,

3. you call them or their assistant for help with things that are reasonably posted on the website or sent to you in email,

4. you don’t show up for meetings, or cancel at the last minute,

5. you renegotiate prices after the fact,

6. they offered you free or discounted on one thing in their business, so you expect the same treatment on everything,

7. you take for granted resources from their company they’ve offered you for free (e.g. not showing up or cancelling at the last minute for a seat at one of their events),

8. you connect them with people who just want free coaching or free resources from them,

9. you don’t provide them with the information they need to easily help you (e.g. well written copy if they’re sending out for you, a pre-written testimonial if you’re asking for one, a blurb to introduce you if you’ve asked for an introduction)

10. you don’t give energy back (resources, connections, shout outs)