Starting with respect for any person you meet is not only decent but wise. The truth is that people tend to judge by looks and appearances. Tall people tend to get respect immediately. The way someone walks or talks even makes an impact.
But when you are in a world where someone who is unassuming could easily have a knowledge advantage over you, it is better to approach them with respect until they prove otherwise.
I have seen situations where a braggart mishandles the first encounter only to realize they are dealing with someone superior in rank and position. It’s embarrassing to say the least. And it could be completely avoided.
You don’t want to be in that position. If you send the vibe to another person that you don’t respect them or treat them casually or even disdainfully before even getting to know them, you risk facing unknown consequences.
You could lose a sale, miss out on a key relationship or damage your reputation altogether.
Perhaps the temptation is too high. Maybe you have to fail in order to get your mindset right. I hope not. It’s costly.
My approach to sales, relationships and business is to show respect to all people that I meet. My respect grows further if they have character, show leadership and work hard.
The opposite is true as well. If a person is a swindler, without substance or arrogant, it only lowers my opinion and desire to interact. Too bad for them.
Selling and connecting with people is hard enough. Why shoot yourself in the foot with presumptions and missteps? The early part of relationships are fragile and should be handled with respect. Heed Emerson’s words,
Every man I meet is in some way my superior; and in that I can learn of him.
You might be surprised at how much you gain in knowledge and respect yourself if you approach relationships with humility and eagerness to learn.