Years ago, a very direct and powerful sales manager told me, “Robin, if you’ll understand the FANAFI Principle, you’ll always be well paid and in high demand.”
FANAFI Principle = Find A Need And Fill It!
That’s it. No great systems, tricks or shortcuts to making the sale. Just find what others want and need and give it to them.
The simplicity was brilliant and it sunk right in. From this one line of instruction, an entrepreneur was born! I knew what people wanted and became an expert at digging deeper, asking the penetrating questions and getting to the heart of just about any matter. People were NOT all the same as mass marketing tries to convince us. They are unique, travel in varying degrees of social circles and form tribes among themselves to travel in, share opinions, conduct research and launch efforts.
The principle was deepened in me by another, more wise sales director, to find what others value and communicate about ONLY that value. He told me to get on the other person’s agenda and stay there. We use that word “agenda” negatively but it’s not, it’s very real and we all have one, even if unconsciously. I mean, what is everyone’s favorite word to their ears? Their own name! Whats’ everyone’s favorite subject? Them!
It’s not meant or intended to be demeaning. It’s just the way we’re all wired. We want to grow, to expand, create, build, however…all of that is also encased in issues surrounding trust, fears, disappointments and a cavernous amount of depth with thousands of layers. So, this isn’t meant to be a psychology lesson….it’s about finding and communicating value.
In as little as 3 permission-based questions, I would know what the other person’s values and could stay engaged with that person for hours if needed, by just communicating about what THEY were interested in and briefly tying myself to them or their agenda to communicate….”you and me are the same”.
Find A Need And Fill It, became a movement for me. It was my “Business Religion”. If I wasn’t adding value by answering the needs of others, then I’m just wasting talking time.
Let me give you an example: Have you ever engaged someone that wants to “help” you but just doesn’t have the answers you seek?
C’mon…you don’t have to think hard for this one!
Let me give you another example of that example:
- Asking directions and the other person doesn’t know. They don’t simply tell you they don’t know….they try and “help”.
- Asking a store clerk about a technical product like a TV or computer. Again, you know immediately IF they don’t know and you want away from that person immediately as a result.
- Being asked about something in a social setting like fine wines or a golf game. If you don’t know about either, you’re best to communicate that and be respected as simply uninformed on the subject. But no, we exaggerate, use words we don’t understand and….loose respect because we didn’t communicate value.
Repeatedly I’m around others that either have prestigious degrees or have acquired titles or position. These are powerful and some of them very wealthy men and women of influence. Occasionally, they will express some discontent in their professional life and at the heart of it is a breaking of the FANAFI Principle. While these people are excellent, they’re not finding needs and filling them.
At the core of every one of us is a desire to be needed, valued and loved. School teaches us what is called “The Basics” and fits us into a social box where we can easily be qualified. Life teaches us that if we find the needs of others and use our inherited and learned skills to fill those needs….we’ll find value in ourselves.