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Helping others Vs Personal Responsibility

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alexkuzmov

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I've been dabbling in B2B sales without much success, if any, but then again, its not my main skill, still learning.

I get the concept that helping people is a path to success, I even have examples of that in my own life, so I totally agree with the idea.

BUT where exactly does helping people become doing their job for them?
I'm starting to feel that there is s line that must not be crossed.
OK, I'll help your business, OK I'll help you learn basic things about websites, OK I'll help you with SEO, OK I'll spend time on a call explaining how facebook ads work and how to create a campaign ... ... ... uhhhh you want me to help you buy a laptop because you dont know what the specs mean?

Somewhere along the road I crossed a line, not sure where.
I think the business owners have the same responsibility to their business as whe do, so I think its not my place to educate them on what hardware to buy.
This is just one example I got many others.

So forum, where does our help end and their personal responsibility begin?
 
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MJ DeMarco

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I think as you get older you get a good radar on who legitimately is open to hard work and the necessary, versus freeloaders. There has to be some reciprocity early on or don’t waste your time.
 

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I'm starting to feel that there is s line that must not be crossed.
OK, I'll help your business, OK I'll help you learn basic things about websites, OK I'll help you with SEO, OK I'll spend time on a call explaining how facebook ads work and how to create a campaign ... ... ... uhhhh you want me to help you buy a laptop because you dont know what the specs mean?

Assuming you're getting paid and you want to be a consultant, what's wrong about any of this? In B2B particularly, your job is to make your clients as successful as possible.
 

Eudaimonium

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This sounds like you are working with small business owners. They do not have employees or departments specialized in each area of the business. When they hire an employee or consultant, they tend to treat this person as an assistant and give them a wide array of tasks.
 
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Kevin88660

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I've been dabbling in B2B sales without much success, if any, but then again, its not my main skill, still learning.

I get the concept that helping people is a path to success, I even have examples of that in my own life, so I totally agree with the idea.

BUT where exactly does helping people become doing their job for them?
I'm starting to feel that there is s line that must not be crossed.
OK, I'll help your business, OK I'll help you learn basic things about websites, OK I'll help you with SEO, OK I'll spend time on a call explaining how facebook ads work and how to create a campaign ... ... ... uhhhh you want me to help you buy a laptop because you dont know what the specs mean?

Somewhere along the road I crossed a line, not sure where.
I think the business owners have the same responsibility to their business as whe do, so I think its not my place to educate them on what hardware to buy.
This is just one example I got many others.

So forum, where does our help end and their personal responsibility begin?
It is not difficult to figure out where the line is.

What is your time budget on client/potential client servicing, and how many people do you intend to help.

If you have 10 hours to help them every week , and you intend to engage with 30 leads every week, on average they should not each cost you more than 20 minutes. This is how big corporations, and banks that I have worked for calculate their "cost driver" head counts for client servicing. I am just taking a simple way to explain it and large organizations use bigger and more complex data models.

From there you roughly know "where the line is". Of course there is flexibility in judgement on a case by case basis. If you feel that there is a good potential client that is worth more of your time you can react differently.

let us be honest. You are helping them to generate sales opportunities for yourself primarily.

And you never know where the sales is coming from. There is no control on that.

The more time you spend on one person "irrationally", it eats into your time budget and you have less time for other sales leads, and other people who deserve that help too.

Even if you are running a charity/social enterprise without expectation for return, it does have priority too. To operate efficiently and effectively you can never run a buffet meal for your clients/leads/people who need help.

You could increase efficiency through the use of templates (what Andy suggests often here). The frequently asked questions for instance...
 

Andy Black

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I've been dabbling in B2B sales without much success, if any, but then again, its not my main skill, still learning.

I get the concept that helping people is a path to success, I even have examples of that in my own life, so I totally agree with the idea.

BUT where exactly does helping people become doing their job for them?
I'm starting to feel that there is s line that must not be crossed.
OK, I'll help your business, OK I'll help you learn basic things about websites, OK I'll help you with SEO, OK I'll spend time on a call explaining how facebook ads work and how to create a campaign ... ... ... uhhhh you want me to help you buy a laptop because you dont know what the specs mean?

Somewhere along the road I crossed a line, not sure where.
I think the business owners have the same responsibility to their business as whe do, so I think its not my place to educate them on what hardware to buy.
This is just one example I got many others.

So forum, where does our help end and their personal responsibility begin?
As MJ said, you’ll get a feel for people taking liberties.

I found a good book on this was “Give and Take” by Scott Adams. (Warning… it’s damn long. I listened to it on Audible.)

If you’re natural tendency is to be a Giver then you’ll have a ball when you meet another Giver, and Matchers will warm to you too. But Givers have to be wary of Takers.

The good news is that while Givers may be at the bottom of the food chain in organisations (because they help everyone else and their careers to the detriment of their own), the top of the food chain are often Givers who’ve learned to leverage their tendencies while protecting themselves.


If someone is taking from you all the time then it’s because you’ve let them. It’s your responsibility to push back and/or let folks know where the line is.

It could well be they don’t even realise you’re unhappy.

“All problems can be solved, except for the one under the table.” (Blaise Brosnan)

Bring it up. You’ll be surprised how some folks appreciate knowing where the line is.
 

alexkuzmov

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Assuming you're getting paid and you want to be a consultant, what's wrong about any of this? In B2B particularly, your job is to make your clients as successful as possible.
Not getting paid for this, although its a sort of investment and I dont want to be a consultant, although helping peolple here and there does feel good.

I dont know if I can charge for this sort of consulting.
Heck, one of the clients (freelance client) tried to dispute their latest invoice and one of the reasons was because she doesnt want to pay for "communucation and meetings".
Which are hours of my time, but she I guess feels like I owe her that time.
 
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alexkuzmov

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This sounds like you are working with small business owners. They do not have employees or departments specialized in each area of the business. When they hire an employee or consultant, they tend to treat this person as an assistant and give them a wide array of tasks.
They are small businesses, yes, but they dont hire me or anything. I try to sell them my SaaS.
 

alexkuzmov

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As MJ said, you’ll get a feel for people taking liberties.

I found a good book on this was “Give and Take” by Scott Adams. (Warning… it’s damn long. I listened to it on Audible.)

If you’re natural tendency is to be a Giver then you’ll have a ball when you meet another Giver, and Matchers will warm to you too. But Givers have to be wary of Takers.

The good news is that while Givers may be at the bottom of the food chain in organisations (because they help everyone else and their careers to the detriment of their own), the top of the food chain are often Givers who’ve learned to leverage their tendencies while protecting themselves.


If someone is taking from you all the time then it’s because you’ve let them. It’s your responsibility to push back and/or let folks know where the line is.

It could well be they don’t even realise you’re unhappy.

“All problems can be solved, except for the one under the table.” (Blaise Brosnan)

Bring it up. You’ll be surprised how some folks appreciate knowing where the line is.
I like the idea of @Kevin88660 using time to draw a line.
I'll have to track how long I spend with clients and then bring it up as problem if I'm going over a set amount of time.

It certainly sounds like it'll work.

Thank you guys :)
 

Andy Black

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Kevin88660

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I like the idea of @Kevin88660 using time to draw a line.
I'll have to track how long I spend with clients and then bring it up as problem if I'm going over a set amount of time.

It certainly sounds like it'll work.

Thank you guys :)
One way is to set boundaries is to give homework.

If you have only 30 minutes for a complex issue. Do what you can and give him or her the information. They can always google and come back to you later.

The average time is just a guideline. Certain things just need 5 minutes. If you on average can afford 30 min for each lead and you have spent 2.5 hours already on someone it is time to put an end and give some homework. Don’t wait it to drag to 6 hours and totally disrupt your time resources.
 

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