I am doing more than 40 podcast and influencer interviews for the launch of my upcoming book. (All the details on the new book are forthcoming, it’s a bit early yet…)

I had a pre-interview interaction with one of the podcasters that was so unpleasant and jarring that it got me thinking about empathy, kindness, and grace. He had booked me to do an interview on his show to discuss the new book and reached out last week to confirm my audio equipment. I told him I had the same equipment as the last time we talked two years ago when my last book, Selling Boldly, came out. Back then, we had made a quick change in microphones at the start of that interview and he said it sounded great.

Since that time, I have mentioned him frequently and warmly to friends and colleagues. I’ve thought highly of him and our conversation over these last couple of years.

In our emails last week, he demanded I use one of his two recommended wired headsets. “If that’s not possible, let’s not proceed with the interview…I’m not going to fight with you again, Alex,” he said. Just like that.

I didn’t remember any fight. I didn’t realize I was in a fight.

It appears he has spent the last two years holding on to a fight that I didn’t know I was in.

Why would I fight with him — or anyone in business? My entire body of work focuses on optimism, enthusiasm and positivity in sales. Plus, he was helping me. Why on earth would I fight with him?

I told him I’d buy and use whatever headset he wanted, and that his happiness was important to me (I believed this — again, he was helping me).

His response? “It’s not about my happiness, it’s about the listener…If you don’t sound good we won’t be able to do the interview.”

I canceled the interview. He talked me out of it.

In the middle of a pandemic, when we should be trying to help people as much as possible, this guy picked an A/V fight and permanently turned off a loyal fan who sang his praises for years.

In these times especially, it’s critically important for those of us who sell to demonstrate empathy, kindness, and grace to customers and prospects.

Let’s look for opportunities to be supportive.

Let’s be helpful.

Let’s bring people some optimism — it’s such a rare commodity right now.

Selling isn’t a duel.

It is, as a business coach of mine used to say, a dance.

We are partners with our customers and prospects, working together to help them as much as we can.

That’s the work.

Especially now.

If you would like to grow your company’s sales by 10-20% annually, as my clients average, please call me directly 847-459-6322.