Why do people deal with people? And why do they stop dealing? What makes you choose this hairdresser over that one? This coffee bar? Why do you go back to this particular restaurant, or holiday destination? Why do people continue to work with companies that consistently deliver no service? Investment institutions that are losing money for them, across decades? While other investors will leave a company that is actually making money for them? 

I have long pondered these questions – and you should too, because it will rid you of the notion that people deal with you or with your company for the reasons you imagine. Rule one of business and of sales, is: People buy for their reasons, not yours. Many business owners never really grasp this concept and it’s imperative to do so, if you intend thriving in business. 

The first question every business owner needs to answer is: Why should anyone deal with me? None of the usual clichés are valid reasons – good service, great food, we care, we have a great/the best/the most economical yahra; we are the only/the foremost/the proven blah, blahs and, unless you want me to lay a curse, please never utter those dreadful words, ‘we under promise and over deliver’! I may have mentioned this before. 

The truth is, the reasons people buy are flimsy, tenuous, ephemeral, and generally unrelated to all the well-meaning clichés and purpose in the world. Nothing to do with price. Little to do with affordability either. How many people do you know, that routinely buy things they simply cannot afford? 

It seldom has to do with the actual product either. Even though we do so love brands. It has everything to do with you. Always. More importantly it’s how you and/or your staff and your product makes clients feel. Even online. 

People want to feel good. They want to be validated, heard, encouraged, and made to smile. They want to feel there is someone else out there who understands their point of view, who sees the world the way they do. They want connection, especially in the service industry, which underpins all industries. They also want to feel they are right. 

The best way to look at any business is from the standpoint of the clients.

Jamie Dimon

Right there problems start, because some companies try to demonstrate their competence and knowledge by making the client wrong. It seems to make logical sense and it is even some people’s sales procedure – the ‘you have a problem, and I have a solution’ stance. But how does that make the client feel? No one wants to feel like an idiot and, although it’s popular culture to celebrate arrogant chefs, opinionated interior designers and dictatorial wedding planners who whip the client into submission, in real life, nah. Not so much. 

Don’t presume. Don’t insult the client with either your knowledge or your attitude. Don’t make them wrong. Don’t make them feel bad. Remember, he/she/they with the purse have the power. If you make them feel bad, they won’t buy, or buy again. 

There is a ludicrous dynamic we have allowed to persist, whereby, in particular, publishers, gallery owners, agents of all kinds and some managers of wealth, treat the customers who are responsible for putting food on their table, not like valued clients, but like errant, slow children, or devotees, who are expected to propitiate said agents and managers to curry favour. 

We need to say bollocks to that! It is the seller who must charm, propitiate and pursue (gently and elegantly) the buyer. They must make the client feel good and right and valued. (See my book The little conscious book of selling.) 

Now different things make different people feel good and valued and you need to find out what that something is. It’s usually not what you think – and it varies, from person to person. Ask your existing clients why they deal with you. The answers always surprise and differ client to client, for the same product and service, but always have to do with some subtlety or small detail you may take for granted. 

Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.

Swami Sivananda

I, for example, generally think my clients are focused on increasing company profit, as I help people expand self, wealth and business. While this is true, when I ask what is valued and why clients deal with me for over a decade, I am told something different. That it is my ability to really listen, that I am an impartial confidante and advisor and that I am always there, consistent, holding the space. They say my work keeps growing and expanding as the client expands. That I inspire, see the tiny detail that makes all the difference that I am a catalyst for magic. That’s what they say – and I know, because I regularly ask. The increase of company profit, though the reason clients come, seems not to be the main focus. It seems to be taken for granted. Which is interesting and illustrates my point. 

So great food, great service, actually doing whatever your business does, however brilliantly, can never be the reason people deal with you and, more importantly continue to deal with you. Nor is it your fabulous product – whatever it is. No matter if it’s the best. Those things are a given and many companies will deliver them, or claim to do so. What we know for sure, is that it’s not always the better products or services that make it in the world, nor the companies with the best service and delivery making all the money. 

Where does that leave us then, as aspiring, enlightened companies? Just remember the simple maxim – People buy for their reasons, not yours, so find out what they want. 

Many companies do not survive because their founders insist that people deal with them for the company’s reasons. They insist that clients must be interested in the trees they plant, or that their product is ethical, that they must understand what they are buying, that they need to be educated with many facts. If I had a dollar for every sale lost due to that logic. Few people give a darn about your ideals and aspirations or will use them as a major reason to do business with you. Some do, but most don’t give a continental fig. 

Now you may have flown across the world and climbed the Andes on foot to access that special vicuña wool that your scarves are made of. (A vicuña is a camelid – looks a bit like an alpaca). And you might want to explain how ethical this wool is, because the vicuñas roam wild and that it takes three years for the wool to grow and that’s why the scarf costs $2 500. Truly! But your client may only be interested in the fact that it’s rare, unique and that it’s expensive. Or that it’s a great colour match for their coat. Your rambling on may put them off and, when they leave without buying, you may think it’s the cost that put them off, but it wasn’t. It was you. 

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space, everything else is opinion.


How many times have you walked out of a shop, because some no doubt well-meaning sales person kept blathering on and on about the merits of something you wanted, that you were sold on, but just needed in a different colour? Will you buy a dress from the woman who looks you up and down with distaste? Remember Pretty Woman? Do you go back to that restaurant with awesome food but creepy waiters? Or to that hotel in a fabulous location, where the staff were rude and unfriendly? 

Then there are those too embarrassed to leave their incompetent fund managers and cut ongoing monetary loss because the fund managers are ‘the bank, who also stores their will’, ‘abc – reputable company’, or because ‘their wife would not like it’ or ‘the fund manager is the husband’s cousin’. 

So when we really analyse it, there are some pretty nebulous reasons that cause people to buy or not to buy, to continue or not continue dealing with someone. People buy for their reasons not yours and people buy the way things make them feel. Or the way they think things and services will make them feel, therefore become. Much marketing is based on this. Also, people buy from people. People therefore buy people, not products or services. People are always buying you. 

The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.

Thomas Berger

Find out what the client wants, then give them what they want, not what you want. Find out what the client wants to feel, through asking, paying attention and listening. That is the key to all sales. Ask questions and listen, don’t launch off talking, giving facts or data the client may have no interest in. In the ideal sales or marketing presentation, the client should be doing most of the talking. 

Often, a client does not know exactly what they want, or what they are buying, so you need to help them unearth it. It’s never the obvious, it’s always a small, slight, ephemeral subtlety, a detail. It may be hope, support, general feel-good, understanding, or just being heard. 

Regardless of the kind of business you are in, people will deal with you and, more importantly continue to deal with you, because they like you and can relate to you. Or to your staff. And because dealing with your company makes them feel good and adds value. Always.

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.

Mother Teresa

When someone is really joyful and deals with you with interest, with kindness and with love – there is nothing that can match that and you will buy and keep buying whatever they are selling. As Og Mandino says in The greatest salesman in the world, ‘they may dislike me, or my goods or my offerings, but what shall they do with my love?’ 

If your business is new, then get input from old clients (in whatever you were doing before) as to why they dealt with you. Also speak to friends and family. They know what you stand for, what you deliver and what that unique detail is, which makes you, you. 

If you have never had the clients that you are aiming for and are not creating a product that you yourself want to buy or use, please stop and rethink. Aiming a business or product to a vague ‘out there’ audience of ‘everyone’ never works. You are either selling to clients like yourself – in creating a product or services that you want, cannot find, or want to improve, or you are doing it for clients you have dealt with in the past in a similar business or while working for a boss. 

It’s hard to leave people you like. If you have built a good relationship, people will stick with you. That’s because you add value, not just with goods or services, but with your energy, with your love, with a breath of your own Spirit. And, at the end of the day, that’s what people want – someone to add value to their lives and a little sunshine to their day. That’s what we are always buying. 

So, if you want to increase sales and clients in the new year, consider why anyone would want to deal with you? Why should they drop everything and come to you right now? What do you offer? How do you add value? Do you know what they want to buy? Do you know why they deal with you? Also ask, how can I add more attention, love, kindness and sunshine to my clients’ day? Answer these questions well and watch your profit soar! Wishing you a fabulous 2024! That rhymes too. 

Kiki Theo is a wealth expansion author and facilitator. Bridging money and energy, she offers a combination of business experience, based on her own successful background as an entrepreneur including over a decade as the owner of a fund management company, and her own energetic transformations, based on her lifelong study and practice of energetic healing, Jungian psychology and metaphysics. She is the author of nine wealth expansion books and offers courses and one-on-one sessions focused on wealth expansion for self and business that create tangible results. www.kikitheo-wealthworks.com  [email protected].

Kiki Theo

Kiki Theo

Wealth Expansion Author

Kiki Theo combines decades of successful business experience with energetic processing tools she has created to help people grow their wealth and business. She is the author of nine wealth expansion titles and offers courses and sessions for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to learn how to fly!

Kiki will offer a series of Conscious Business courses over the next year on Zoom.

Wealth Expansion – Kiki Theo – Wealth Works Institute

Kiki Theo

Kiki Theo is a wealth expansion business coach, author and course facilitator dealing with money as energy. She helps individuals and businesses to thrive, drawing on her own successful business experience and gifts as an alchemical intuitive and wealth catalyst.