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People Pleasing and How to Make it Work for You in Sales & Marketing

Do you stress over creating a playlist for a gathering with your friends? Is the word "no" a rarity in your vocabulary? Do you refuse to complain about your food in a restaurant so as not to upset your server?

If you can answer "yes" to these questions, you're likely a "people pleaser". Wanting to bring happiness and fulfillment to others is not a crime, but in excess, it can get in the way of your own success and joy.

By reading a recent article from Psychology Today, entitled "10 Signs You're a People-Pleaser", you can better assess the severity of your selflessness. Here are just a few. Do you resonate with them?

  • You pretend to agree with everyone.
  • You feel uncomfortable if someone is angry with you.
  • You act like the people around you.


Although marketers and sales professionals often have independent qualities, the tendency of also being a people-pleaser is possible. With marketers, for instance, there is a strong desire to connect with their audience, to make them happy. That feeling of responsibility for someone else's emotions is a key indicator of being a people-pleaser. Coupled with being overly focused with fulfilling the needs of others and getting upset when all attempts fail can create quite the tailspin.

When in pursuit of a successful career, sales professionals can also fall victim to being too accommodating. For instance, if there's dissatisfaction with a customer, someone might feel obligated to offer excessive apologies when simply solving the problem is the more effective tactic. Customers can also take advantage of a people-pleaser with extreme requests, where the salesperson feels like he can't say "no" or responds in agreement when he should be offering a better solution.

Because there is a difference between kindness and living for the happiness of others, we've outlined a number of ways that you can channel your people pleasing so that it works in your favor.

Don’t Always be Agreeable: As a subject matter expert, express your thoughts. Customers will appreciate your honesty.

Be Responsible to your Commitment: Don’t focus on making your client happy so much as making them the hero.

Make it Right: Apologies are OK, but fixing the problem is what they want.

Say No: Not every piece of business is worth your time.

Make Time for You: The only way you’ll serve your customers well is if you take care of yourself. Be with family. Exercise during lunch. Find a balance.

You’re Not Perfect: Understand that you’ll make people upset, but if you have their best interest at heart, you’ve got nothing to upset about.

Share Your Feelings: Don’t confess your angst to your customers but lean on your team when you’re struggling with a project. They know what you’re going through.

Be Yourself: You have unique talents and ideas. Don’t copy others. People will like you more for your authenticity.

Question the Norm: Conflict or a difference of opinion, when approached the right way, can resolve animosity and confusion. It can also instigate positive changes for your team, campaign and company.

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