I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want my help in growing your sales, let’s connect.

Things are changing in 2 weeks time.
Want to be part of the change?

Many can’t fight the urge. They don’t mean to do it, but just they can’t resist.

They often don’t even realise the impact it has had on other people.

Especially potential buyers of their solution.

But others spot it and when the person involved leaves the room or conversation, you can spot the sighs of relief from others.

Potential buyers make a mental note to themselves of the person and their company. It says ‘Do not buy from x company, person Y is up themselves and a bit of a <insert your own swear word> 😁

What is this all about James and what relevance does it have for me?

Let me explain…

We all as human beings are selfish.

Deep down we want what we want.

We all crave affection and for others to like us and think the best of us. We want people to see us as being successful and someone that is important. We want others to see and believe that we have important lives.

We all get surrounded by so many social media images and stories of people doing well that we want to show that we are the same.

  • If someone has 10 friends, we want to show we have 11
  • If someone has had to travel 50 miles to get to a meeting, we want to show we had to travel 100
  • If someone has been out for dinner at a 2 star restaurant, we want to show we have eaten at a 3 star!
  • If someone has a car that is 6 months old, we want to show that we have one that is brand new!
  • If someone has the iPhone 14, we want to show that we have just bought the new iPhone 15

If someone has just been on holiday to Tenerife, we want to show that we have been to Elevenarife!

I came up with this phrase to describe a person I met at a networking event once.

He seemed a nice enough guy initially, but whenever someone in the group of 4 (who had just started chatting as you do at events) was discussing something they had done, he had to top-trump it.

It started within a few seconds of this lady (whom we had all only just met) saying her company had seen a record month, to which I and others said ‘Congratulations, this is fantastic’.

I was about to ask what she had done to achieve the results and what learnings could she share with us, but Mr Vain interrupted and said ‘Yes we also have had a record quarter. We are up on where we were this time last year.’

The 3 of us said congratulations and the conversation then moved on to the type of customers they worked with. One of the other members of the group politely mentioned that they tended to work with ‘high net worth individuals’ and yep, you’ve guessed it, before anyone could ask about what they did for them or how they found it, Mr Vain piped up.

‘We work with many millionaires and people who have done incredibly well for themselves as well. We have a whose-who of rich people on our client book.’

It was then that it became clear. For whatever reason, he was just an Elevenarifer. If you had been to Tenerife, he would find some way to trump it and would say he had been to Elevenarife….

Things are changing in 2 weeks time.
Want to be part of the change?

He just couldn’t help himself. In a desire to feel important and stay part of the conversation, whenever someone had something to share, he had to better it.

It happened one more time and then I became bored with the conversation and made my excuses and left. I caught up with one of the group as I left the event though and I smiled when they said to me ‘You had a lucky escape’. It was clear at that point that our friend had continued to espouse how great he was even though by this time it was clear it was having the opposite effect to what he would have wanted.

Was there a chance I or the other person I spoke with at the end would buy from Mr Eleven?

Not in a million years. Even if his company were the last on the earth to sell a particular type of service, I would purposely look for another solution rather than buy from him!!!

That was the extent of the impact his narcissistic and self-absorbing behaviour had had.

What is sad though is that he probably left the event thinking it had all gone so well…… Alas, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

Why have I made this the purpose of today’s email?

Because, sadly, I see this behaviour happen a lot and this form of engagement is one you need to avoid if you are to keep potential buyers on your side at new events.

Sure, have something to say if someone asks you a question and sure be proud of who you are and what you do but don’t become an Elevenarifer!

Don’t become the person who is so self-obsessed (and insecure, yep that’s what it ultimately boils down to in my view) and who always wants to try and outdo someone else.

It makes you look a dick and doesn’t reflect well on you and your company. It makes you come across as self-obsessed and shows that you have very little emotional intelligence.

And those traits tend NOT to appeal to buyers!!

When I leave ANY meeting or discussion with someone, I always ask myself these 3 things:

  1. What do I want this person to FEEL after talking with me/being in my company?
  2. What do I want this person to THINK about me and what I do?
  3. What do I want this person to DO or ACT after meeting with me?


I ideally am looking for people to think:

  • He was a lovely guy and he made me feel important and valued. I enjoyed chatting with him.
  • He was really helpful and informative. He has some good insights and shared things that I found useful. He could be a great connection.
  • I am going to take a further look at what he does and keep an eye out on his stuff. He could be someone I want to work with.

Do I get it right all of the time? Hell no! I wish I did and I know there have been times when I have got it badly wrong when meeting people.

But I do believe, deep down, that I take an interest in other people and try to understand more about them. I have ingrained ‘What’ and ‘How’ questions into my vocabulary and use these to understand more about other people I meet.

We have all met Elevenarifers and I am sure we all have the same feelings about them.

We mainly want to avoid them and deep down we probably even feel sorry for them.

But what is clear is that we generally don’t want to buy from them!

If you sell a high-value service or solution that requires no human interaction, then congratulations but you are in the minority. Most companies have to engage with buyers as the value of the service grows and buyers still want to buy from people they like.

You don’t have to become best pals with someone to buy from them but you do need to feel an affinity for them and want to work with them if you are to give them an order.

Invariably if you are an Elevenarifer, people won’t want to buy from you and, in time, it will also hurt your reputation. Some people can get away with it but many can’t. For them, business can then become a struggle.


If you are one of these people and see in yourself the tendency to always talk about what you have done then have a look in the mirror and ask yourself ‘WHY’ you need to do this?

The answer lies here and deeper within your soul but I am not a psychotherapist!

All I do know is that you don’t want to build a reputation of being an Elevenarifer!

Things are changing in 2 weeks time.
Want to be part of the change?



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