As a Business Relationship Expert, I have been able to accomplish so much more than I ever dreamed possible. As I move toward the December 8th premiere of “The Keeper of the Keys” – a personal development movie I’m producing – I am amazed at the important role that my business relationships have played in the success and execution of this production.
I put myself in a position to help others. Once you are able to build a reputation for being a “go-to” person, your friends and colleagues will come to you for everything. You will end up getting connected with extremely important people. Keep in mind, however, that your intentions must be pure! The benefit of building great relationships by helping others should never be about ultimately helping yourself … but that IS what is going to happen.
If you aren’t where you want to be, or where you THOUGHT you might be by now, ask yourself: “What can I do for others? How can I help THEM to achieve THEIR goals?” I assure you, it won’t be long before people want to help you in return. Reciprocity makes the world go ’round.
My goal for this movie was to help as many people as possible by showing them how to accept greater responsibility for their lives so they could stop feeling victimized by society, the economy, or even the government. To keep them engaged long enough to enjoy this personal development film, I had to find a way to “take the ‘hell’ out of self-help”!
From the very first moment when I CONCEIVED the idea to produce a personal development movie, I wanted Jack Canfield as the STAR. Because I have worked with him before, included him in my anthology series, “The Power of the Platform”, and have worked hard to get him speaking engagements, he said he would love to be featured in my movie! He knows the caliber of work I produce and knows that I will feature him in a great light. As for Jack’s opinion when I told him that my movie is going to raise the bar on the entire self-help genre by being the first FUNNY, REAL-LIFE movie, he said, “Sounds like fun!” What a gracious man. I adore Jack. It’s true: the bigger they are, the kinder they are. Everyone who knows Jack loves him.
And, speaking of LOVE, my second choice for a star in the movie was Marci Shimoff, whose book “Love for No Reason” made it to the top of many best-seller lists earlier this year. Marci had contributed a chapter to my anthology series and helped me out. I wanted to help her by putting her in what I knew would be an amazing movie. She agreed.
Guess what Marci did for me then? She asked me if I would like her to invite her friend, John Gray, to be in the movie, too! John Gray – who has sold more than 50 Million copies of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” - is now in my movie. Friends like to help friends. And, I am thrilled to share that he HIT IT OUTTA THE PARK! His explanation of why men and women have trouble understanding each other is pure gold! And now, he shares this wisdom in MY MOVIE! Think I’m excited about THAT?! You betcha! Thanks, Marci!
Think about all the dreams you have … and every lofty goal you’d like to accomplish in this lifetime. I can assure you that doing all you can to help others will come back to you WITH INTEREST. Jack Canfield says we should all learn the 3-letter word that can move mountains: “ASK”! I learned to ask, and I agree with Jack that asking can deliver tremendous results. But, when you remember to ask what YOU can do for OTHERS, that is when you’ll really see your business increase and your life will become more fulfilling than you ever imagined.
I’m fortunate to work in the field of personal development because I can get away with spreading love, joy, and positive messages without raising too many eyebrows. Even if others don’t EXPECT me to be a bit “over the top” … they certainly aren’t surprised when they get to experience a little unexpected “love” or appreciation.
By sharing the love, I simply mean spreading positive energy – whether that means signing an email with “Love, Robin” or “I love how you’re wearing your hair,” or “I love when we get to meet for lunch!”
Is it appropriate to sign an email, “Much love”? Definitely, if you are writing to friends. But what about when you are writing to a business associate, client, or coworker? What is too much? Can you share the joy and let people know just how much you care about them – even if your relationship is relatively new? And, if you’re dealing with someone you DON’T like as much, can sharing some love help to soften their edges?
I think the answer lies in your own comfort zone. Ask yourself how YOU would feel if someone signed an email to you the same way YOU want to sign YOUR emails. In dealing with the EXPERTS who are going to appear in the movie I’m producing, “The Keeper of the Keys,” I often sign my emails with “Much love” or “Sending Love Your Way.”
My friend Julie Neil used to sign all her e-mails (from work) “Hugs, Julie”. Guess what? Whenever I saw her, I got a hug. I knew when she signed her e-mails “Hugs” – she meant it! I ran into her recently at Trader Joe’s and – you guessed it – I got a great hug. Love you, Julie. And I loved all those sweet hugs – even when we were negotiating dollars and advertising schedules. Julie was a master at spreading and sharing the LOVE!
I admit I am MUCH MORE reserved with new, conservative relationships. But it usually doesn’t take long before I’m sharing and caring. Once I feel comfortable, and I believe you will appreciate it, I’ll send some love your way. As Jackie DeShannon sang, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
Even if you have to be a bit more formal or reserved, you can still share love and joy as you go about your day. Offer compliments instead of criticisms. Offer a helping hand instead of complaining. Smile. Give hugs or hearty handshakes. And be sure to tell people just how much you appreciate them. You never know how long they will be here.
NOTE: I lost a friend yesterday – Randy Fleitz. His death from a heart attack was unexpected; he ran on the treadmill regularly and stayed in shape. We golfed together a few times – in charity tournaments and for business. He was hilarious. I can picture him on the links and can remember most of his funny comments.
Randy was my client, first at the Golden Nugget, then later at the Mirage. By the time we’d done a promotional ad campaign, we were friends. A round of golf cemented that. After I retired from selling advertising, I would see him occasionally around town.
Randy was younger than I. He had a family. I always knew him to be a VERY hard-working professional. And he was KIND – a fairly RARE quality among high-pressured casino executives. I remember about 15 years ago (or was it more like 18?), my step-brother James was visiting from Ohio. We sat at CPK/Mirage having lunch. Randy happened to come by. After introducing him to James, we spoke for a bit and then he went about his business.
James ate his lunch while he watched Agassi play tennis. He was mesmerized by the wide assortment of sporting events that filled the monitors in the sports book a few feet away. James said, “There is NOTHING like this in Cleveland!” (a line I often shared with my clients; we needed to remember how our fabulous strip is seen in the eyes of our visitors!) But that paled in comparison to how impressed he was when we discovered our lunch had been comped. James thought his big sister was really a big cheese, since I was friends with a boss at the Mirage. Randy, I’ll never forget that kindness.
I hope you have a tee time with your dad this week, and I hope you play well. You will be dearly missed by many here. Much love to you Randy, much love.
Thursday morning, October 7th, I’ll be speaking at the Southwestern/Pacific chapter meeting of PCMA: Professional Convention Management Association. I’d like to send special thanks to Gina Mann at the Las Vegas Convention Vistors Authority for recommending me as this month’s speaker. The breakfast will be held at the South Point Hotel & Casino at 8AM.
I’ll be presenting “B FACE 2 FACE 4 SUCCESS” - a 60-minute keynote presentation on building EFFECTIVE & PRODUCTIVE business relationships that will include suggestions that you will be able to implement IMMEDIATELY to increase your sales and improve your bottom line. This presentation is built upon the lessons I discovered while building relationships during my sales career, which I shared in my first book, “The Art of the Business Lunch: Building Relationships Between 12 and 2.” My experience during nearly 20 years of sales and my ability to build such incredible relationships is why my clients started calling me “The Queen of the Business Lunch”.
A strong ability to build relationships can assure your success – whatever field you are in. WHY? Because PEOPLE PREFER TO DO BUSINESS WITH PEOPLE THEY LIKE! Your parents were wrong: success in life actually IS a popularity contest! After all – who wants to hang out with or do business with people they DON’T LIKE?! When you look at it this way, it makes sense: to succeed, you need to develop your PEOPLE SKILLS.
People have choices – and when it comes to business, they are even more likely to take advantage of their options … especially in THIS competitive environment. No business decision is ever JUST about price!
When I deliver this presentation, I ask my audiences for a show of hands to
indicate how many people REGULARLY go OUT OF THEIR WAY to patronize a particular business because they PREFER how they are treated at the more inconvenient location than at a similar business closer to their homes. I ALWAYS get 100% response! That supports my point: your people skills can improve your business or destroy it. It’s not that hard to build solid, productive business relationships. I’ll be sharing tips and techniques so that you, too, can become a Business Relationship Expert! Hope to see you there.
I just got a tweet from Mari Smith about Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book, “The Thank You Economy” - which is not even due out until March 8th, 2011. I read the following description on Amazon – where the book is already doing phenomenally well. His last book, “Crush It’ hasn’t even cooled down yet. And – surprisingly – Gary is the VIDEO guy! He said the only reason he’s writing books is because PEOPLE READ THEM! Gary Vee is just too cool. So – here is the description of his new book (which doesn’t even have cover artwork yet!):
The Thank You Economy isn’t some abstract concept or wacky business strategy. It’s the way we buy and sell, the way we’re interacting as consumers, as employees, as entrepreneurs on all levels, right now. The way our marketplace functions has been evolving right before our eyes. Top-down, one-way exchanges are gone, replaced by relationships based on open, honest, and constant communication between customers and business.
Today, individuals and brands that out-care and out-love their competition – those emphasizing quality, value, responsiveness, and attention to detail, among other essentials – see the biggest returns.
Gary Vaynerchuk contends that the people and companies harnessing the word-of-mouth power provided by multiplatform media – those that can shift their outlook and operations to be more customer-aware and fan-friendly – will pull away from the pack and profit in today’s markets.
In “The Thank You Economy”, he dissects the companies on the leading edge, showing how they are succeeding – and sometimes failing. Laying out the ideas and insight that support this enormous change, Vaynerchuk explores these emerging connections – from consumer to consumer and business to business and everything in between. Passionate and persuasive, he reminds us that surviving and thriving today takes more than just hard work-it takes a heartfelt thanks to those who make it possible.
SO - WHAT can I add to THAT? Not much – except that I’ve been preaching this philosophy for years. Gary just has a bigger following and he’s more outrageous – so he draws a bigger crowd. But the truth is this: To succeed in business today, you need to CONNECT – on a DEEP level – with your clients.
Keith Ferrazzi wrote about this in his startling book, “Who’s Got Your Back?” He said opening up, showing a bit of your vulnerability and speaking with candor can work wonders not just for your business -but for your LIFE!
We tend to present ourselves as we want others to see us, but that’s not the best way to function anymore. People crave REAL, people want AUTHENTIC. They want to know WHO they are doing business with and they want THE REAL McCOY … and it’s okay if you are not SUPERMAN or WONDERWOMAN! Sure, you need to be effective and able to deliver – but people are sick of insincere, one-sided salespeople or pitches. BE REAL – be gracious, be sincere.
FORBES Insights‘ latest report shows that executives prefer face-to-face meetings. Wow – As “The Queen of the Business Lunch,” I could not have put that better myself. The reasons why they preferred IN PERSON, face-to-face meetings? There is no comparison:
- To build STRONGER, more MEANINGFUL business relationships (85%)
- Ability to read body language and facial expressions (77%)
- More social interaction, ability to bond with co-workers/clients (75%)
- Allow for more complex strategic thinking (49%)
- Better environment for tough, timely decision-making (44%)
Complaints about technology-enabled meetings were that they often resulted in disruption and delays. The ONLY reasons anyone said they preferred technology-assisted meetings were bottom-line, such as saving time, money, or location flexibility.The choice is yours: STRONGER, MORE PRODUCTIVE business meetings or technical difficulties?
As a Business Relationship Expert, I discovered a long time ago that those relationships that were built over a business lunch, an outstanding networking event, or even a round of golf lasted forever. We bonded. Apparently, I’m not the only successful executive who knows that, although I may be the only one who wrote a book about building business relationships over lunch (“The Art of the Business Lunch: Building Relationships Between 12 and 2″).
A compromise can be reached, too, by holding smaller meetings with an assist from technology. But to build long-lasting, solid business relationships, seize some face time!
BTW, the Ritz-Carlton weighed in on the report to reach out to business travelers by offering “Meetings Within Reach,” a value-added opportunity for organizers of on-site seminars, executive retreats, and other corporate events. Their message is “It’s not extravagant IF it produces results.” I’d like to give special thanks to Bruce Himelstein, Ritz-Carlton’s senior vice president of sales & marketing. He acknowledged that technology can never replace the “traditional methods of dealing with people in person…” I rest my case … there is NO Substitute for QUALITY “Face time.”
Notice: I am currently seeking annual contracts with companies who would like to send me out to speak to their clients on the importance of quality face time and how to build productive business relationships. E-mail me to explore the possibilities.