My good friend Sam Richter is a sales, marketing and reputation management expert. Recently, I had him come speak to the staff at Steiner Sports about how to build business relationships in the digital age (which he really gets into in his book, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling, now in its 12th edition).
Here are two incredible takeaways I got out of his talk with my staff; two things that will make or break your ability to grow your business.
- Lots of little things mean lots of everythings.
This is a play off a quote from our friend Harvey Mackay, who said, “The little things mean everything.”
Same is a big advocate of doing your research. In today’s world, there is nothing more important, and simple to do, than doing an online search of someone that could potentially being a client of yours before you meet with them. In the example he’s using in the video, he learned that the woman he’s meeting with, Deb, is Jewish. When it comes around to the holidays, changing a greeting from, “Merry Christmas!” to, “Happy Channukah!” or, “Happy holidays!” could completely change the dynamic of their relationship.
Maybe he won’t lose the potential business with Deb, but the point here is that showing a deeper understanding of your clients, co-workers and friends will lead to deeper relationships.
- People love to talk about themselves. Just shut up and let them do it.
“Hey, _____, before I meet with people I like to do a little homework. You’re a busy guy, so I just want to make sure we’re talking about things you care about. And, here’s what I found.”
Incredible. This is one of Sam’s go-to strategies and having used it myself, I must tell you…it works! Show someone you’re trying to build a relationship with that you care by learning about them and then asking them about it. People know themselves better than anything else in the world, so once you can start a conversation about them, just shut up and say in your head, “Go!”
As you can see in Sam’s example, it works.