“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
– Vince Lombardi
Similar to personal relationships, people enjoy establishing business relationships with people they connect with and motivate them. As I look at our Valiant 3 clients, it has occurred to me that all of our best client relationships are the ones that have stemmed from breaking down the “formal/professional” barriers by starting with “old school” business techniques and transitioning into “new school” business techniques.
Old School: Get in a car or on a plane to meet in person– In today’s tech-savvy world, FaceTime and Skype have made communication simple from anywhere in the world; however, I am a firm believer that nothing can compare to an in-person meeting. The conversations and strategies that stem from a lunch meeting or business dinner are ones that simply wouldn’t come up on a 10am conference call. For example, I remember when I was just 23-years-old and came across an opportunity to work with Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis. Immediately, I arranged an in-person dinner meeting with him. Over the course of three hours and plenty of delicious food at Grille 36, we established a working relationship that is still going strong 7 years later… Yes, I am now 30 years old! There is no doubt in my mind that our relationship wouldn’t have developed the way it had if I did not meet with him in person and establish his trust.
New School: Mobile devices– Cell phones, iPads, Apple Watches, have completely changed the way business can be conducted. They are not just for personal use anymore but our professional lives as well. We are now turning business relationships into more personal relationships by text messaging or FaceTiming to complete day-to-day business. Don’t get me wrong, there is still the formal emailing and responding during “normal” business hours, but when the communication transpires late at night or on a weekend via text message, you can tell someone is more comfortable with you and has trust in your business relationship. As an entrepreneur, there is no better feeling than knowing your client has complete trust in you and trusts your expert advice around the clock.
In my opinion, it is extremely important to start all business deals with the “old school” business approach, but once that relationship is established, you can move to “new school” techniques. From there, it is time to watch your business relationships grow for years and years to come!