The Missing Link in Business Relationships

by Robin Elliott on March 13, 2012

Unless you’re a psychopath, you’re hard wired for mutual reciprocity. That’s bad news for some business owners, who believe hand-outs and altruism works with real entrepreneurs. They don’t. But it’s good news for those of us who understand that one has to give to get, and that the giving comes first. Three good examples of this principle in action are my friends Dick Low, Stefan Stavrakis, and Geoff Ellingham.

Dick Low is the best WebMaster I have met in 13 years. In fact, he is the only one who, in my opinion, can claim the right to the title WebMASTER. He is known for going the extra 1,000 miles, is always available, professional, consistent, and unlike others who claim the title, there are no anal retentive, passive aggressive games being played. He is a real people person AND he is a website Guru. The thing about Dick is that he will help people who aren’t even his clients! He just helps and adds value and supports, and as a result, his dance card is full. He doesn’t have to beg for referrals or cold call.

Stefan Stavrakis called me up one day and we had coffee. The information he shared with me has already made me serious money. In fact, every time we talk, I end up getting amazing information from this Positioning Genius. How do you think I responded when he asked me to help him promote his new program? First, I know his stuff works exceptionally well, and second, I owe him – big time. He’s generous, smart, and he puts wood on the fire before expecting any heat.

Geoff Ellingham is a treat to work with. He is a man of action – reliable, available, absolutely trustworthy, and a man who keeps his word. Unlike many mortgage specialists, Geoff builds strong  relationships and provides value far in excess of what his clients and Joint Venture partners expect. He doesn’t wander around networking meetings pushing his business cards at strangers like many of his contemporaries. When he says he will do something, you don’t have to follow up, check, motivate, remind, and nag – it’s as good as done. He’s in the 1% of mortgage professionals – the best of the best, in my opinion.

All three of these men believe in giving before asking for something in return. In fact, if you create enough value, you don’t even have to ask. You become a magnet for sales and referrals, because people WANT to help you achieve your goals. If you’re walking around with your hand out, you won’t last in any business. Ask the charities and they will tell you – their begging letters don’t even get opened anymore. People are asking, “What’s in it for me? Do I even know you? How WELL do I know you? What have you done for ME lately? What gives you the right to ask me?”

Robert B. Cialdini, author of The Psychology of Persuasion, wrote “One of the most potent of the weapons of influence around us is the rule for reciprocation. The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.” You and I know that people have to like us and trust us before they will do business with us, and that we can’t build a relationship in Starbucks or by joining a club or pushing business cards. Our potential clients and Joint Venture partners are looking for consistency, value, professionalism, honesty, and real value. We can create leverage by helping them get what they want before we start the socialist begging routine.

Kindness is like a boomerang; it always returns. We reap what we sow, but we do have to sow first. Zig Ziglar said, “You can get anything you want out of life, if you’re prepared to help enough other people to get what they want.” But you do have help them before you can expect them to help you.

Previous post:

Next post: