There is a necessary element to making money and building wealth people often overlook and that is people. I often see would be millionaires taking courses, reading books, punching buttons on their calculators, working overtime and still not making much headway financially. What could possibly be holding these hardworking and focused people back? It is often because they are people overlooking people. People and your relationships with them are essential to financial success.
Take my grandfather for an example on the importance of people when building wealth. My grandfather was a wealthy man when he died, but he didn’t start out that way. His family was so broke that on his 18th birthday his father invited him to leave home. All he took with him was a borrowed suitcase and a change of clothes, but when he died he owned over one hundred properties, had money in the bank and bought new cars and trucks almost seasonally. Where did he get all of his money? From people, he didn’t get any from dogs or cats.
My grandfather had this saying that I try to remember when I deal with people, “If you are the kind of person that people would enjoy spending a minute or two with, then you just might be the kind of person that people would enjoy spending a dollar or two with.” People liked my grandfather and they actually enjoyed spending money with him. Over the years they got a lot of enjoyment from spending a lot of money with him.
Regardless of what you have heard, companies don’t buy things and they don’t make deals. I have dealt with companies from Berkshire Hathaway to General Motors and I never had a company buy a single thing from me or agree on a contract, it was always people.
There are no such things as accounts either, there are people in charge of making buying decisions, but there is no such thing as an account. You may wish to differ from me and how I look at things, but I assure you it will cost you money. If you don’t believe that, then just imagine the two of us having a little competition. You go after the money and the business dealing with the people as only being accounts and companies, I will go after the money and the business treating people like people, my good friends actually. Who do you think will win?
There is an old saying that is still true today, “It is not what you know, but who you know that matters.” When it comes to hiring, promotion and getting the contract or purchase that is definitively true. When your money and your future are on the line you want to work with someone you know, like and trust. That is why people appearing less technically qualified or having less experience often win out over people with better paper credentials. The loser may look more qualified on paper or in the experience department, but they were less qualified in the relationship department.
This is not as hard as it may seem. I teach sales and I teach rapport skills and methods, but I find we already know more about relationships and sales than we are using. Napoleon Hill said something like this about it, “You don’t need a course on relationships to know how to get along with someone, just imagine they are a rich relative about to die and you will inherit a million dollars from them if you can stay on their good side and stay in the will!” That should do it.
So how do you get on the good side of people and how do you stay there? For that let me bring out the Golden Rule. One way to state it is, “Treat other people like you want to be treated.” We may think we don’t know how the other person wants to be treated or even how they deserve to be treated, but we always know how we want to be treated. Put yourself in their shoes and things become much clearer.
If you want to improve your relationship skills as well as your financial standing let me leave you with a few action points.
1. Keep a list of everyone you meet along with all the information you come across on them. This includes their spouse if married, children, interests, career and the resources available to them. Of course you will want their contact information, their phone, address, email and any website that pertains to them.
When you need something refer to your list and find someone capable of helping you. Next find something you can do for that person that can help them do what you need done. Start with what you can do for the other person.
2. Don’t try to be the most interesting person in the room, try to be the most interested person in the room. Deeper levels of rapport are created by listening to the other person than by talking to them.
3. Maintain your list and I don’t mean with paper and pencil, I mean by connection and contact. Touch base with people from time to time to keep the connection fresh. Send an email, a text, sometimes just pick up the phone for no real reason and call to check on them. You don’t have to take someone out to an expensive dinner to let them know you are their friend and thinking of them.
4. From time to time do this mental exercise. Imagine you woke up tomorrow and you were the only person alive on the planet. No one to talk to, no one to help you, no one to share your thoughts, ideas and feelings with, no one. Solitary confinement is considered the worst form of punishment in prisons. In a world without people the entire world becomes a prison. Remember this and it will help you keep your relationships where they belong, at the top of the list.