In Business, It's ALWAYS Personal.

The personal dynamics of business
is a big theme of what I teach.

You probably have close friends 
listed in your phone where you can't
remember their phone numbers.

Your phone does the remembering.

With Google, there's less of a need to know facts.
With GPS, there's less of a need to know how to get somewhere.
Just press "Go" and obey the robot commands.

Now there's templates for writing
and staying in touch with people.
"Done for you" scripts and "fill in the blanks" pages.

People take out the very thing that makes them different
and load in some generic fluff that supposedly
worked for someone somewhere.

There's cheat sheets for everything, 
"5 ways to legally steal" traffic/clients, whatever.

Everyone wants short cuts and hacks.
They want them in easily digestible form.

They want the "all in one" website, landing page, payment processor,
email delivery service provider, membership website and more.
They want all the letters pre-written with slight modifications.

They want to sit back and
count the money as it just rolls in by itself.

Remember the phone, Google and GPS?
The same weakness applies here.
You end up with people
who know how to  fill in templates
but can't talk to people to save their life.

And the weaker they get,
the more magic tricks they seek.

It all starts out great.
They talk to prospects
just to figure out what their needs are.
They dutifully create their empathy maps.
They make a great offer.
They get their client.
Then there's a disagreement.
Whoa! No template to get 
them out of that one!

Maybe wait for the angry client template update?
Whine about how all clients suck?

Don't think it's just the IM space.
Big companies do the same thing.
They use bigger platforms but not much else.

Templates talking to templates.
Everyone following a schedule of connection and follow up.

But at some point in all this automated magic,
you're going to have to (gasp) actually talk to someone.

That's the big divide.
The best business pick up lines will open doors.
But the challenge starts when you make the sale.

As long as you make a great offer
and deliver, you should be OK, right?

You probably know the saying:
"people buy with emotion and justify with logic."

Two of my all time favorite films are
The Godfather and The Godfather II.

Here's one of the first film's famous lines:
"It's not personal, Sonny. 
It's strictly business." 
Michael Corleone - The Godfather

The ironic part is both films had more
feelings and emotions than a stack of romantic novels.
Resentment, grudges and people feeling disrespected
were frequent themes in the film.

Don Vito Corleone:  "But, now you come to me, and you say: 'Don Corleone, give me justice.' But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me Godfather."

Fredo Corleone: "I'm your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!
..I'm smart and I want respect!"

Michael Corleone: I know it was you [Fredo]. You broke my heart. YOU BROKE MY HEART!"

Business is no different.
The drivers are and have always been about feelings.
But everyone loves the shiny veneer of logic.

Maybe you know about all the social media studies.
People have Facebook friends but don't feel close.
It gives the illusion of intimacy.

Same thing with business.
LinkedIn tells you about your prospect.
You look at their Facebook page and you know they like skiing.
"So, I saw on Facebook you like skiing. Me too!"
Great. That takes care of 10 seconds of the conversation.

All the information available
makes connecting with people look easy.
That's because people confuse
"contacting" with connecting.

Contacting is not connecting.
Connecting is not resonating.
Resonating is not commitment. 

Unless you like starting from scratch a lot,
you're going to want to know
how to work with people long term.

That's a whole different skill set.
Getting the client is not keeping the client.
They don't make decisions solely based on money.

"Oh yeah? well what about that big company _______?"
They just look solely at numbers.
They probably do - on paper.

They also have a person there that doesn't want to look bad.
Your masterpiece comes in a distant second
to them keeping their job.

"I shared your idea my department and they didn't like it."
Or maybe it was never shared at all.

The small client - the one that needs business?
They also want to feel important and listened to.
That email you ignored of theirs - they didn't forget it.
Their assistant you disrespected- he's pushing your client
to hire someone else.

If you want clients,
knowing how to get them is not enough.
Knowing how to make money is not enough.

It's not just about the practical.

The practical just gets you in the door.
The personal keeps the door open.

I would challenge you to review
the biggest emails and conversations
from the last seven days.

I'm sure you had zero disagreements with anyone,
but for myself and the one person on my list that had one,
ask yourself - is there anything I could have said differently?

When I say differently, I mean - could you
have said something more respectfully?
Could you take into account a struggle
someone is going through?

You can't get better advice than this:

"People will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget
how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou

And trust me, people forget a lot.
In psychology, there's something known as
"the forgetting curve."

Even when people are taking notes
and want to remember what you're saying,
they're going to forget.

Would you feel better
if I threw in some academic studies?

People forget 50-80% of what they’ve learned
after one day and 97-98% after a month.

Don't like that statistic?
OK  - let's knock it down to 77% with this study

"Did you get my email?
Yes, I took a quick look at it.
What is it you do again?"

All those clever templates and websites,
gone from their memory -whoosh!

With all that forgetting, you better make sure 
people feel good about working with you.

Think about the favorite people in your life.
Your favorite people in your life aren't your favorite
because they're the most qualified.
There's always someone more qualified.

They're your favorite people
because they're good to you.
They probably go out of their way to be good to you.

It's not enough to be good to people.
You want to look at how you can be better with them.

That means things like looking at past emails you wrote them and
putting as much care into your words there as you do your website.
It means reading your responses a few times before you click send.

It means remembering your last conversation on the phone or in person.
Did you cut them off when they tried to speak?
Were their arms folded the whole time?
Does it feel tense to talk to them now?

Maybe it's something going on in their own lives.
Maybe it's you.
Maybe you're over thinking.
I personally might stop and ask how things are and let them talk.

By the way, that's where a big part of business gets decided.
It gets decided in all the little things people are too busy to care about.

Go as high up as you want,
feelings come into play.

Hurt feelings can destroy
the most lucrative alliance
in a heartbeat.

The competitive part of me
loves seeing people
dismiss this side of business.
It makes my work so much easier.
Keep plugging those templates!
I almost want to send them a thank you card.

But as a mentor, I have to step in.
The personal part of business requires self awareness.


  • Your effect on people
  • How you make them feel
  • What you're overlooking or ignoring

It means being able to see where you
dropped the ball in an email or conversation.
Then the hard part begins - trying to be better at it.
Listening is just one part.
Listening for what isn't being said is another.

We're just getting started. :)

Robert Gibson