I recently had the chance to take a client to lunch—a rarity since the majority of our clients are a plane ride away. I am sure we could have had a conference call and come away with the same ‘to do’ list; but it was so nice to get eye contact and spend more time than we would have on the phone. I keep a list of who I get to see ‘in person’ so that I get to as many as possible. I’m determined to keep that list long and growing.

Both my grandfathers were super salesmen. One sold food, one sold insurance. Both knew 100% of the customers by face, not just by name. They knew their spouses and about their kids. They played golf together. They dropped in and chatted. The phone was not used to close a deal, but to set up the next meeting. They knew the secretaries well, too. They were, in some ways, much more connected than many of us are today. No-not a technical connection, but a personal one. I’ve wondered what gadgets they would use if they were selling now in this age of high tech and high speed. I think they would have used every tool available to them to increase their sales, but at the end of the day, they knew that a sincere desire to provide a good or service which had value to the purchaser was key. And, the best way to do that was and is to get to know the person very well.

One of corporate values is ‘value’. Our philosophy is that we want to be the right choice for each client and the best way to do that is to understand their needs and to be honest about our ability to meet them. We do a very good job on the phone and on the internet with our clients but whenever possible, we get in front of them.

So, I’m booking another flight.