Early in my sales career, I met a man who gave me the following advice in the form of a hand scripted poem attached and mailed with my monthly sales report: “There is a destiny that makes us brothers, no one goes too far alone. Whatever you put into the lives of others comes back to your very own”. I’m fairly confident this was not original, as I know I have read it since with proper credit given to the author.
Although this incident took place about 40 years ago, I have successfully etched this saying into my brain and woven it into the fabric of my life. Now, you may be thinking, “what in the world has this got to do with marketing?” Let me tell you a story:
About three years ago I began receiving e-mails intended to be written to a Corporation with an e-mail and web address similar to mine. In fact, the only difference was a hyphen. At first it was an occasional e-mail which I forwarded to the proper address. Then, the messages came at least one each day. Although slightly annoyed, I continued to conscientiously forward to the proper address. Then one day, this company received more inquiries for business than I did, and I was tempted to delete the messages as fast as they came in.
It was at this point my wife reminded me of the old saying and also one of her favorite principals, “There was no right way, to do a wrong thing”. So, I sent my own personal message to this guy, which basically said, “what in the world do you do – perhaps two companies with similar web addresses could be in similar businesses?” Shortly thereafter, he called to thank me for being kind enough to forward his messages and we talked about what sort of business we were in.
Here’s the “rest of the story”. Today, this company is one of our largest and most financially rewarding servicing clients. Recently we teamed up for an investment seminar and we are now providing a diversity of related services for him as well as others as a result of our association.
Bottom line here is, although you don’t do something for others as a ploy to get something in return, when you honestly and sincerely put something of value into the lives of someone else, it will come back to you. The timing, kind and amount are not always what you expected (or did not expect) but this universal principal still works in very interesting and sometimes very strange, unexpected and mysterious ways. Think about it!