CSG 123 | Meaningful Relationships

 

Connie’s motivational quote for today is by – Elizabeth Kostova, “It’s funny; in this era of email and voicemail and all those things that even I did not grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy.” It’s funny when I teach my clients about sales and I share how we didn’t have computers or calendar systems. We used the old-fashioned paper and pen for note taking, a paper calendar, and my favorite, a tickler or follow-up system that used notes on index cards that I placed in Pendaflex files of January – December and 1-31 Days.

On the flip side, this handwritten framework allowed me to become very personal, very quickly with my prospect and clients, because handwritten notes and follow-up letters helped me stand out because I could personalize every correspondence! So are you thinking, what the heck is she talking about? Handwritten correspondence in our digital world?

 

YouTube: https://youtu.be/vSVh5HU-YqA

 

About Rick Elmore:

Rick is an entrepreneur, sales, and marketing expert, and former college and professional football athlete. As the founder and CEO of Simply Noted, Rick developed a proprietary technology that puts real pen and ink to paper to scale handwritten communication.

 

How to Get in Touch With Rick Elmore

Website: https://simplynoted.com/

Email: rick@simplynoted.com

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Hand Written Builds Long-Term Meaningful Relationships

Welcome to the show. You know I’m happy that you’re here. As you read, I know that the word sales put some people into a tailspin. I’m still offended at some of the sales training and sales behaviors that are being taught out there that are icky. We got to get away from that. To help you on your journey of changing your mindset so that we show up for sales from the perspective of serving the client, which is a big mind shift there, I have a free gift for you. It’s my free Communication Style Assessment.

You get two reports. One, spotlighting your natural communication superpowers. It’s how people are perceiving you. Perception becomes a reality anytime we’re having a conversation with a client or prospect. On the flip side, you’ll get a second report, which is your lowest score. It is typically one of our blind spots as it relates to communication. You will get a report as to what that style looks like or appreciates from a communication perspective. That gives you a little bit of ammunition on how to flex into those styles that might not think or behave the way you do.

My motivational quote to set the stage for my conversation with my guest is by Elizabeth Kostova, Elizabeth says, “It’s funny. In this area of the email, voicemail, and all those things that even I did not grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy.” It is funny. I know when I teach my clients about sales, I share how we didn’t have computers or calendar systems years ago. We used old-fashioned paper and pen for taking notes for the calendar. I had a paper calendar. My favorite is my follow-up tickler system. I had a January through December, and I had a 1 through 31-day Pendaflex. I kept my follow-up and my leads on an index card with my handwritten notes.

On the flip side, this handwritten framework allowed me to become very personal quickly with my prospects and clients. Those handwritten notes and follow-up letters helped me stand out because I was able to personalize every correspondence. I know you’re thinking to yourself, “What the heck is she talking about? Handwritten correspondence in a digital world?”

I have a guest. His name is Rick Elmore. Rick is an entrepreneur, a sales and marketing expert, and a former college and professional football athlete. As the Founder and CEO of Simply Noted, Rick developed a proprietary technology that puts real pen and ink to paper to scale handwritten communication. I’m intrigued. I hope you are as well. Rick, thanks for coming on the show.

 

CSG 123 | Meaningful Relationships

 

It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.

I love it. You’re clearly younger than I am. When I train, because I have younger people coming through my training, and I’ll say something like, “We used to calculate interest on an account via a calculator,” they look horrified. They’re like, “How would you even begin to do that?” This whole world of automation is beautiful in so many ways. In others, we are losing that intimacy. I don’t mean that in a weird way, but that intimacy of getting to know our clients so much faster. What did you do for a living before becoming an entrepreneur? I know you were an athlete, but what did you do before this?

I played football my whole life. I played in college and the NFL. I was in the NFL for three years, but then, I got done. I got into the corporate world. I was lost. As an athlete, that’s your life for so long. When I got done, it felt like a part of me died because I thought I was going to play sports forever. Eventually, you have to hang up the cleats, the shoulder pads, and the helmet and do something else.

I looked at what my peers did in their lives after sports. They got into competitive corporate medical device sales. The correlation between that type of sale and the competitive athletic environment is very close. It’s stressful. It’s rewarding. It’s challenging. You’re doing something different every single day. You’re competing. There is a team in a locker room aspect to it as well. It was a cool, natural next fit for me.

I worked for Stryker, which was the number 3 or 4 medical company in the world at the time. They have been around forever. I was in the orthopedic spine division. Within four months of being employed, I was telling orthopedic and neuro spine doctors what to do in surgery. I thought that was wild. These doctors went to school for twelve years and then are listening to this little kid. I don’t want to say little because I’m 6’5”, but I thought it was wild.

I did that pretty successfully for a few years. I took everything that I was good at as an athlete and all the intangible skills like hard work, passion, desire, perseverance, strength, grit, and all that stuff that you can learn over time. It is something you can apply to everything. I was the rookie of the year in my first year, and then in my next six years of medical device sales, I was either in the top 1% or top 5% sales rep in the company. It was desire, passion, perseverance, strength, and hard work that got me there.

I’m obsessed with getting better every single day. It’s the athlete way. I always wanted to improve and wanted to learn. If anybody can take anything from this and take it early on from this episode, it is if you can instill those intangibles into anything that you do, you’re going to get better. Your life’s going to get better. Your career’s going to get better.

CSG 123 | Meaningful Relationships
Meaningful Relationships: If you can install those intangibles into anything that you do, you’re going to get better. Your life’s going to get better. Your career is going to get better.

 

After about six years, I was not happy with it. I saw myself if I followed the corporate ladder. My family’s very important to me. I saw my managers and executives were never home. They were on the road. That was nothing I ever wanted to do. There’s an itch there. I was like, “I’m having all this success and I’m not happy with it.” I went back and did my MBA. That can go into how I got into Simply Noted. My MBA was what ignited my passion for entrepreneurship and helped me get Simply Noted started.

This is so fascinating. There are so many things I want to say based on that intro. I have two boys. My older one always wanted to be 6’5”. I’m like, “It’s too hard to buy clothes.” He is well over 6’3”, so he almost made it there. My kids played hockey. They were both goalies.

That’s a great sport.

It’s great to watch. It’s tough. My older son played through college. This is what’s fascinating, especially if there are younger folks reading. Your experience through high school and college with your extracurriculars is probably even more important when you get into interviewing than the actual, “I have a degree in.”

When my kids started interviewing after they graduated college, they were asked questions about sports. it was important because they were able to talk about life skills like teamwork and how important that is. There is also respect for self, respect for the team, and respect for a coach. It is all of those pieces of the puzzle. You said that beautifully before. The perseverance and competitiveness all translate over to their work career.

I’ve been in business for 21 years, but I’ve been in the corporate world for 40. Seeing them starting out, it’s fascinating because their bosses are saying to them, “I know you’re competitive, so you’re always the first one to the finish line. You always have the most calls. You always have the most customer interactions.” It’s because of the competitive nature of the sports.

I get that when you graduated, you’re like, “What now? What do I do?” Thank goodness you found an industry that has a competitive edge but also that learning of the work ethic that you talked about. It was well said. I hope especially the younger audience took note of that because you can achieve anything if you have the right discipline for yourself in how you show up in the world. Thank you for sharing that. That’s a beautiful inspiration, you being an athlete, for the younger generation. Thank you for that. It’s a beautiful way to start the show.

Thank you.

Let’s talk about the transition. There is one other thing. When you went for your MBA, you said entrepreneurship. You have to remember. Many years ago, there wasn’t a curriculum around entrepreneurship. You had the basics, like accounting, business administration, and business management. That was pretty much it.

Think about it. As small business owners, we’re the backbone, especially in this country of the United States. There should be a curriculum to help people understand all the components of running a business, not just being within a business. Thank you for sharing that as well. How did you transform from being that athlete to being successful in the medical industry and the medical parts, whatever the body parts, specifically the spine? How did you become a successful entrepreneur?

I want to talk about the MBA. Here’s another little golden nugget for your audience, especially people in their 20s and early 30s. It wasn’t a class that taught me to be an entrepreneur. It was me constantly obsessing about trying to find my path, trying to find my journey, and trying to find something that lit my heart on fire. I knew there was something else out there for me.

CSG 123 | Meaningful Relationships
Meaningful Relationships: It wasn’t a class that taught me to be an entrepreneur. It was me constantly obsessing about trying to find my path, trying to find my journey, trying to find something that really lit my heart on fire.

 

This is how Simply Noted came around. I was in a marketing class. I took 2 to 3-and-a-half-hour classes each semester. I’d work all day. We would start class at 5:00 PM. We wouldn’t get done until 11:00 or 11:30 once a week. I was in this 3-and-a-half-hour marketing class. The professor was talking about all the success rates in marketing. Everything was super nominal. I don’t know if he did this on purpose.

Do you know how people usually leave that big a-ha thing for the last moment to prove their point? He was like, “Email is super small as well as direct mail, cold calling, and knocking on doors.” At the end of this three-hour lecture, my brain’s mush, trying to remember all these stats and writing everything down thinking he’s going to test us on it.

He says something so profound that made so much sense to me. He said, “Do you know what works better now more than ever? It is a good old-fashioned handwritten note. It has a 99% open rate. Nobody receives it anymore. Nobody’s competing in the mailbox. It’s a great way for you to stand down and separate yourself from the crowd.” I thought that was such a no-brainer. At the time, I was in medical sales. I was working in the dental industry.

I had 400 clients in my territory. I was like, “How the heck am I going to sit down and write 400 handwritten notes?” My wife and I took two weekends to send out Christmas cards to our list. We would handwrite the envelope, which looked like garbage, and then we’d put a printed Christmas card in it. It took us two weekends before the kids. Now, we have kids. There is no way we could ever do that now.

I got to work. I was like, “There are some good ideas here. How can we take the years 2017 and 2018 technology? There has to be something out there that can help me do this.” What I did is I bought a bad pen plotter from China. It took me about a month to figure out it. These pen plotters are little drawing tools. You can hold a pen and use software that poorly mimics handwriting.

This is where my entrepreneurial seizure moment was. The idea came from putting myself in a position to allow knowledge to come to me. That was at the MBA. I was seeking. I was trying to put myself in a new area. I constantly try to grow by putting myself in new situations. I had the idea for the handwritten notes. I got this pen plotter, and I sent 500 handwritten notes. It took me over a month because it was so slow. There was no paper feed. I had no idea what I was doing. It broke. I had to redo it all the time.

From those 500 handwritten notes, I sent them out to doctors I didn’t work within my territory. I had 28 doctors call me back, which was very rare as a sales rep. If your client’s calling you, you’re doing something right. These doctors were like, “First off, thanks for these handwritten notes. That’s cool. Nobody does this anymore. This sounds cool. Let’s book a lunch and talk more about it.”

My quota at the time was about $50,000 a month. I sold about $280,000 in new business. In any business, if you bring in new dollars, that’s very important versus bringing in and farming your current business. I got $20,000 in commission. I exploded with nuclear excitement. A bomb entrepreneurial seizure moment went off. I was like, “I knew this was going to work. I’m going to figure out a way to make this a business that’s extremely valuable.”

Do you know how they say ignorance is bliss? If only I knew what it was going to take to get this business off the ground. I started a robotic software industrial automation company with a sales and athletic background. It has been a constant uphill battle, but I would not trade this journey for anything else in the world. The four-and-a-half years I’ve been doing this full-time, it’s worth 40 years of being in a corporate career. With all the knowledge, self-reliance, fixing all the problems, growing in business, being able to manage your own fears, your own anxiety, and all the pressure that’s put on your shoulders, you mature and grow so fast at becoming an entrepreneur. It’s been a great journey.

Here’s the thing. I’m lucky I can use Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s fascinating because no matter what we’re trying to learn, it’s a struggle. Some things are more complex than others. Don’t get me wrong. With robotics, that was complex what you were jumping into. This is my favorite thing about the show sometimes when I hear a story like that. You’re sitting in this benign marketing class that you need for the MBA. You’ve worked all day. You’re pooped. You want to go home and have dinner. You have this light bulb moment about, “What did he say? How can I use that?” That’s inspiring. That also gives hope to people that you never know when you’re going to have that divine download of, “There is something here.”

I share this story all the time. Thank you for repeating that and acknowledging that because that’s what I want to share about my story. I know everybody out there is trying to find what lights their heart on fire. They’re not happy in their job or they want to do something else. The only way that you create your future is by constantly seeking a better future. That’s what you got to do. You got to go out and get it. You got to go out and take it. You got to go meet new people and help people. You got to be a person of knowledge. Be a helper. Don’t be a taker. Be a giver. Before you know it, the stars will align.

The only way you create your future is by constantly seeking a better future. Click To Tweet

It is weird. You can’t get mad. It will happen faster for others for whatever reason. There may be some nepotism. They may know more people. They may know the right person. If you constantly are seeking it and constantly are chasing it, it’s going to come. That’s the mind game. You have to strengthen your mind. You got to have that discipline to keep pushing even when you feel like the sky’s falling. Mitigate your risk. Make sure you don’t get overwhelmed. Control your mind. Control your thoughts. Say your affirmations every morning if you have to. That willpower is a real thing. You can will yourself to success as long as you stay consistent.

The thing is you will yourself to success because you’re doing all good habits. You’re giving, helping, sharing, thinking, and growing. You’re going for the MBA. You’re taking online classes, even if it’s not an MBA. It doesn’t have to be even anything that’s structured. You’re constantly learning. You’re constantly seeking new information.

You’re applying that information into your life to say, “That made that easier,” and then the next stone appears itself. Maybe you can do this, and then maybe you can do this. All of a sudden, you have a business. If you didn’t take that first step of learning something new, those stones or those steps do not become illuminated because you’re not on the right path. Everybody goes, “What’s the right path?” You said it beautifully.

There is no right path. Your path is the right path as long as you keep moving forward. It’s what you said too. It doesn’t have to be structured. I’ve learned more from podcasts and YouTube than I’ve ever learned from any structured school system whatsoever. The great thing as you get older if you’re constantly learning is about skill stacking. You have to stack your skills as you get older. That’s how you create more value for yourself. That’s how you get more money because you become more valuable. There’s a great Elon Musk quote. I don’t know if people like him or not.

I love him, personally.

I like him because of how aggressively he goes after his goals and how he constantly bets all in on it. He says something, “You get paid directly for the types of problems you solve or how hard the problems you solve. Become somebody that is so knowledgeable and so skilled that you have so much value you demand more monetary outcomes.” Be that versus being somebody who doesn’t want to get better, goes through the day hoping, and waits for 5:00 in the day to get there. There’s another quote. I forget what it is, but it’s like, “Do more now, and then later, you’ll get paid more for doing less.” I forget what it is.

It’s true.

100%, especially when you’re young. You have to.

Pedal to the metal. You got to work hard. You got to show up. You got to build that authority. You have to build your reputation. You have to build your network. When you graduate high school and college, it doesn’t matter. You’re starting with nothing. How do you build that every day an show up every day? That’s your path. Put that next foot forward. Learn something new. What you learn, apply it to the organization you’re working for. There is no magic wand or magic pill that we all take. The other thing I’m laughing at as you’re talking is people are like, “They were an overnight sensation.” No one’s an overnight sensation.

It takes ten years to become an overnight success. I have a cofounder here. He moved out of California to start this business with me. We laugh all the time. I was like, “Give me 100 days and I’ll get this going.” We’re almost at the year five and we’re laughing. We still laugh about it all the time. We’re like, “This is going to take ten years.”

It does take ten years to become an overnight success. The thing is the trajectory is there. Learning is important. I’m going to ask my next question, but I want to share one more thing. It was a Gallup poll. It was 73% of Americans hated their job. Of those percentage that hated their job, 80% was because of their boss. When you’re trying to be innovative and bring something new and your boss shuts you down, how miserable is that? You’re even trying to learn and grow, and it’s like, “We don’t want you to do that.” To leaders that are reading, be mindful. To the young people that are reading, find your voice and advocate for yourself. Show up.

Also, develop a thick skin.

That is so true too. It’s never personal. It’s that you got to keep moving forward. This is the next question. Let’s talk about the actual business. We still have time. This is so important. Every day, people are graduating. You have all these new people coming into the marketplace. We need inspiring stories like yours.

You’re still a young guy. We need those inspiring stories for people not to feel like, “Is this it? Is this all I got? Is this the rest of my life?” It’s not the rest of your life, but you have to put the time in. You have to learn. It’s all about that experience and growing. Thank you for being inspiring. That was wonderful. Let’s talk about the business because it is so freaking cool. The whole handwritten thing is my generation. Let’s talk about the business, how you’re growing it and discovering new clients, and that it is a needed solution out there.

Simply Noted is a handwritten notes platform. On day one, we started with the pen plotter and quickly found out that that was not going to be a viable solution. When I start something, I don’t half-butt it. I have big ambitions and aspirations. If I’m going to put energy into something, I’m going to go all the way.

We quickly found out about two years into this that we were putting all this effort in and we were losing big deals because the technology wasn’t good enough. We couldn’t do the production speeds. They took forever to get loaded. The machines broke down all the time. We were forced into building our own handwriting robot. This is another thing. I never knew I was going to have to become an engineer or product developer and go into injection molding, iterative subtraction, and production.

I’ve been forced and pushed so far outside my comfort zone, which has allowed me to grow and become a better version of myself. We spent the last couple of years building our own handwriting robot. We’ve invested over $850,000 of net earnings from our business back into this. We have no loans, no debt, and no investors. It is completely customer funded. When people say they can’t do it because they don’t have money, I didn’t have money. All my parents gave me was love and support. They couldn’t give me money, which that, to me, was valuable.

It is priceless.

It really is. They believed in me, which helped me believe in myself. I started this on a $10,000 with a 0% interest credit card for 12 months. You can go to any bank. They give you that as long as you have over 700 credit score. Fast forward, we have AmEx bills every single month that is $50,000 to $60,000. You got to start small. You got to have the dream. You got to try to solve that problem every single day.

There’s an answer to every single problem you’re having. You’re not going to learn this in school. You’re going to learn this through the hard knocks of life. You’re going to try, you’re going to fail, and you’re going to learn. You’re going to have to self-educate on YouTube, Coursera, Lynda, and podcasts. You’re going to have to network and ask questions. That’s all I did.

There's an answer to every single problem you're having. You're not going to learn this in school. You're going to learn this through the hard knocks of life. Click To Tweet

I interviewed fourteen different engineering firms because I was so scared to make the wrong decision. We went through fourteen phase zeros. This was a few years in the business, so we had money saved up. We spent $50,000 on consultations to say, “This is what we want to do. Tell us how you think you would do it.” I would take this person’s recommendation and take it to this person and say, “Here you go. What do you think about this? How would you do it?”

All I would remove was the money part of it and who the company was. I kept pinging it back and forth between all these companies until I found somebody who proposed a better mouse trap at a better price, and then we got to work. If you are consistent enough, excited enough, patient, and can figure out how to handle stress because that’s a real part of being an entrepreneur, you can push yourself to be successful in business.

Simply Noted is a handwritten notes business. I believe we’re the second-largest provider in the world in what we’re doing. We’re doing about 10,000 handwritten notes a day. We’re the only company in the world that’s built its own handwriting robot. We have six pending patents, which is another thing because I never thought I was going to be licensing a patent, on 3 designs and 3 utilities. We built our own pens. This has become so much more because of how much I obsess about it. I want to be so good at what this is.

Objectively, we are the best option for everybody. Some people like Apple, and some like Samsung. If you want to go down the line for line, I want to be the objectively best option. Subjectively, people will choose what they want to choose. We’re excited. We’re a couple of years into this. The wind’s starting to hit our sales. We’re trying to help people build better relationships in business, open more doors, retain more clients, and increase lifetime value. It starts and ends with a relationship.

I was born in ‘88. I grew up without a cell phone. Handwritten notes were a part of my life growing up. For my generation forward, maybe not my generation backward, anybody 30s and older will appreciate this service because a handwritten note is something that they understand the value of. There’s nothing else like it. The year 2000 to 2022 was the digital revolution. We went from Web1 to Web2 with all socials like LinkedIn and that type of stuff. We’re now going to the AI revolution. It’s going to help our economy in some ways but take away a lot of jobs.

Mark my words. A service like this is going to matter more than five years from now. People are getting so disconnected. People are craving connections. People are so inundated with digital. I get a headache from all my emails and notifications. It’s a disturbance. It’s an annoyance. When you get something in the mail that’s handwritten, you’re like, “Is all this new again?” You’re excited. You’re like, “Who sent me this?” It’s an experience. That gets buried deep in your brain. You remember that.

That’s the thing. It’s the experience that we don’t have anymore. I can’t tell you the last time I got a card. It’s maybe your birthday, Christmas, or something like that, but beyond that, we don’t get handwritten anything. A lot of times, people who come on the show or colleagues that I do something for and help them out with something will send a lovely handwritten note. It’s because they want me to know that my efforts were extra especially appreciated. It goes down to that. Why can’t we let our clients and our prospects know that we appreciate and love them before they even become clients perhaps? That handwritten note could be the difference.

The other thing you said that I want to emphasize is the word patience. We’re always in this rush. We are immediate. Everything is immediate gratification. It’s dangerous because that’s more transactional in how we look at things. From the business perspective, we have to go from that transactional and go to that long game.

For me, it has always been about the relationship. Humans have not changed in the years that I’ve been working. Human connection is even more important. Look at Facebook and the LinkedIn. We have become less social, and then you have COVID on top of that. We were isolated. I feel the disconnection has become this huge crevasse almost in a mountainous area. What’s the bridge? What’s going to get us back to that personalization? I want to talk about the stats because this is fascinating. You get a 99% acceptance rate and a 2% conversion rate on those high-ticket offers using this methodology. Can you talk about that? Numbers don’t lie on the back end with the results.

I would think the conversion rate’s a lot higher. I don’t know if that was a typo. It is a 99% open rate. You think if you get a handwritten note in the mail with a stamp, are you going to throw that away? You’re not. There are plenty of studies online including Harvard Business Reviews. We even have our own personal study where we sent out a printed envelope versus a handwritten envelope and a QR code inside. We put money inside and said, “Here is $10. Scan the QR code and let us know you got this.” We’re testing an open-rate case study. The open rate for the print was around 36% or 37% and the handwritten was over 99%. It was 99.2% or 99.3%.

Think about that. First off, if you can get in front of your client 99% of the time, how is that going to affect your business? How is that going to help your business? The most personal thing you can do with somebody is sit down with them face-to-face and give them your time. Unfortunately, you can’t do that with everybody. Especially as you get older, it’s impossible. You have a family. You have kids. People want to go grab happy hour and dinners and I can’t. I have kids. That’s the night routine. It’s very important as a parent to be there for that.

If you think about the Leaky Bucket syndrome, as a sales rep, we all know what that is. It is constant client churn. The stats are not in front of me, but if you increase your client retention rate by 25%, your business can grow over 95% year over year. If you think about that, with your big accounts, it is by keeping your current clients happy and building relationships. Say, “Thank you.” Send them birthday cards. Send them a holiday card. Stay on top of mind in a personal way.

Do something your competitors aren’t doing. They’re not doing it because they’re lazy. They’re not taking the time to do it. Build that relationship. We always say there is way more ROI in saying thank you. I always laugh because I get all these realtors who use our service and say, “We want to buy your house at X address.” That’s an eye roll and throw it in the trash. What about a realtor saying, “I’m the realtor in your neighborhood. I’d love to buy you coffee sometime.” Build a relationship and something like that. Open the door with something that is giving versus asking or taking.

There is way more ROI in saying thank you. Click To Tweet

We’re trying to turn the world on its head. It’s hard to go from a taker because they’re always asking in business. You’re asking for the sale. You’re asking for the contract. How are you going to build that long-term success and play the long game? I hate it. I was in corporate. It was like, “You have to win today. If you don’t, you’re going to get fired.” I get it. How can you maintain that level of success and build those relationships so five years in your business, you’re not constantly trying to chase new clients and fill that leaky bucket?

I learned this from my wife. My wife’s in fundraising. She is an amazing person at building relationships. She’s been doing fundraising for the University of Arizona for several years. Her business is on autopilot because people love her so much. They tell their friends to come to work with my wife. That’s because she shows empathy, interest, and appreciation. She says, “Thank you.” She’s a giver. She’s like, “What can I do for you?” She doesn’t even have to go ask for business anymore. It comes to her.

I challenge people to think about that regardless of whether they use a service like this. How do you go from asking and taking to being a giver and being someone who cares and shows empathy? I guarantee you. I’ve seen it with my wife. I see it first class, first person, or whatever. It works. That’s what we try to sell here.

Be human. Humans have not changed. It’s true. As you were describing that, I was giggling because I’ve been in business for many years. I do the whole digital thing. I have my email list and all of that, but I live off referrals. One of my clients has been with me for fifteen years and I’ve been in business for twenty-one. You show up, and then you do. You get results on the back end. The proof is in the pudding.

At the end of the year, when we do contracts, it’s not, “Are you hiring me again?” It’s, “Give us some numbers. This is the number of people. These are the classes we want you to come and teach. What’s that going to cost us? Have you raised your prices since last year? Have you raised your prices?” They ask me that. Why? They trust me. They know I’m not going to rip them off. They know that next year, I’m going to come in and I’m going to deliver at an exponential level.

I become friends with my clients. We do go out to dinner. My husband meets their husbands, kids, and what have you. It’s personal. There was something you said before. Get a thick skin. When someone says no to you, rejects your idea, or doesn’t want to buy from you, it’s not personal. It’s business. It’s the timing

It’s, “Not right now.” I still follow up.

The reality is, at the end of the day, it’s human-to-human. You have to build that know, like, and trust factor. For me, the big word is trust and respect that we have to show up in business. We forget that. Look what’s happening on LinkedIn. It’s appalling to me. Somebody goes, “We have a lot in common. Let’s connect.” I see I have other people in connection. I click yes, and then it’s, “I’m an HR director. This is what I could do for you.” I block them. I don’t ever want to hear from them again. That is offensive to me because you don’t even know if I need an HR or digital whatever. We vomit on people instead of building those relationships. We function with humans, so we got to act like humans.

Here’s the deal. You know what’s coming. You need to connect with Rick. Go to his website, which I love the name, SimplyNoted.com. If you have a question for Rick, email him at Rick@SimplyNoted.com. On the website, there’s a link for them to get a free card so they get a vibe of what you’re about. The coupon code is 1FREE. Do you want to talk about the free card or anything?

If you check out, you can use 1FREE out. We’ll send a free sample kit with a bunch of samples inside of it. I’d recommend you go and request a sample kit. This is what happens. People get it, and then that’s when they have their light bulb moment. They call us and say, “This is what we want to do.” What happens all the time is they’ll get it, and then 3 months later or 5 months later, they’ll come back and say, “I got this. We have a project we want you to help us with.”

I’m not saying handwritten notes is the thing that’s going to fix or solve any business. What I’m trying to teach people, at least the people I’m mentoring, is that you got to have a bunch of tools in your belt. This is one tool in your belt. You’re going to have to have an email tool, a marketing tool, an SEO tool, and an outbound tool.

You also got to have a good product or service.

You got to have integrity, accountability, and a good product. That’s to get started, but to be successful and grow, you got to have all these tools. Think about how you are being different, how you’re building those relationships, and how you’re maintaining those relationships. We all can get better, including me. I run a business that does this, and I’m constantly falling behind. You have to be accountable to yourself. Be kind to yourself. It’s okay. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re not going to be perfect, but you have to keep trying. You have to keep trying to get better. If you keep doing that, it’s all going to work out in the end.

CSG 123 | Meaningful Relationships
Meaningful Relationships: To be successful and grow, you have to have all these tools, but really think about how you are being different, building those relationships, and maintaining those relationships.

 

That is beautifully said. Thank you for that. This is a great way to end the show. Thanks for being on. I wish you nothing but continued success. I’m loving it because this is an old-school vibe. It’s going to be a pattern interrupt for a lot of us out there with all of this digital stuff all of a sudden to get those handwritten notes. I’m loving it. Thank you so much for being on and sharing your story. I’m sending so much love to you and wishing you a ton of success.

Thank you.

It is my pleasure. Thanks for being on. I hope you will join me weekly as we question, build, and discover together. No matter where you are in your career, business, or journey in life, I hope between my guests and me, we provide some good strategies, ideas, and tips that you can implement immediately. Rick gave us several of the things that he’s done to become successful and continue to be successful and challenge himself. Take one of those ideas.

Get the free gift and see if it’s something that would work for your business. It might not work for your business, but you got to try. You got to explore it. Take advantage. He’s being very generous with you guys. Thank you again, Rick, and thank you all for reading. I truly wish you an inspired week. Please take a tip and put it into action. When we start taking information, using it to our advantage, and leveraging it to our advantage, magic happens. That’s my promise to you. Thanks for reading. I love you all. I’ll see you in the next episode. Have a great week.

 

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