Connecting Matters to Sell…and to Influence


As we ramp up next week’s reveal of our annual Top 10 of 2016, it’s always an interesting effort to trim and tuck to make the list as robust and complete as possible. We consider memorable moments, and we also think back about the people who have influenced us. This week, we nod in memoriam to The King, Arnold Palmer.

Google makes things pretty easy to research, and if you look up the net worth of Arnold Palmer ($675M) and compare it to the net worth of Jack Nicklaus ($280M), you might wonder why and how that can be? Palmer definitely helped lift golf to a higher level of popularity, however you can’t argue who had more success on the golf course. Jack Nicklaus with overall wins and majors.

Heads up: You’re not reading a golf blog, there’s a communication purpose here…

We can all learn so much from marketers and advertisers. They know what people like, what people follow and what we all trust. This is why nearly 50 companies wanted Arnold Palmer to represent their brand. To name a few: Rolex, Cadillac, United Airlines, MasterCard, Hertz and Sears all used him as an ambassador to represent them. As we send leaders, executives or product managers on road shows – do we think about the critical piece of connecting with others and showing passion about the product or company?

Arnold Palmer connected with people through his pure likability and the passion he exuded in all things. He also had a unique ability to smile with his eyes, which gave off warmth, compassion and care. From Palmer, it felt genuine, as many remembered, it stretched beyond signing autographs or waving to adoring fans….Yes, a famous athlete really could connect with the masses.

Palmer radiated confidence – he was even known as “Mr. Charisma.” When we break this down, that’s because he looked at people, smiled and shared strong energy with his voice. Whether it’s in a product pitch or even an engineering conversation about code, we can all use these same techniques to connect.

Bring the passion.

Be intentional about it, and smile more with your eyes. After all, connecting is what matters.

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

It’s a term that doesn’t get used often, although we all talk about it quite often. You know someone who bought a car or was thinking of buying that car. Then all of a sudden, they see the same car all around them and wonder what happened? That’s Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, and it … Continue reading

Club Trip? Yes, Please!

So many companies reward their top people with a trip. Destination: Hawaii, Mexico, Sonoma or somewhere exotic that feels like a getaway. Earlier this year, I even saw a bunch of top medical sales professionals in Park City, Utah enjoying a club retreat (as we were on day 10 of … Continue reading

Did You Read My Email?

If you’ve ever said or sent that question, you need these email tips. What’s the matter with emails? We read (and write) them when we’re sitting at our desks, moving between meetings (or sometimes even during meetings), hopping on the subway, standing in line for lunch, watching Netflix or even … Continue reading

Too Much Executive Presence?

Many Fortune 500 companies have high potential (HiPo) leadership programs that work together over weeks and come together to deliver a final presentation on a project or idea to the top leadership and CEO. We sometimes get the chance to be brought into these programs to cultivate “executive presence” among these rising leaders. Over the course … Continue reading

Is There a Second Tier Audience?

We’ve all done it. Opened the previous deck. Tweaked a few slides. Updated the numbers on the corresponding leave-behind, then scrambled off to the next presentation, meeting or coffee. Most of the time, it works. The new client or contact gets the bulk of the information you wanted to share, … Continue reading

The Big Short

A lot of times people ask, “What are the essential components of a speech?” They’re looking for the silver-bullet, the ideal length of time spent, the appropriate level of seriousness, how much humor, how many data points to include, etc. Often, we look to TED talks, popular speeches and commencement … Continue reading

It’s Called Humble Confidence

Who would you rather sit next to on an airplane… the I’m-so-great-guy who tells you exactly where to go and what to do – and how he knows all the insider scoop from sports scores to restaurants to books to read, or the guy who offers ideas and suggestions, paired … Continue reading

Adapt – Stay on Course

One of my favorite things in any race is when they show where racers should be, compared to where they are. They did it with Secretariat and American Pharoah (like the photo, above), they do it during the Olympic sprints, and we do it with ourselves and our yearly goals. … Continue reading

The Top Ten Best (and Worst) Communicators of 2015

From the power of care and rapport to the sexy baby voice, what can we learn from the new breed leadership sweeping through business, pop culture, politics and sports? Each of the people on the 20th annual list of Top Ten Best and Worst Communicators of 2015 can teach us … Continue reading