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.

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