“Jenny called me and said she loved you,” my client wrote to me. He’d emailed just to give me feedback after referring me a potential new client.
“She said you were great and exactly what she was looking for.”
There’s no better way to end the day than with an email with that news.
I typed my reply, “Well, I hope she decides to become a client.”
I sent my email. Within moments, I received one back from my client that simply said, “She will.”
This very dear client connected me with a celebrity in New York. She’s a household name (and no, Jenny is not her real name and she’s not married to Ben Affleck!), and her success is well deserved.
She also needs a whole lot of sound financial planning, which I am eager to assist her with. But it has nothing to do with her fame. Quite the opposite, I want to genuinely help.
I can’t help but think that it must be hard for her to get honest, straight dealings in business. I’m sure that when most people meet her, they try and impress her with how much they know, who they know, and talk about themselves. You know, the celebrity thing.
But the approach I took when meeting her – that I always take with any client – is to listen.
What’s bothering them?
What do they need and why?
Do they really want and need that, or is there something more behind the curtain?
What do they want their life (and finances) to look like twenty years from now, or even for their children?
The problem in business (and, to some extent, life) is that most people are in it for themselves. They/we forget the first rule: you receive much more when you make it all about giving, serving, and helping others.
But that can’t be inauthentic; you have to really want to serve. It all starts with that shift in mindstate.
However, when you do reach that point of self-actualization (thank you, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs), you no longer worry about adding clients, closing deals, or the balance in your bank account. Instead, you’re focused solely on being of value and improving the lives of other human beings.
The results are truly incredible:
More honest conversations,
And the warmth of knowing others feel that you really heard them and have their back.
While I pride myself on being a good listener in business, I still have a lot of work to do and a lot of areas to improve. I’ve probably not been as good at listening in my personal life, for instance.
I still have a tall mountain to climb to get to where I want to be, but it’s a wonderful journey, and one which I enjoy every day.
And it all starts by taking the extra time to REALLY listen, to be more present, and get out of our own heads.
This week, I will try to do that again for anyone who calls, emails, meet me, or refers a client. I’ll stop and be there for them no matter if they are a celebrity, have millions to invest, or are a young family just wondering how to get started on a better future.
That is my passion and my purpose. I’m here – and I’m ready to listen.