When I first started The Sweeney Agency I received some powerful advice from Tim Sanders, formerly of Yahoo! This is what he said:
“Don’t think about sales or closing deals, just position yourself so that whenever you can help someone you help them, without any expectations. 20% of the people you help you’ll never hear from again, but that won’t matter because you will certainly hear back from the other 80%. They will remember you and how you helped them and that will create such great relationships that you will build both a great business and a great life.”
A few weeks after Tim Sanders told me that, I was talking to Colleen – a new employee at a major software company we had worked with. She told me she didn’t really now many people in the company or the new city as she had just moved across the country to take the job. After I finished the call I remembered what Tim had said and I thought of what I could do to help Colleen.
She wasn’t looking to book a Speaker, but I did know a great book that would help her connect with others so I couriered Colleen How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by one of our Speakers, Nick Boothman. This was at a time when sending anything by courier meant no coffee for a week at The Sweeney Agency. Two days later she emailed me back thanking me for my kindness and said she loved the book.
Colleen was reading the book in the company’s café when the VP of Global Communications saw her and asked about the book. Collen referred the VP back to us and he called asking if we could help find him a book on Innovation – which, of course, we were happy to do. That led to further discussions with different people inside the company that we had never dealt with before, which led to the Company asking us to help them find Speakers for their 5 annual sales meetings. We did this for them for the next 7 years and several of the people we met at the company during those years went on to work for companies around the world and today, 12 years later, we are still doing business with several of them.
That all happened because we saw a chance to help Colleen, without any expectation of any return, and just like Tim Sanders said – they remembered us.
Derek Sweeney has been helping Clients find the right Speakers for their events for 15 Years. During that time Derek and his team have researched and reviewed over 12,000 Speakers on a variety topics and listed the top 500 on www.thesweeneyagency.com