When I first started in business, the way to build a relationship was by doing local grass roots marketing. Joining local civic organizations like Rotary, Lion’s Club and The Elks or Mason’s. Sometimes I didn’t enjoy the event, the content or in some cases the people, but I always found ways to connect with potential or current clients. I always learned something about their life and they learned something about mine, and that made all the difference. When they decided to make a buying decision, often times they chose me because they had a relationship with me. Back then I also spent a large amount of time with local church groups and membership organizations like the German American Society of Lackawanna County. By far my favorite was the German American Association. The average median age was 73 (not including me, I was 23) and this group joined together monthly to drink Rolling Rock beer and eat Limburger Cheese and Liverwurst. Yeah, the smell of limburger, liverwurst, and raw onions was enough to keep my newly wed wife from giving me my much desired hugs and kisses, but the times I shared with those men were irreplaceable. Today, many of them are gone and for that I’m sad but I’m also very happy I chose to build a relationship with them while I had the chance.
Whenever I take a break, say in a cool cabin away from the heat and the hustle and bustle of the Phoenix area, I find