Yup, Rod Stewart sang the song Forever Young. I'm not young and not really old yet. At least in my own mind. What I am is a believer in what can be and strive to be the best person to everyone I know. But, you know what, that's hard work. Now what does any of this have to do with my passion, marketing? Well... not a whole lot. All I can say is the world revolves on building relationships, especially in sales and marketing. This is where many companies fail. It really is all about relationships-- Talking, communicating and exchanging thoughts and ideas. Being not just a vendor, but a friend too.
I was in a Family Dollar store today. For those who know me, me in any kind of shopping venue is very unusual, but my grand daughter wanted me to get her a small pool for her and my dog. How could I say no to that? Especially when the temperature is in the 90's here in upstate New York. While checking out from the Family Dollar there was a new recruit learning the ropes of retail and dealing with the general public. I could tell she had a rough day. Her manager told her that she had done a great job and to not worry about the people that gave her a hard time. She said to kill them with kindness and that will make them think about being difficult again, plus it will make you feel better. We all know that doesn't always work, difficult people will always be difficult, but it made the recruit feel good. Both the manager and the recruit are in their upper 20's at best. Wow, some real world guidance in customer service in difficult situations at a young age.
Now back to forever young... I've lived through difficult situations as a business owner, dad and friend, but tried to learn from every one of them. I learned to control my temper with the very thing this young lady suggested, kill them with kindness. You really never know when and how that brief relationship will come back in your lifetime, so why not make it positive on your end? People really haven't changed much since the 70's. Yeah, there will always be the selfish, ignorant, argumentative people, but look at them as a personal challenge. They may walk away shaking their heads, but you will have a smile on your face. Isn't that what it's all about?
So, when it comes to relationships, wherever they may occur, I use my many years of relationship building to stay forever young by treating people the way I did over 30 years ago with the same respect that I have become accustomed too. Using those learned techniques over those years in business to build a network of business friends, both young and old to satisfy my need to be the best at what I do. That young lady at the checkout counter today will be forever young by being positive and getting the upper hand on stupid customers. Heck, Rod Stewart is 73, he looks forever young and has built relationships with people he doesn't even know. You and I can do that too, just by being positive, thoughtful, kind and smart.