3 keys to a great relationship

Columns - Industry Voices

December 4, 2013
Marty Grunder
Marty Grunder


Marty Grunder

People do business with people they know, like and trust.

I wish I had come up with that philosophy. It’s a great, simple strategy for improving sales. While I did not come up with those words of wisdom, I have had about 30 years of experience perfecting the process of becoming a sales professional that clients know, like and trust. So this month, I thought I’d share some insights with you.


People do business with people they know. Assuming you agree with this statement, the question becomes how can you get to know people and how can people get to know you. Well, there’s another saying I love and that is: “It’s not what you know or who you know but who knows you that will make you successful in business.” To get to know people, you have to get out and network.

You have to attend those Chamber of Commerce meetings. You have to volunteer on the committees that have people involved who either could be clients for your company or know people who could be clients: churches, schools, nonprofits, business networking groups, service clubs, alumni associations, kids’ sports, and even gyms are all places to find clients. The issue I see is the people who go too fast and try too hard. You’re trying to get to know someone and there’s no way after one encounter in a spinning class you can say you know them or they can get to know you.

When I meet someone and sense they might be someone I’d enjoy spending time with, I’ll mail them a copy of my book, sometimes a brochure for my company and always a handwritten note mentioning our meeting and asking them to keep in touch. If they are someone I wouldn’t want to sit down and have lunch with, I’m probably not going to enjoy working with them either, so I just sit still. And trust me; because I have been in sales a long time, there are a lot of people that I can tell I would not want to work with. People do business with people they know; get to know people.


There are a lot of people I get to know, and once I know them, I don’t like them. What don’t I like about people? The same things people probably don’t like when they see those traits in my behavior. Yep, even Marty Grunder has some bad traits that rear their ugly heads once in a while. For example, at times I go on and on about my kids too much. I really like hearing about others’ kids; the only time I seem to not like it is when they don’t ask me about mine.

Sometimes, I probably come across as an expert on everything, and you know what – I don’t like people who talk like they have it all figured out. I can probably be arrogant too and I really don’t like that trait. I truly don’t care what kind of car you drive, who you know and how much money is in your 401K. The bottom line is this – you need to work on being interested, not interesting. Those who ask questions in a social setting and don’t talk about themselves are the people others tend to like to be around.

This isn’t something you act like you like doing. It’s a trait you can develop and is exposed once you are confident enough in yourself. I am successful and thus confident. I do not have anywhere near the money that some of my friends and clients have, but I have enough to have a house, a nice family and a Toyota with 315,376 miles on it at last check. What more could I want? Think about the people you really like to be around, the people that make you feel better, the people that add energy to a room and conversation and try to be that person. People do business with people they like; be likable.


People do business with people they trust. This is probably the easiest of all three of the traits we’re talking about to perfect. How do you get people to trust you? Two, very simple ways. You do what you said you would do, or DWYSYWD, and you tell the truth 100 percent of the time.

If you said you would meet them on Saturday at 6:30 am before they left the house for golf, you get there at 6:25 and ring the bell precisely at 6:30. If you said you would get a quote back to them by the end of the day, you do that, even if that means working on your laptop at 11 at night.

If you said you would help someone who knows and likes you with their animal shelter fund raiser, you do that and you do it to the point they say WOW! If they ask you if you would be willing to avoid the local ordinance for storm water retention to help them, you decline. If they ask you to do something that you don’t agree with or that would harm your reputation or image in the community, you say NO! If you have made an initial sale, you do everything you can to make sure everything you promised is delivered just like you said. Pretty simple concept, isn’t it? People do business with people they trust. Give them tons of evidence you can be trusted and never give them a reason you can’t be trusted and success will find you.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. It might seem like success in sales could not be defined so easily, but I truly think it can be. Best of luck to you and Happy selling!


Marty Grunder is a speaker, consultant and author; he owns Grunder Landscaping Co. See www.martygrunder.com; mail