About a decade ago I was introduced to Gary Pica. Gary is one of the best salespeople that I’ve met in my life. Gary understands the process of how sales works and can explain the context of why we need to do things better than any entrepreneur I’ve met in my 30 plus year career. When I first met Gary he told me about the process he learned early in his career, when he was a first time salesperson. It started with his Warm 250, that was the list of 250 people that he needed to stay connected to in his marketplace. Then it moved to his 30/60/90 day follow up system. Each of his 250 warm leads were on his calendar either 30 days out, 60 days out or 90 days out.
I have been practicing a very similar system during my career yet I never had a formal process and never systematized it. What I learned from Gary, as well as from Jim Sweeny, one of our country’s great networkers and author of the book Networking is a Contact Sport, it’s not just about following up with people. Even more important than the 30/60/90 day followup system is the reason why you’re connecting with them. I have found that the more you learn about people, the more anniversaries you know about, the more birthdays, the more major events in their life you know about, that’s how you can deeply connect with them on a human level.
Joe Sweeny has created the Sweeny 22, which is a list of 22 pieces of information that he wants to learn about every person he meets. The information ranges from spouses name, kids names and birthdates to anniversaries along with favorite food, favorite drink, favorite life experience, where they were raised and so much more. All of this information gives us the opportunity to genuinely connect with people at a much deeper level than the average conversation. It’s what makes Gary and Joe so memorable. Joe Sweeny was so good at this process that Brett Farve asked him to be his agent early in his career. Joe has a voracious appetite for learning about people and that appetite has provided him with the deepest of relationships and an immense amount of joy.
Over the past 3 years of finding my way around San Diego, I’ve done my best to build my Warm 250 (which for me is probably closer to a Warm 500) and I continue to learn about each and every one of them. My objective is to not only find out things that I can connect with them personally, more importantly for me is who I can introduce them to that they might connect with at a deeper level. If I can introduce two people that have a common passion, especially if it has nothing to do with the work they do, then I am all over it. People love meeting others with shared purpose and passion and I love being the connector for them.
Over the coming years I will be earning my living doing just that at Corporate Alliance, keeping up with my Warm 500 and connecting people just because. I don’t know why I do what I do and I’m not sure how all the synapses in my brain allow me to connect the right people to each other on a regular basis, yet I do. Many years ago I stopped asking why I’m wired the way I am and started focusing on how I can use my gifts to help others. To me serving others is what this lifetime is all about. I hope that you are able to identify your Warm 250 and that you can find a way to stay connected to them on a regular basis in a genuine way that is consistent with who you are and one that you enjoy. Staying connected can be a fun game and I promise you that the people you serve will remember you for a long, long time!
To a life well lived ……