Going to the post office with my Dad each time he took me to school was something I really looked forward to in the morning. Each and every time we went, Dad would call every person we encountered by their first name. From time to time he would say a few kind words to the person when he said hello.
Those were the first and second of many lessons my Father taught me about networking. When you meet someone, remember their name. I learned later from a Dale Carnegie course that the sweetest sound to any person is their name on the lips of another person. The second lesson was in his saying kind words to the people he met. When you treat others with kindness, they in turn remember you in a favorable way. From there, reciprocity kicks in and what you put out you get back time and time again.
My Dad’s favorite place for lunch was Bobe’s Pizzeria in Vincennes and he never ate alone. On several occasions when I was in town and met him for lunch, he would be having lunch with two of his close friends, an attorney and an architect. My Father had a small retail store that sold graphic and art supplies. Both of these friends were business people well connected in the community. One time when I was having lunch with Dad, in walked David Goodnow, a former CNN anchor. My Dad immediately invited him over and I was surprised that David knew my Dad by his first name. The lunch was one of the more interesting I can remember.
That’s the third lesson I learned from my Father, never eat alone. You may not always go out to eat lunch, but when you do go out to lunch, make it a lunch where you can associate with other business people who can be good referral sources for you and your business.
I remember my Dad calling friends and family on birthdays, holidays and special occasions. Our home was the center of all kinds of activity. Every Christmas for years, the entire neighborhood would stop by our house on Christmas morning for an ongoing brunch. Many times there were fifty or more people of all ilk from all over Vincennes who stopped at the Klemeyer’s for Christmas brunch.
A fourth lesson from my Father. Be genuine and giving to all regardless of status or connection. My Dad showed me the Givers Gain philosophy in his actions and dedication to others. I don’t recall him ever saying, “because I did this for you, you should…” I am blessed that my Father was a connector, a genuine giver and someone to emulate. I endeavor to follow in his footsteps every single day. What lessons have you learned from your father?
Jack Klemeyer is a member of Achievers Network in Brownsburg, a part of the BNI Central-Indiana Regional Team and a Certified John Maxwell Coach, Speaker and Trainer helping business owners and leaders who are so busy helping others they don’t always take the time to work on their business. Jack always appreciates referrals!