In a recent conversation with a friend, he was lamenting the fact that people would not refer business to him unless he referred something to them.
I thought about that conversation a few days later when I was at Barnes & Noble and noticed, “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea” by Bob Burg and John David Mann (Penguin Portfolio, 2007). As I flipped through the pages, the book addressed that very issue — “quid pro quo” relative to business. The ideas in the book seemed interesting, and I was pleased to receive a review copy.
A quick read, The Go-Giver — like some of my favorite books — uses a story, or parable, to illustrate the points of the book. It offers the story of a “go-getter,” a salesman named Joe, who decides to contact a “heavy hitter” to help him win an account.
What Joe gets, instead, from the “heavy hitter” and his friends, are lessons in “go-giving.”
The story itself is readable and provocative, offering anecdotes and information leading to the “Five Laws of Stratospheric Success.” The details of the story are necessary to understanding each law; that’s why I don’t think I’m going to ruin the livelihoods of the authors by presenting the Five Laws here:
- The Law of Value: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
- The Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
- The Law of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
- The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
- The Law of Receptivity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.
Even if you’re like me, and consider yourself an enlightened person, this book offers ideas that take your business and your life to the next level.
I’ve already used the concepts in this book. Here are a few examples:
- I recently referred a strategic partner to a competitor, even though I already had a relationship with this person and she wanted to do business with me. I knew the competitor would be a better fit for what she needed.
- Instead of charging a new client for some necessary services, I decided to offer them at no charge, as value-added services. It immediately set the tone for the client and me to start out our relationship on a strong footing.
- I offered a job lead to someone without any desire or expectation for him to help me with something (I do this anyway, but it is a concept from the book).
Give or Get: Give this book, and get it for your own bookshelf. You’ll get thanks from the people you give it to, and you’ll refer to it often.