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Planting A People tree

There’s an inspiring Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

As business owners and operators, every effort we make is an “investment” whether we realize it or not. The moment we take action, spend time, energy, focus… we’ve invested. And just like we do with our money, we must make every investment strategically to yield the best return.

So what are the most important investments we make in our businesses? If pressed, what are the first five things that come to mind? Ads? Flyers? Lead generation? How long down the list would it take you to get to… people? That includes your team, support staff, clients, and partners.

All too often, the importance of these relationships is overlooked because they’re never listed on the balance sheet as assets. But that’s exactly what they are. And if you invest well, the value of these assets will far exceed the revenue generating capacity of nearly every other line item on that same balance sheet!

We’ve all experienced losing a past client to a competitor or felt the gut-punch of a valued agent or employee leaving for another company. And while we can beat ourselves up for not planting a people tree 20 years ago… “the second best time is now.”

“Ok, I’m ready to plant my people tree… but where do I start and what do I do?”

  • Employees and colleagues. Start where it matters—these people make things happen and they play a pivotal role in looking after transactions, processes and people! Take care of them and it takes care of business!
  • Clients. Focus on them. Do not make it about yourself by adding your face, logo or mantra on everything. Be thoughtful and intentional—the investment includes intentionality and excellence in delivery of tangible gifts. Also remain consistent over time!
  • Family and Friends. Show you care. People measure how much we care in the remarkable moments we share. A thoughtful, well-timed touch can change an entire day, week, or month for a relative or friend.

That’s the philosophy. Now let’s see it in practice!

In the Relationship Economy, there are leaders that can testify to the incredible results they achieve in their businesses by investing in relationships. Focusing on taking care of their people transforms their businesses and drives unparalleled growth. Here’s what two such champions shared with us:

  • Todd Jones – “I signed up 97 clients on the Top of Mind retention plan with Client Giant* a year ago. Within three gifting cycles, I closed two transactions referred by a past client on Top of Mind, earning roughly $30,000 in gross commission; a 212% return on my investment.”
  • Mike Proctor – “I signed up 16 clients on the Top of Mind retention plan in September of 2020. Within two gifting cycles, I closed two transactions referred by clients on Top of Mind, earning roughly $30,000 in commissions; a 19x ROI. I continued adding more clients after that.”

Click here to learn more about how you can get started with your People Tree Strategy, and seamlessly implement it without it cutting into your valuable time.


This blog entry was written for the upcoming InMan Connect Conference. For more content like this from other authors head over to Inman Connect.com.

*Client Giant is the #1 Care as a Service solution that helps professionals take care of their people: clients, employees, friends, and family. Thoughtfully curated gifts and experiences are delivered on your behalf.Client Giant never features in the process.It’s all about you caring for your people.