Business Is Very Personal

Aug 25, 2022 | Growth Tips, Management, Productivity

The famous mafia quote “it’s not personal, it’s just business” is quite memorable. And it’s wrong.

If you want to make a difference, then you have to make it personal.

This is true in negotiations, mentoring, business development, and so many aspects of business and life.
If you want to make a difference, then you have to make it personal. Share on X

Here are three illustrations:

Make Negotiations Personal

My partner, Corine, was negotiating with a doctor to get a spot in this doctor’s schedule for elective foot surgery.

The doctor (just like the airlines) made a last-minute change to the schedule which had cascading ramifications to Corine’s schedule and personal life.

So she called up the administrative nurse in charge and spoke to an affable man named Charles. She told him her life story, and why the surgery was so important to so many parts of her life.

After 15 minutes, he volunteered to move her to the front of the line. He said he would force the doctor to make it work.

She didn’t even ask him directly to do that! All she did was simply took the time to make things personal, and it impacted him deeply.

She was no longer “just a patient”, now she was a real person and even a friend to him.

Making Large Sales Is Very Personal

The older my father got, the better a salesperson he became.

Not just because he learned more techniques, but because he purposefully stopped using techniques.

Instead, he used the confidence of his personal life experiences.

When he was close to 70 years old he was still closing seven-figure landscape deals. Due to him being overtly open and honest with his prospects.

This included admitting mistakes his company had made in the past, sharing how the company made changes and stepping up to solve them.

By being transparent and showing the personal side of his business, he was able to gain the confidence of savvy buyers.

There is a cliche that we buy from people “we know, like and trust.” This approach will help you do that.

Mentoring Is A Personal Endeavor

As we discussed this concept internally, my staff reminded me that my coaching success comes from getting to know our clients very personally.

That’s not easy, given that I have consulted with over 300 companies, and 300+ business owners (some companies are owned by two or more people!).

  • We get to know their family life, their financial goals and their personal dreams.
  • We take it personally when our clients succeed and stumble.
  • We celebrate and feel sorrow with them when relevant.

Everyone in our consulting practice makes it a point to get to know our clients on a very personal basis. It’s a team effort.

We make a difference in people’s business, by making it personal.

There Is A Book For That!

Many books have been written on this topic. My favorite is The Five Love Languages.

I still put it to use in my relationships. (It’s not always easy, but hey, we all need reminders!)

The author also wrote Five Long Languages at Work, to help you understand your employees better.

Read both books for increased success and happiness.

Your Challenge: Free Up Your Time To Take These Extra Steps

It takes ample time to slow down, share and get to know your clients and employees (and prospective employees!) personally.

This means you have to free yourself up from urgent and technical tasks, and even from sales, admin and production tasks… so you can do this higher-level work.

Where you spend your time is a choice. It makes all the difference between owning a job and owning a company.

So choose wisely.

“It’s not personal, it’s just business” is a line from a (great) movie, The Godfather.

But in real life, you make the biggest impact by getting personal and discussing life, goals, dreams and vulnerabilities.

Question to consider: Do you have the time––and do you make the time––to get personal?


Jeffrey Scott!

P.S. For insight on my business coaching program, check out this page on my website.