One of my favorite shows that is out there right now is Mad Men. A show focused around a New York advertising company called Sterling Cooper in the 1960’s; this cinematic drama constantly engages, relates and touches people on an individual level. Past the amazing wardrobe, sexism and chain smoking there are a series of incredibly unique characters. Pete Campbell, played by Vincent Kartheiser, is an account executive for Sterling Cooper. Once you get past his whining, temper tantrums and arrogance, you really get to appreciate what it is that he does. It is his job to network.
Think about it; a job completely dedicated to wining, dining and meeting their needs. It is his responsibility to network and build a relationship with the individuals that his company is trying to work with.
In the last 50 years since the Golden Age of advertising, things have drastically changed, peaking in the early 90’s with a cold, impersonal, materialistic mentality. As we currently go through this rough recession, we have had to re-evaluate how we do business, get and keep clients, and market to individuals. We have come full circle, putting us back in the business of wining, dining and meeting needs.
Building relationships is the most important thing a business person can do right now. Asking the individuals “How can I help you?” and “What is it YOU need?” People always remember when you help them in their time of need, especially when it is completely unrelated to your business. David Hepburn Jr. always says “People don’t buy from companies, people buy from people. If all you are doing is selling at people, people aren’t going to be sold on you.”
We are in a world where people do business with people. They don’t buy the product, they buy you. As Don Draper says “You are the product. You are feeling something. That’s what sells. Not them. Not sex. They can’t do what we do and they hate us for it.” Do what you do better than anyone else: be you. Sell you.