Make Business Simple – Four-word Rules for Success – #2.

Make Business Simple – Four-word Rules for Success – #2.

Make Business Simple – Four-Word Rules for Success

Over the next few weeks we’re going to be talking about the four-word rules for business success.  My goal is simple: I want to give you easy to implement tools, tactics, and techniques that will make your business better.

Each rule is only four words long because that’s all it takes to make a huge difference to build your brand and your business. And because four words are about all my short attention span can handle!

Last week we talked about Rule #1, “Shut the @#$%!! up.” If you missed it and want to start at the beginning, just point your browser HERE.

Take them to lunch

While I’m convinced that Rule #1 is often the most important thing you can do in most business situations, it’s not lost on me that you need to get into those situations in the first place.

That’s why you need Rule #2.

Whether you’re trying to get a face-to-face new business presentation or your goal is to reach out to reporters and bloggers to get them to write about you, you need a strategy. The one I’ve found to be most successful is a lot easier –  and often a lot more fun – than you think.

But first, a story:

A number of years ago my little advertising agency landed a whale. We parlayed a small marketing assignment we did for the Sawgrass Mills shopping center into a full agency of record (AOR) relationship for three of their four properties: Sawgrass Mills in Ft. Lauderdale, Gurnee Mills in Chicago, and Franklin Mills in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, even with that great David and Goliath story I couldn’t get the advertising press to write about us.

But at the same time, one of the big New York agencies won the Potomac Mills account in Washington D.C. Their success was plastered on the front of both AdWeek and AdAge Magazines even though they only had one Mills account AND WE HAD THREE!!

WTF? How come they got the article and I got the shaft?

Not knowing how to fix this situation, I called a good friend of my father’s who was the president of Miami’s most acclaimed public relations firm. She agreed to have lunch with me and give me some advice.

We chit-chatted through lunch. I was getting impatient waiting for the answer but she kept talking about everything but what I wanted to know.

Finally, the check came and she was ready to go. Before she got up to leave, she scribbled a few words on a napkin, bunched it up, and slid it across the table to me.

“Here are the four magic words to getting PR and business. Don’t you dare look at them until I leave and don’t tell anyone I let you in on the secret.”

And then she left.

Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for her to leave so I could uncover the truth. The minute she was out of sight I uncrumbled the paper and read the four words that changed my life:

“Take Them To Lunch.”

Here’s the truth that no one tells you: regardless of whether your business is B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer), your business is P2P (people to people). And the best way to get to know them and get to have them know you is F2F (face to face).

If you want to build your business, your bottom line should be to generate as much interest in you and your activities as possible. And while there are no direct metrics to extrapolate how many lunches it takes to generate additional income; a good rule of thumb is this: the more the merrier.

Work hard to make your professional persona ubiquitous and it will pay off in perception and interest. And sooner or later those things will all lead to opportunities and success.

But it all starts when you take them to lunch.

By | 2017-07-04T22:53:46+00:00 July 4th, 2017|4 Comments


  1. Brett Overman July 5, 2017 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Well said…..its still the simple touches!!!

  2. Paras Doshi July 6, 2017 at 6:18 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this essential tips to grow the bussiness

  3. David J. Hawes MAS+ July 7, 2017 at 5:25 pm - Reply


    I had the pleasure of listening to Thomas L. Friedman speak last week at Temple Israel in Minneapolis. One of his best lines:

    “Get off Facebook, and get in front of someone’s face!”

    Thanks for another thought-provoker, Bruce!

  4. Robin Jay July 26, 2017 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Bruce, as “The Queen of the Business Lunch”, I’m happy to applaud this column. As you probably know, I hosted more than 3,000 client lunches and saw my sales increase by more than 2,000%! That is why I wrote “The Art of the Business Lunch: Building Relationships Between 12 and 2″(Career Press, currently in 12 languages.) It’s better for building business than golf…. since EVERYONE eats. You can’t overestimate the value of breaking bread with clients and prospects. The benefits come in biblical proportions.

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