San Diego Business Journal

As the nation’s economy continues to recover, business owners want to know why some of their competitors grow at a faster pace. What makes the difference between their sales and the other guy’s?

When I am asked that question, I simply state that we have trained our “go-getters” how to become “go-givers” instead. That is the simple answer to a sometimes complicated question. It really isn’t the education, geographic location, age or sex of the salesperson; it is simply the fact that giving is better than getting, or to rephrase an old adage, “Give and you shall receive.”

I am finishing a new book titled, “The Go-Giver — A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea,” written by Bob Burg and John David Mann. It is a small book — only 130 pages — so it is a quick read. It is written in conversational style and is a story about an ambitious man named Joe who yearns for success.

Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. The authors take the reader through a series of common-sense steps to success. Those steps are outlined in the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and eventually teach Joe how to open himself up to the power of giving — hence “The Go-Giver” concept.

It Is Better to Give …

Here are the five laws:

  1. The Law of Value. Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

  2. The Law of Compensation. Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

  3. The Law of Influence. Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.

  4. The Law of Authenticity. The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

  5. The Law of Receptivity. The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

I will illustrate how we teach this to our members. The action or thought to move from getter to giver is best illustrated in the networking committees at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. The art of giving is taught by instilling in each committee member (the current members invite others to join the committees) that the purpose of the panel is to be one another’s sales force and assist in seeking out business opportunities for the other members of the group.

Helping Others

You are taught not to accept an invitation to join with the goal of gleaning business for yourself, but to be the marketing force for the other members. Each member is taught the five laws and then asked to put them into practice. At the beginning, the committee members spend as much time (if not more) finding business for their fellow committee members as they do for themselves.

As you spend more time in attending the meetings, the skills needed to sell for the others are honed. When the group issues an invitation to a new member, the group is actually hoping that the new member will be a reflection of their own personal characteristics — in other words, their clone.

On the cover of the book there are several quotes that pretty well sum it up. Here are two examples:

“ ‘The Go-Giver’ is the best business parable since ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’ and ‘The One-Minute Manager.’

“ ‘The Go-Giver’ will teach you one of the very best ways to increase your wealth — by investing yourself.”

So why is your competitor outselling you? Buy yourself a copy of “The Go-Giver” and see for yourself that great things come in small packages.

Ted Owen is president and CEO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.