People Buy People First

Two years ago I came across this crazy guy named Scott Ginsberg. He’s the Nametag Guy. That’s right. He wears a nametag 24×7. That’s his schtick. Well, I thought it was a schtick. And then I found out that he knows a thing or two about people:

  • what it takes to get their attention
  • what it means to provide “real” value
  • what it means to be “approachable”
  • what it takes to provide real CRM

By the time I landed on his web page, Scott was already well on his way to being “well known.” That’s right, just because you don’t know him doesn’t mean he isn’t well known. But I digress.

His message about “approachability” resonated with me and I wanted to talk to him. In reality, I wanted to see if I could convince him to attend one of our national recruiting team meetings and share his message of approachability with our team.

I rolled the dice and dialed his number, hoping he’d find a reason to forgo his normal “speaker’s fee” and do a bit of pro bono on my team’s behalf. Actually, I wasn’t too sure we’d even get that far, but at a minimum, I just hoped he’d call me back. After all, it would look too great for the evangelist of approachability to NOT return a call from a potential client, eh?

He did not disappoint. In fact, surprisingly, he called me back rather quickly. And, he was more than happy to take time out of his schedule to address our recruiting team…free ‘o charge.

Article Continues Below

Although I was a fan of Scott’s “message,” his down-to-earth approach, genuine kindheartedness, and the fact that he called me back (even though he didn’t “need me”), made me like him even more than his message. In a sense, I bought in to him before I bought in to his message – his service – his product – his spiel.

And he made me a believer – people buy a slick sales pitch people first.

So, in true Scott Ginsberg fashion, I’ll end this post with two questions:

  1. What is it about you, that makes people “buy you” before they buy your product or service? And….
  2. Are you approachable? No, I mean really approachable?

Humble seeker of wireless executives and passionate community-builder behind the curtains of


8 Comments on “People Buy People First

  1. First, a general comment. All these videos posted anywhere and everywhere need to have a tag with the length on it. There’s usually no way to tell what we are getting into when we click ‘play’. That’s not your fault, Dennis, and my comment about your posted is also not intended to be an attack on anyone…BUT…
    “Approachability” for an actual searching, recruiting headhunter is a debatable as a desired trait. For me, affable or agreeable might work better. Past experience in MY niche tells me that at least 90% of approaches to me are wasted time. I don’t mind them and I counsel candidates as favors etc but almost all my money,success,placements come from me approaching other people. In the past 5 years I can remember one deal where the candidate approached me… I remember it because it was the only one.

    I fully realize there are jobs related to recruiting where approachability is desireable…but we need to be careful to whom we suggest cultivation of approachability. Do you agree?

    I am still trying to think of my preferred word…maybe ‘respondable’?

  2. Interesting. In the age of social networking being THE topic – what are we to think of the message here?

    People do business with people? Really….? You better not say that too loud. You’ll be shunned!

    People are TWICE as likely to do business with a company when the relationship starts with a live person? You don’t say……

    What about all this Web 2.0 stuff. I thought we didn’t HAVE to REALLY talk to people. Can’t we just ping? IM? Invite? Share?

    Funny how the world turns. The flock is heading toward no contact, no “real” world relationships, building houses of straw all the while thinking they are on the fast track – that mass friends/contacts/ etc. is the way to success. And this guy is doing seminars on approachability?


  3. Jerry – great world we live in, eh? And yet….there are certainly people who conduct their business in both manners. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with Millenials. My oldest daughter’s world is certainly different than mine and yet I’m probably more prone to use web 2.0 tools than the average guy. However, I think she’ll require less f2f interaction to make important decisions. Granted, she’s still very social and wants the social interaction that requires looking in to somebody’s eyeballs, I just think she’ll move forward without that happening much easier than I.

    Dave – hey, and to think somebody thought we were a boy’s club that agreed on everything! πŸ™‚

    First – nice idea on the videos…we’ll see about making a note regarding video length so as not to suck somebody in to something that’s overkill on the time.

    You definitely have me thinking about your views on approachability and whether or not it’s a desired trait for headhunters. But I think the terms you noted (affable, agreeable, responsive) are attributes that make us (or give the appearance of) being approachable. I’m not necessarily being literal when I use the term “approachable.” It doesn’t mean that somebody necessarily had to approach you about business. But we can definitely have an attitude about work and customers, that reflects an approachability that makes people want to work with us versus our competitor.

    The problem is that consumers today have too many choices. That’s why companies will spend millions to have these attributes associated with their brand. That’s why Sprint just spent big cash to put Dan Hesse front and center on their prime time commercials and give him the appearance of being a normal, approachable chap.

    We can certainly have successful firms with loyal customers whether we’re Scott Ginsberg or Ebenezer Scrooge. But from a newcomer’s perspective, I believe “likability” and “approachability” are really, really close to being the same thing. At least when it comes to the money in my wallet.

    I just find that I don’t conduct much business with people that I don’t’ like. And people that I don’t like are typically not very, um, approachable (or likable).

  4. Thanks for the link love Dennis! Brad Alexander and the Statefarm gang were great – thanks for the rec! I owe you lunch πŸ˜‰

    Good discussion guys. I agree with the idea of not wanting too many people approaching you who waste your time. Gotta set boundaries SOMEWHERE, right?


  5. To simplify,clarify and amplify…. I have spent most of my life working on being more approachABLE but there is just nearly zero value professionally in my being approachED the way I do this.

    That’s not an argument or an opinoion…It is just how it is for what I sell…

  6. It seems, Dave, as though you consistently thumb your nose at processes and even ideas that are new and different. Why is that?

  7. There’s nothing new and different about “approachability”. If you are actually doing search it’s like a deer hunter covering himself with molasses. It’s time to put a name on your your idiocy…or at least change it to uninteresting 3rd party….

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *