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Peter Montoya Is A Genius

Oct 17, 2007
Peter Montoya is the author of the book, "The Brand Called You." He believes, as do I, that the primary way to build a successful business relationship is to build a personal relationship at the same time. He is so good at doing it, that he was able to develop a relationship with me over the course of just three days, and he did it without even knowing I existed. Here's how he did it.

I first learned of Peter Montoya at the Boarders Book store near my home. As I was browsing through the business section looking for an interesting guest to interview for my marketing show, "The Brand Called You" jumped off the shelf into my hands. "If you want to influence how people see you," Peter wrote in chapter four, "you must tell a story about yourself that makes the reader come away as if he or she knows you." I was hooked.

I walked to the checkout counter with Peter's book in hand. Over the next three days he answered hundreds of questions that I had concerning personal branding. He also made dozens of suggestions as to how I could incorporate those ideas into my business. His answers were straightforward, simple and yet somewhat foreign to the way I had been doing business most of my life. Early on he suggested that one of the best ways to build a bond with a potential customer was to share something personal. Could something so simple really make a difference?

A few days later I called Peter on the telephone to ask if he would like to be a guest on the Recognized Expert Marketing Show. Within three seconds of answering the telephone, I had the answer I was looking for. Here's what happened.

Bob: Hi. May I speak with Peter please?

Receptionist: Certainly. May I tell him who's calling?

Bob: Yes. Please tell him Bob Sommers is calling?

Receptionist: Of course. Just a moment Mr. Sommers.

Peter: Hi, this is Peter Montoya.

Bob: Peter, buddy, this is Bob Sommers! How are you?

Peter: I'm fine. (Silence) I'm sorry Bob, do we know each other?

Bob: (After realizing that Peter Montoya had no idea who I was.) Oh Peter I'm sorry. You don't know me. I just finished reading your book, but I feel like I'm calling one of my friends. How embarrassing.

Peter: Please don't be embarrassed Bob. If anything you've just given me a great compliment. It sounds like the personal branding I wrote about in my book worked just as I intended. Thank you.

You bet it worked. It worked so well that for the first five minutes we talked about his mom (Denise), his brothers (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John), his wife (Lynn) and his two dogs (Maxine and Molly). We laughed. We joked. We chuckled at our similar experiences growing up Catholic. And all the while I was becoming more and more comfortable with him as we discovered how many things we had in common.

Study after study shows that we like people who are like us? The process goes something like this. If I like me, and you're like me, I must like you too. From there it's an easy transition to; if I trust me, and you're like me, I must trust you too.

Had Peter not taken the risk to tell me, his reader, something personal about himself, our conversation would have been completely different. He made it easy for me to start a conversation by giving me information about himself that I would not have had otherwise.

It's so easy to share something personal about yourself on your blog or website, but most business people don't do it. They don't do it because they think it is inappropriate or a waste of time. And that's unfortunate since the exact opposite is true.

Make an effort to share personal things with your readers that are both unique and define who you are as a person. I may be impressed that you walked on the moon, but I am more likely to feel comfortable talking to you and buying from you if I know that we went to the same high school.

Writing about yourself on your blog or website isn't for your benefit, it's for the benefit of your customers and prospects. When you provide personal information it not only makes it easy for people to talk to you, but it converts you from a writer into a human being, and that's where relationships and sales begin.
About the Author
Bob Sommers is the host of The Recognized Expert Marketing Show on Maui. He also teaches business people how to market themselves and their services using free tools available on the Internet. Learn to blog and market your products and services for free.
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