Larry Holmes - Heavyweight Champ Relates

                   Relate to Customers - Grow Relationships

I was at the National Sporting Goods Show (NSGA) in Chicago held at McCormick Place.  Two of the companies I represented had display booths at the show.  The show ran Thursday thru Sunday and the first two and a half days I was booked solid with sales appointments, business was great.

Late Saturday afternoon I was able to get free and walk around the show to see what other exhibitors had going on.  I came upon the Pony shoes booth and there was a line in front of the booth and crowded all around.  As I got closer I saw Larry Holmes the current Heavyweight Champ was in the booth signing autographs.  I stopped to watch for a minute and the next gentleman in line to get an autograph had a camera, he asked Larry if he could take a picture.  Mr. Holmes asked “Who is it for?”  The fan replied “It is for my son.”   Mr. Holmes said “No, no, no” shaking his head no and slightly waving his hand no “Give me the camera”.  The gentleman gave the Champ the camera and the Champ handed it to the next person in line.  Then he pulled the gentlemen into the booth put his arm around his shoulder and told the next person in line to take the picture.  “There is the picture for your son!”

You could see everyone around that saw what happened got a smile on their face.  What a great way to relate with your fans.

I arrived early the next morning, Sunday, at the show.  It was my turn to prepare the booth for the day.  As I was walking to our sales booth the aisles were empty except for three gentlemen about 100 feet ahead of me.  They were browsing with no one else around.  It was Larry Holmes and what I think were two bodyguards.  I approached and did something I had never done before or since, I asked someone for an autograph. “Mr. Holmes could I please have your autograph?”  He said “Who is it for?”  I said “My younger brother Dan Larson.”  The Champ asked “Do you have a pen and something to write on?”  I gave him my pen and a business card with the backside blank.  He signed it  “To D. L. from Larry Holmes Heavyweight Champ.”  He handed it to me with my pen and I said “Thank-you very much!”  Then I got a big surprise.  The Champ reached down and grabbed my hand giving me a hand shake and said “No, thank-you very much!!”

Wow!!!  Caught me pleasantly off guard.  What a way to relate to your fans.  As you can tell this really stuck with me.  Through the years I have thought about this and tell myself “Relate to your customers like the Heavyweight Champ!!!”

                                                                              Tom

Chicago lit up!

Here is another story about relating to customers:

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