It's usually the bankers giving business advice to the professional athletes; however, this weekend at the Quad States Banking Convention in Rapid City, S.D., the roles were reversed. Chad Greenway, a small-town, South Dakota native who worked his way to Big 10 championships along with the Iowa Hawkeyes and a legendary career with the Minnesota Vikings, spoke to an auditorium of regional bankers, along with Epicosity’s business development team.
He spoke about his journey and the aspects he believed made his career what it was.
The Banker/Customer Relationship
The crux of his address: The people, the relationships and caring about others with genuine intent. That’s all well and good, but how does it translate to your business?
Establishing and nurturing relationships as a banker or marketer (or a professional football player) may be extremely different in practice, but the theory is the same. It might be innate for small-town Midwesterners such as Greenway to genuinely care. It might come more easily for the ones who grew up in towns of 300 people, to drop whatever they are doing and help a neighbor haul thousands of watermelons into town after a harvest.
However, deploying that same empathy and humility within your business will have the same effect on those around you.
Kindness as a Tactic
Using kindness as a business tactic is massively undervalued in today’s market. It is the relationships that bring in not just more business, but also the right business. Using the tools we have at our disposal as marketers and business developers gives us the opportunity to adapt the genuine thoughtfulness proposed by Greenway at scale.
For one, using our social media platforms to connect with clients, vendors, members and colleagues on a personal level and using the context they provide publicly into their intimate world, allows for opportunities to reach out with thoughtfulness and make an impact on them that they will not only remember but will also share with others and try to repay.
Greenway noted that, when signing his second and last contract with the Vikings, the front office and coaches cared less about his stellar numbers and tenacity on the field, and more about the relationships he had gone out of his way to cultivate and nurture with generosity, mindfulness and an attention to detail. This made every member of the Vikings organization that Chad met feel like an integral part in their shared success.
This is true leadership and a business strategy that will pay dividends if implemented correctly.