A Lesson In Networking – Or, Always Overdeliver!

Feb 17th, 2009 | By | Category: Marketing Professional Services

If you’ve bookmarked this blog, you probably never stopped to wonder why I never talked about my personal life outside of what I did when I was accounting and auditing. Mostly it was because I didn’t think it was appropriate to fill what is basically a blog about marketing with inane and hokey comments about unrelated topics.

I remember how turned off I was when a marketer I had looked to as an internet mentor began filling up his messages with blow by blow descriptions of his wife’s latest health issues in a poor attempt to humanize himself. Having her health problems inserted in the midst of a “buy your ticket to my latest seminar” message just turned me off and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that.

Today I’m going to break that promise, because this past weekend I learned a valuable lesson I wish I had learned years ago. A lesson about networking and referrals.

You see, I just came back home after driving twelve hours in each direction to Vero Beach, Florida, to attend my “Uncle Burch’s” funeral. I was “sick as a dog” and felt like it would be a relief if I was to join him while I was there. But, not going never crossed my mind. Uncle Burch was someone who was “Always There,” and I had to go see him one more time.

What I didn’t expect when I got there, was the outpouring of emotion and remembrances as one person after another got up to talk about how they remembered him. How he was born “No Name Baby Boy McAdams” on a farm in Efland, North Carolina, grew up on that farm and joined the army right out of high school. How, after he got out of the army, he managed the maintenance for my grandfather’s motels, how he and my Aunt Marian and their two sons came to live with us on my folks farm for a few years. They talked about how he returned to Florida, drove a concrete truck, ran a lawn service, managed a warehouse for an electrical contractor, and more. All the things he did, and did, and did.

But most of all, they talked about how he was always doing things. Whether it was at home with my Aunt Marian, for a family member, or for who knows who. Uncle Burch was always fixing things.

They talked about how he could walk into a room and figure out where something needed to be shored up, or how he could take a piece of machinery apart and know exactly how to put it back the way it should be. And how he always did this with a smile.

They talked about how warm he was to guests, always greeting them with “It’s about time you got here” whenever they arrived. How, when they left, he would load them up with oranges, strawberries or tomatoes from the crops he grew on his small farm in Vero Beach.

Like I said, it was an outpouring of emotion and remembrances. Things that I had just taken for granted, but which as I reflect now, were the things that made it necessary for me to attend.

Later, on my ride back home to Georgia, I discovered that not only was “Uncle Burch” being remembered at the packed service in Vero, he was being remembered in small gatherings of family and friends across North Carolina. As I called my mother to tell her of the service, I heard of one service or another where family and friends had gathered at someones home to remember and honor my uncle. How parishioners had asked their churches to hold memorial services for this man who had touched their lives in such a meaningful way.

Why is this in a blog about marketing?

Always Give Good Quality, and Always Over Deliver!

This man was a farmer, a husband and a father. He didn’t get out and fight for the next sale. He didn’t live for the deal. But he did what every successful Rainmaker must do, he over delivered on what he did. He gave quality, and he gave in abundance.

And that’s what you have to do if you want your business to be half as successful as “No Name Baby Boy McAdams,” born October 6, 1927 in Efland, North Carolina, was when he died known as “Hal Burch McAdams, Sr.” on February 11, 2009, in Vero Beach, Florida.

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  1. A sad situation can be turned around by all the great stories about how a person was, all the different perspectives on that persons life really give you an insight into how they lived their life, it just goes to show that generosity and kindness really leave impressions on people, and even though you may not even be aware of it yourself, people never forget those kind acts.

  2. Right on, Kirk! There will be many stars in his crown. He was an uncommonly wise man and wise beyond imagination and kind beyond reason. He was patient with a patience beyond that of Jobe and a humility only of one who walks with God. I was proud and honored to known him and especially to have been his brother-in-law. JOM

  3. That was a great post Kirk. You shouldn’t be reluctant to tell stories in your posts as long as you’re not trying to be a drama queen or not being honest. Stories help your readers get to know you and most of the best marketers today use them very effectively.

    Your Uncle Burch sounds like a person anyone would have been glad to know. Condolences on your loss.

  4. I think you’ve successfully managed to make me intrigued and sad at the same time! Seriously though, Great story Kirk, and a great example of over delivering and doing your best.

  5. WOW Kirk- this post is just beautiful.
    Your uncle ‘s life was an example of being a giver. And consequently people loved him.
    This is how everyone should be in life.
    The sales are a consequence of being a giver. We should focus on the actions and the tasks being done in the best way possible. If we do that the results will flow.
    Thanks for this awesome post.


  6. Kirk,

    Thank you for reminding us of the message that our lives speak! I am so glad you shared this wonderful experience, Kirk and I am glad that your Uncle Burch was part of your life for the time he was here.. The message that who we are inside defines what we do and how we do it came through loud and clear, no matter what our calling. And, if a marketer, it’s important to be a giving marketer!

    best for now,

  7. Kirk,

    What a great tribute to ‘Uncle Burch’. He was a wonderful person with a heart of gold and an infectious laugh. I was truly honored to know him and have him as my ‘Uncle Burch’ as he was, and always will be,my mother’s brother.

    With fond memories,


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