Your Secret Sauce: Relationships

It doesn’t matter what you do for a business, career or in life. The secret sauce for success and happiness comes down to relationships.

We don’t stand out because of what we do – or even how good we are at doing it. We stand out (positively or negatively) because of our ability to relate, communicate and influence those around us.

In business, commoditization is more the rule than not. Yes, some doctors, lawyers, accountants, wealth managers, restaurants and real estate agents are better trained or better technicians than others. But the vast majority of our success is not that expertise, experience or skill. Our success is determined by how well we connect with, relate to and provide service to our prospective and existing colleagues and clients.

South Florida is not known for having the greatest service. People complain all the time about unreturned calls, late arrivals and poor communication on the phone. When it is not like that, we feel good. We want to do business with that person – even if they charge a bit more, are a bit out of the way or make us wait. 

You probably don’t need research to validate this common sense, but we have it: Nobel Prize-winning Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likable person is offering a lower-quality product or service at a higher price.

My wife Suzy and I are looking for new garage doors. There are only a handful of manufacturers. It’s a commodity. There are tons of sales and service providers. We’ve had special offers, sales calls and have responded to online offers. Suzy has always worked with one well-known female-owned company. She is very loyal; and now I understand why. 

We made the appointment and the salesman called, confirmed the time and place for the appointment and exactly what he was coming to sell. Not a recording, not a bored telephone service agent – it was the salesman.

Today, he came. In a uniform. Smiling, engaged and engaging, and prepared. He made us both feel important and respected. He listened and offered opinions and suggestions. And then he wrote up his proposal.

He may be a bit more expensive. He may not start tomorrow. But he got our business. He built a relationship – and we will be surprised if we do not get the same level of service from his installers. It is in their corporate DNA. It is how this company – how this company’s people – show up every day.

We get to choose who we want to be and who we truly are every day and in every interaction. If we chose to do so, we make our relationships stronger and better every day. ?

Steve Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or sgarber@thirdlevel.com.

You May Also Like

Dania Beach-Based Special Needs Group Receives Prestigious Recognition From Travel Weekly Magellan Awards

The awards honor outstanding design, marketing and services in hospitality, travel destinations, cruise lines, online travel services, airlines, airports, travel agents, agencies, tour operators and ground transportation.

Breaking News: Jeff Bezos Is About To Become a Miami Local, Again

He made his announcement on Instagram last night.

South Florida Manufacturers Association’s Annual Meeting Showcases Local Success Stories

SFMA is the go-to resource for manufacturing companies in the region. 

South Florida Business Leader Jordan Kavana Raises Significant Donation for Israel

Kavana served as a trustee on the Florida State Pension Plan Board.

Other Posts

Air Pros USA Becomes Official Air Conditioning Partner for Florida Panthers

he South Florida company has rapidly expanded to numerous metropolitan areas across Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Colorado, Georgia, Texas and Washington.

The Good Group Celebrates 20 Years of Business

The company has closed approximately $350 million in commercial real estate deals, including many land deals.

Kim Ng and Miami Marlins Part Ways

Ng was Major League Baseball’s highest-ranking woman in baseball operations.

South Florida Manufacturers Association Hosts Made in South Florida Showcase During 63rd Annual Meeting 

SFMA is the go-to resource for manufacturing companies in the region. 

Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.