Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dinner and a Limo with Harvey Mackay

I had dinner with Harvey Mackay at his home last night, along with a group of folks helping promote his new book, The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World.

He shared dozens of anecdotes about business and life, many of which you'll find in his books.

(Writing was in Harvey's blood even before sales -- his father was a correspondent for the Associated Press in St. Paul for 35 years.)

My favorite story was about the chance meeting in a limo that helped make Harvey a best-selling author ...

In 1988, after publication of Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, Harvey found himself in the same New York ad agency as Larry King. Each was there to shoot publicity photos.

Harvey wanted to ask Larry King to book him as a guest on his TV show, but missed his chance. Quickly, the shoot was over and Larry headed out the door to his limo.

Harvey, dejected, walked out to hail a cab. Suddenly, the window rolled down on Larry King's limo -- "Where ya headed?"

"The Carlyle Hotel," replied Harvey.

"Hop in!"

Taking his seat, Harvey remembered a lesson his father had drilled into him as a kid: "When you shake someone's hand for the first time, ask yourself: 'How can I help this person?'"

While engaged in small talk, Harvey's mind raced: "How can I help Larry King?"

Nearing the hotel and running out of time, Harvey had an idea. "Larry, do you want to sell more books?"

"That's why I write 'em!" he said.

"Well, I've made quite a study of the publishing industry in the last year and I may be able to help you," said Harvey.

Just then, the limo pulled up at The Carlyle, but Larry told his chauffeur to turn off the engine and wait. "Go ahead!" he said.

About 15 minutes and 7 ideas later, Harvey had given Larry plenty of help. And Harvey had an invitation to appear on Larry's TV show.

Harvey's first appearance on "Larry King Live" sold 50,000 copies of Swim With The Sharks, and led to a spot on Oprah ... that sold another 50,000. The rest is publishing history.

So, next time you're talking to someone who can help you, resist the urge to brag about yourself or kiss up to them. Instead, ask yourself: "How can I help this person?" Then let the answers guide your conversation -- you may be very happy where it ends.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

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