How to Win Business and Influence Friends


Tim Sanders

Three Rivers Press, 2002, 225 pp.   ISBN 1-4000-4683-1


Love in business books?  What’s next?  In this quick read you will learn why a model evangelist-imitating kid from a Christian home credits love in business for his landmark achievement of connecting the brokers who made possible the Victoria’s Secret internet fashion show!


In a nutshell: “Be a lovecat.  Offer your wisdom freely.  Give away your address book to everyone who wants it.  And always be human.” (3)


I. The Lovecat Way

Thesis: The world is run on intangibles—knowledge, networks, and compassion.  (10)


Definition.  A killer app is “an excellent new idea that either supersedes an existing idea or establishes a new category in its field.  It soon becomes so popular that it devastates the original business model.” (11)


“Love is the selfless promotion of the growth of the other.” (12, quoting Milton Mayeroff, On Caring)  That’s love “personal” love.  Business love is “the act of intelligently and sensibly sharing your intangibles (knowledge, network, and compassion) with your bizpartners.” (13)


By far the easiest, most efficient way to obtain knowledge is through books.” (14)  By value added, think of knowledge added.  (15)  “Without a network, knowledge is nearly useless.”  (16)


Compassion is “the human ability to reach out with warmth....” (17) “People are hungry for compassion.” (20)


“People hold you in the highest esteem when they realize you have no expectations that you will receive anything in return for what you are willing to give.” (39)  “Esteem comes down to trust.” (40)


“The more you read, the more you know, and the more knowledge you have to pass along.” (42)


“Now, because I’m not always working for cash, because I often give away my services, I receive more than money in return.” (50) “Recipients of bizlove are more likely to give back in other ways.” (51)


“Don’t be fooled.  Lovecats are not soft and vulnerable.  We are glowing, powerful, and respected by our peers.  And we are careful about whom we love.”  (56) “When it doesn’t make sense to love, don’t do it.  When it makes sense, do.”  “If you don’t add value to your team by showing the love toward someone, then don’t do it.” (57)


Three steps: Increase your knowledge; expand your network; share your compassion.  In this order.  You will be perceived as wise, which creates credibility. (57)


II. Knowledge

“Accumulate enough knowledge that you can share it with others—so you can enable them to profit from your knowledge as much as you do.”  “Lovecats who hug and kiss without adding value are...a waste of everyone’s time.” (67)


Books should be your staple diet because they are complete.  Magazines are snacks.  News is candy.  Books give you knowledge.  The news gives you awareness.  Spend 80% on books and 20% on articles and newspapers. (69-70)


4 steps to make knowledge work: aggregate, encode, process, apply. (71)

Find the right material.  Search on key words.  Watch for recommendations in journals.  Ask your friends.  Digest the material.  Find favorite reading spots.  Make a habit of reading in bed. Read interactively.  Make notes.  Use a system for keeping the notes.  Always carry a pen.  Always write when you read.  Spot definitions.  Catch the big ideas.  Note good quotes, stories, and examples.  Review each section and be sure you grasp it.  Think about how your peers and partners might use it.  Review your notes on 1 or 2 books each week.  Leverage your knowledge by finding applications for other people.  The more you apply, the more you get in return. (71-110)


III. Network

Follow a system: collecting, connecting, and disappearing.  “Every person is potentially relevant to you and your network.  Don’t screen anyone out.” (119) Always be in collection mode.  Develop a system to organize your contacts.  Use a contact manager.  Carry business cards and swap.  Follow up by connecting people.  Be discerning: don’t match randomly.  Consider your contacts as partners, peers, or prospects.  Train your ears to pick up clues as to what kinds of contacts people need.  Link people for good reasons.  Make connections timely, on the spot if possible.  Be active in making the connection.  Think constantly of ways to bring people together.  Once the connection is made, disappear.  Rewards happen.  Regarding a network, “the bigger it gets, the bigger it gets.”


IV.  Compassion

“Frankly, I fell into the final intangible by accident.  It began with a simple realization: I had started letting people know how much I cared about them—my own particular exclamation point to my lovecat ways.  I wasn’t just acting as maven or matchmaker.  I was becoming emotionally involved.  I was being human – on the job!  And this display of genuine emotion, I realized, was having a beneficial effect on my bizlife.  I’d always tried to be a caring person, but I’d never been particularly warm at work.” (147)


“I became more emotionally open.  I hugged people.  I was a two-fisted handshaker.  I made eye contact.  I smiled.  I opened my mouth and instead of just recommending a book or a bizcontact, I also expressed my feelings for the people I met in my day’s journey.” (148)


“’ve got to express your compassion, because, combined with knowledge and network, it is the way we win hearts and influence business in this, the dawn of the new business world.” (149)


“There is a tremendous opportunity for your compassion to make a difference in how people view you, and how they view themselves.” (150)


“You become the person who makes other people feel good.  It’s as if you were selling a product worth a dollar, for a penny.  In fact, your compassion makes others view you in a way that money can’t buy.” (153)


“I live to create value in people’s lives and I measure myself by their reactions.” (155)


“By expressing your compassion, you create an experience that people remember.  When people remember you, it’s good for your business.” (156)


“Showing compassion is a process, not just an action.” (162)


Compassion is a two-part process—sensing, and expressing.  Make true eye contact.  Smile.  Express warm words.  Hug. Perfect your handshake.  “When people enter a room, make it a point to look at them.”  Be spontaneous. 


“Be a warm person: listen, aspire, help – do all the things a machine can’t do.” (183)


“Never fake it.  It’s bad for the bizlove brand.” (192) 


You will get burned from time to time.  Don’t forget that love has boundaries.  “Being a lovecat is not just about being nice.”  Be smart too. (202)  “Business love isn’t always smooth.  Your defeats can sting, embarrass, or depress.”  (205)


Now execute.  “Go forth and multiply the value!” (209)


Some of my thoughts [dlm]:

The church is looking to business for operating principles.  Business is learning from Jesus.


The church is not yet doing Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, but some seem to be heading in that direction, even worship teams, – short skirts, tight pants, tight tops, bare midriffs, lacy underthings showing around the edges - attire that sensually promotes the body.


The author advises to be careful whom you love; love when it adds value to your team.  Jesus said to love those who hate you, etc.  If I selectively love those who can help me, is it a business technique, or is it manipulation, and is that hypocrisy...?