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What If?

Strategically Speaking
Sep 9, 2011

Rob Quillen Author: Rob Quillen,

Every once in a while, an event happens in our lives that changes our lives forever. Every once in a while, we see an event that creates an opportunity to change someone else’s life.

On Sept 10th, 2001, I sat next to a perfect stranger on a flight to Newark, NJ. That stranger was Jason Dahl, who the next day during the terrorists’ attacks on America, was the captain and pilot of Flight 93 that crashed into a field near Shanksville, PA.

During our flight together, I made a connection with Jason. Not just a normal “where are you flying to?” connection, but a personal one. We connected enough for Jason to tell me a dream that he shared with his then-15-year-old son, Matt. Their dream was to go to a NASCAR event and meet racing superstar Jeff Gordon. Jason and I made arrangements to meet in Kansas City a couple of weeks later for a scheduled NASCAR race; one that would be my treat.

When the attacks of 9.11 happened outside of my hotel room in New York City and I learned that Jason was the pilot of Flight 93, the dream could have ended.

Instead, 19 days after 9.11 (in a story I chronicle further in my new book, Why Wait?), Jason’s dream came true.

As I reflect on this now, in September of 2011, I realized then that all of us have the amazing ability to make other people’s dreams come true – we just have to make a decision to do it. Each and every day, all of us speak with friends, family members, prospects, and customers. We talk about our day, work and business. But how often do we stop to take a few minutes to get to know someone a little more? How often do we ask about their personal goals or their dreams? It’s a simple question, but few of us do it.

What if we did?

In our business lives, “relationship building” is pounded into our heads every day. What if tomorrow, you focused on one person in your business life – either a current customer or a prospect – and really got to know them? What if you got to know them to the point where you started engaging them about their dreams? How would they feel? How would you feel if and when that dream was achieved? What would that do to your business results? What if your prospects or customers felt so connected to you that they only did business with you because of it? It’s easy to do; just take the time to do it.

When I give speeches about the book and my experiences with Jason, I ask people to close their eyes for five seconds and then raise their hand if they thought of one person that they want to reach out to, get closer to, and help make their dreams come true.

Close your eyes for five seconds and think of one person…now go make it come true.

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