Here are 15 inspirational items you might find helpful in your business and personal life.

How do we show our clients we care? By our actions. We cannot be self-serving. We must be personal. And we must be unexpected.

The two most cherished words we have are thank you. And the two most neglected words in this business are thank you. We must make a conscious effort to use them as often as possible.

Two very powerful questions: “What is it that you are trying to build?” and “What are you doing that you should stop doing?”

When I conclude a client meeting or conversation, I say, “Don't keep me a secret out there.” It's something I learned from Bill Cates, author of “Unlimited Referrals,” and it is an effective way to get an indirect referral.

I like it when a client asks, “How's business?” I usually reply, “It's great, and the number of referrals I'm getting is simply amazing.” It often prompts clients to think about giving referrals.

One of the greatest virtues a person can have is the inability to be satisfied with his own work. It's OK to feel you're doing a job well. A problem arises if you feel you're doing it perfectly. That's fatal.

It is better to imitate a successful financial consultant than envy him.

I use four high-energy words in my presentations, as well as in cold calls and direct mail letters. They are:

Outstanding — “Mr. Jones, this management team is simply outstanding. I guess that's why so many Fortune 500 companies entrust it with their retirement dollars.”

Fabulous — “Mr. Jones, what this company has been able to accomplish has been fabulous, and I am confident they can continue to do an outstanding job.”

Tremendous — “Mr. Jones, we have a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of depressed prices with this outstanding company. As I mentioned before, what this company has been able to accomplish has been fabulous.”

Exciting — “Mr. Jones, this investment concept is exciting. I believe there is tremendous opportunity to earn excellent returns. It is truly a fabulous company with an outstanding management team.”

Don't forget why 95% of franchises succeed: They have systems.

Show me someone who has failed many times, and I'll show you a successful person.

Here's an example of the above. In 1915, Ty Cobb set what was then an astonishing all-time record: 96 stolen bases in one season. In 1922, Max Carey of the Pittsburgh Pirates set the second-best record: 51 stolen bases. Does that mean Ty Cobb was twice as good as Carey? You be the judge:

Cobb risked failure 81 more times in one season than Carey. Carey's percentage may have been better, but Cobb ended up with a far better gross.

Stolen Bases

Cobb

Carey

Attempts

134

53

Failures

38

2

Successes

96

51

Average

71%

96%

SOURCE: BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

Getting clients is one thing, keeping them is everything.

Remember: Clients rarely leave us over investment results. They leave over a lack of communication.

Stop and remember how you feel when you receive exceptional service, when someone really makes you feel important and wanted. I feel three emotions:

  • I'm surprised, because I'm not used to getting great service.

  • I'm happy and in a good mood, because it's exciting to feel appreciated.

  • Most important, I want to give this person or company more business!

The difference between being a good communicator and building lasting relationships is about 18 inches — the distance from your head to your heart. Sell from the heart.

Harry Pappas Jr. is a senior vice president at a major firm in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., one of Registered Representative's Outstanding Brokers and the author of the manual “Selling From the Heart.”