Applying The Platinum Rule To Enhance Small Business Interactions

The ability to read customer signals and then adapt your marketing approach is a key to business success according to Dr. Tony Alessandra, creator of the Platinum Rule. …

The ability to read customer signals and then adapt your marketing approach is a key to business success according to Dr. Tony Alessandra, creator of the Platinum Rule. Recognizing and responding to different behavioral styles, improving communication and even charisma are skills that apply to every aspect of personal and professional life. See the following article from for more on this.

Acclaimed author and speaker Dr. Tony Alessandra famously upgraded the Golden Rule for a new generation, creating the principle of the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as THEY would have you do unto them, by relying on all of your senses to detect signals and sense the receptivity of your audience or customer. Skills of observation and adaptation are essential, since “people will show or tell you how to treat them.” Alessandra’s platinum rule itself evolved from a dissertation topic into a book and eventually a commercially successful web-based assessment tool utilized by small businesses and large to improve performance.

Four Basic Behavioral Styles – and their Inherent Strengths and Weaknesses

Recognizing the link between buyer and seller similarity and sales success, Alessandra asserts that salespeople must tailor their method to suit the client. This requires recognizing your own style as well as that of the customer. The four fundamental behavioral styles are :

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The Director – An effective administrator and delegator, but often an ineffective listener.
The Thinker – Excels at analysis, accuracy and planning, but is prone to inaction in the quest for perfection.
The Relater – A good team player and listener whose desire to avoid conflict leaves him vulnerable to manipulation.
The Socializer – Excels at persuasion but a short attention span leads to failure to follow through.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, managers must adapt to suit the style of those they manage, shifting styles as the situation demands. Thus, with Directors, they must adopt an all-business approach; with Thinkers, be explicit and well-prepared; with Relaters, demonstrate interest and develop rapport; with Socializers, generate excitement and engage attention.

Communication and Charisma

Although communication is crucial to career success and applicable in every profession unlike specialized knowledge, this skill is often overlooked in conventional education. And while some seem to possess an innate charisma, it is possible to develop this intangible quality by honing these seven behavioral skills:

  • Subliminal signals that shape an initial impression; your speech, demeanor, and physical presence.
  • Persuasion
  • Effective speech
  • Listening
  • Flexibility
  • Effective use of time and space; specifically, punctuality and contact
  • Strength of vision and ideas

For the small business entrepreneur, success depends on developing effective people skills and a service-based mindset, with the goal of building long-term customer relationships and long-range success rather than focusing on immediate events. Regardless of who handles your finances, paying attention to the bottom line is critical. A successful small business today starts with a plan that not only identifies a target demographic but also includes a strategy for dealing with those you want to avoid. An effective entrepreneur is constantly reinventing himself and being receptive to emerging trends, for instance establishing a presence in the digital domain.

This article is based on Episode 165 of Jason Hartman’s Creating Wealth Show. You can listen to the full podcast at, an investment property and wealth creation site.


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