When Dr. Charles Livingston was first introduced to Doug, Tony, and the ShipOffers crew by a shared acquaintance, he didn’t realize it was the start of what would become a profitable, fulfilling relationship that would help him skyrocket his sales. Being on the hunt for a fulfillment company, a friend’s recommendation carried a lot of weight with Dr. Livingston, and almost immediately he could tell he had made the right decision in choosing a partner.
While Dr. Livingston believes the quality of a relationship should improve over time, how it starts can also tell a compelling story.
“I was referred to Tony and the ShipOffers team, and they greeted me like an old friend,” he recalls. “I knew I was in the right place because the team delivered early on, and then stayed consistent and proactively looked for ways to connect with me.” It’s this type of going above and beyond that set the right expectations for what would be a fruitful venture.
“The very first promotion we worked on together, Tony was able to slash the pricing by 30-40%. We have done that same offer in different ways, improving the formulation, changing the label. Each time, ShipOffers has taken care of all the heavy lifting for us. They worked with the lab to make sure we had the right formulas. They got us favorable minimum order quantities and the best pricing so that we could scale efficiently. This early experience really set a high bar. It was great that they could offer better options and deliver on their word. But our relationship grew because the team stayed in touch and was consistent in everything they promised. That genuine touch allowed the relationship to be built on trust.”
Since his first offer, Dr. Livingston has experimented with other offers and formulas, each time relying on the help and expertise of Tony and his team. “I consider Tony to be a good buddy of mine. We have kept up our relationship over the years. We support each other, whether it’s through sharing ideas, being a friend, or referring business.
Dr. Livingston agrees that while growing and maintaining relationships take conscious effort, small, unplanned moments can also contribute to the cause.
“I remember one time Tony, Doug and I were at an event in Las Vegas and I left my cell phone in the cab. So he says, ‘Let’s pull up your iPhone’ because he had an iPhone, too. And so we could watch my phone ride around in a taxicab. So we literally jumped in another taxi cab and chased this person around Las Vegas for 30 minutes. And we finally caught up to it, and I jumped out of the car, and the taxi cab driver wouldn't give the phone to me until I tipped him. It was ridiculous. But thanks to Tony and Doug, they saved me a lot of money and stress by going with me on that little adventure.”
Aside from making unplanned memories, Dr. Livingston also believes that simply staying in touch is enough to nurture relationships authentically. Being the one to reach out, pick up the phone, or send a quick text or email can make a huge difference in how others remember you and how they feel about you. “You just need to be intentional and take the time to reach out. Don’t be the person that pings someone only when you need something.”
When a relationship matters to you, the single best thing you can do to make it stronger is to show that it matters to you. For Dr. Livingston and his relationship with the ShipOffers team, this takes many forms, but it all stems from communication, such as sharing a meal together or calling just to check in.
“I once mentioned to Tony how much I’d love a drone, and then a few days later one shows up at my door. It showed he was really listening and cared,” recalls Dr. Livingston. “In the past year, much of my focus in building and strengthening relationships has been on being available. I try to jump on calls or ping people, even though it’s nowhere close to the same effects as meeting with people in person, face to face.”
Dr. Livingston is an advocate for personal growth. One of his favorite books, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie has been especially helpful in his efforts to connect with others and ensure a balance of support and requests. Being an introspective person with a growth mindset has allowed him to play to his strengths and partner with others who are strong in areas he needs help with.
“Building successful relationships that will last 10, 20 years or more takes a great deal of commitment. As an entrepreneur, I look at most things through a lens of investment. In relationship building, investment is finding the time to connect with people, show you’re listening, and demonstrate how much you care. For example, I’ll ask myself questions like, What can I do in this situation to show others I’m here for them? Collaboration is really key in growth, because when you can collaborate, everyone in the circle wins.”