Posted on: May 3rd, 2013 by Jen Mueller

Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 8.58.23 AMYou’ve likely heard the phrase it’s not “what you know, it’s who you know.”  In business that’s especially true.  Developing strong relationships is key to your success and future opportunities.  That’s why if you’re a sports fan you should use it to your advantage.

Earlier this week I was chatting with a friend who works at a local Seattle restaurant.  She was trying to increase the number of athletes who visit the restaurant.  When she asked for advice, I suggested she help Mariners starting pitcher Joe Saunders celebrate his complete game Monday night by sending him a card and an invitation to have dinner on the house.

That approach uses sports to generate business leads and business relationships.

The restaurant was in a position to offer a free dinner, but they could have simply sent a congratulatory note and been effective in building a relationship with a new client.  The key is in the acknowledgment, not the gift itself.

With that in mind, you can use a similar approach.

  • Is your football-loving colleague thrilled with the way the recent NFL drafted turned out?  Send an email or make a note to talk to him/her about it.
  • What a local baseball team riding a hot streak?  Try handing out good luck “charms” to your team at work to keep the streak alive.
  • A playoff win for a client’s hometown team? Send a note of congratulations.

It might not seem like much, but relationships are built on interactions and conversations. And sports gives you plenty of opportunities to do both.


America's Expert Talker in Relationship Building and Growing Your InfluenceJen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand how to leverage sports conversations at work.  She is a 13-year sports broadcasting veteran and currently works as a reporter for the regional sports network ROOT Sports NW out of Seattle and on the Seattle Seahawks radio broadcast as their sideline reporter.  She founded her company Talk Sporty to Me in 2009 and is available for keynotes, presentations and workshops.  Contact her at: