Success Stories

Relationship Marketing With Kody B: Darla DiGrandi

On this week’s Relationship Marketing with Kody B, Kody interviews Darla DiGrandi. Darla is an entrepreneur through and through. She learned at a very young age while growing up and watching her mother, how to appreciate people in her life no matter what capacity they served whether personal or business.

Darla’s experience in customer satisfaction taught her that building wealth and financial leverage through appreciation is powerful. So much so that she ran the most expensive, high priced salon and day spa in her area.

100% of her marketing dollars went to building customer satisfaction by implementing a tangible offline relationship marketing strategy.

Kody Bateman:  Hello, everybody! This is Kody Bateman. Welcome to our Relationship Marketing Podcast show. We’re very excited for another, yet another incredible guest we’re going to have on with us today. I got to tell you, some of our pre-shows, we usually do a little pre-show banter back and forth with our guest and I always get really, really excited in those pre-shows because it’s amazing, the guest had come on here and the excitement that they have for relationship marketing, the excitement that they have for what they are doing in their current businesses. And my goodness! We’ve had just incredibly passionate people. And well, I’ll tell you, what we have today, who we have today is just absolutely amazing.


So I’m going to explain the detail of this young lady’s accomplishments. But right now, I want to bring on my dear friend, one of my dear friends, mentors, somebody that I really look up to, learn from all of the time, Darla DiGrandi out of San Diego, California. Darla, are you with us?


Darla DiGrandi: I am. Thank you, Kody.


Kody Bateman: There she is. Great to have you on. We got you right there in your home today and you’re going to be sharing some incredible things with us. Now, I want to explain to our listeners, now we have listeners listening to podcast today. We also have people that are watching this on YouTube. So sometimes you might be referring to some visuals, our YouTube people will see those visuals. We will try to explain those visuals to our listeners as best as possible.


But Darla DiGrandi, a couple of businesses. First of all, for 19 years, she was in the salon and day spa industry. She was an owner of a salon and day spa, very successful owner. And today, she has gone on now to be one of the top relationship marketing consultants in the world. So, she goes out and teaches people how to do relationship marketing. And she doesn’t just teach by theory, she teaches by example because she lives what she teaches every single day.


She is another one of those what I call “in the trenches salespeople” that’s doing every day what she teaches others to do every day. And those are the ones I like to have on the show.


So let me just share with you a little bit about Darla’s background. Nineteen years a salon and day spa owner, when she launched her salon business, a hundred percent of her marketing dollars went into a tangible offline relationship marketing strategy. So she actually started her whole entrepreneurial career doing the stuff that we teach today. Her strategy – well, within 12 months, let me tell you a little bit about her accomplishment in doing this, within 12 months of her launch, she grew her employee base from 8 to 49 employees, was recognized as one of the top 100 fastest-growing salons in the country, and grew that business to $3 million per year in business.


She is going to talk a lot about how she sold premium like she was in the premium business, sold products and services for a much higher price than normal, and grew that business that quickly by implementing what she is going to teach us and talk to us about today.


So Darla, let’s start out and let’s – I mean those are impressive numbers. I mean 8 to 49 employees, $3 million in business, one of the 100 fastest-growing salons, talk to us. How did you do it?


Darla DiGrandi: Awesome. Well, you know, it started way back when I was a little teenager. I used to read the Guinness Book of World’s Record. I read it all the time and I would dream about how I am going to get in this book. I would always say like, “What can I do?” And I would always try and invent something or try pogo stick or whatever to get into the Guinness Book of World’s Record and I read this book all the time. And I remember the story about the number one car salesman and how he used to send cards to his customers to show appreciation. They would line up at the door and want to buys cars from him and he used to send like 14,000 cards a month.


And I never thought anything of it as a teenager. But when I went into business, that story came to the front of my mind because I’m just a high school dropout, typical hairdresser that goes to beauty school after they dropped out of high school and got a job and didn’t want to be an employee. I wanted to own my own business but I didn’t have any money. I’m just like some 18-year-old kid. I didn’t have any money.


And so, I was really driven by wanting to be an entrepreneur. Then I remembered the story of this guy and I’m like, you know if you treat nice – side note, my mother was a politician for 16 years and my mom does everything that I do today her whole life. She is 83 years old now, doesn’t have a computer or a phone or anything but she is still that lady that gets a chocolate candy bar with a candy cane and a $10 bill and has a stock of them at Christmas time and gives to the lady at Walmart, the postman, her dry cleaner. That she is still that lady today.


And they say – what did they say? Your funeral will determine the impact you left on other people’s lives? My mom’s funeral will have standing-room-only lines at the door because this has always been the way she raised us kids. I mean when we were little, Christmas time, we would sit and hand write cards, hundreds of them, and then we would get hundreds and I would tape them up all over the walls and decorate the house in all these Christmas cards because she understood, be kind and expect nothing in return.


People would send their gifts. She would donate them. People would want to do something for her, she would donate it. She didn’t want – she says, “I don’t do kindness because I want something in return.”


So this was kind of instilled in me when I was little and then reading that story. So when I decided to go into business, I’m like, “Well, we don’t have any marketing dollars. What are we going to do?” And from day one, I’m like, “We’re going to send …” and this is back in the day. This is 30 years ago. All it was, was a white postcard you got at Avery Labels. I think it’s before Avery, when you put the label on and you wrote hand. And we did that. It was mandatory for every single person that came into business. And it worked. I mean we treated people with kindness.


And so, I had a really good mentor when I was young and I was – and I learned a few things about wealth and leverage. Wealth and leverage, that’s a whole other podcast. But I learned that the number one reason why somebody leaves your business is not because of price or service, it’s a perceived indifference that they think you don’t care about them. And it’s also the number one reason why they will stay. If you can care about them and they know that you are grateful for the role that they play in your life, they will stay with you.


Now, my men’s haircuts were $100 and women’s haircuts were $200, Kody, and we were an apprenticeship school. We were not a typical salon where the rich people go.


Kody Bateman: OK. So hang on a second. Hang on a second. For those of you on YouTube, I’m going to take my gear off, so I want to know, here’s me, I don’t have much hair. So I get the number one thing like twice a week, would that cost 100 bucks?


Darla DiGrandi: Absolutely. Bald men’s haircuts. But before …


Kody Bateman: No, seriously. You charge me 100 bucks for that? Now, how do I get $100 value out of a number one haircut?


Darla DiGrandi: The experience and the way we made you feel. I knew that if we could treat people like a celebrity and treat them like they were important and valued that they would want to stay with us. So before you even got to your haircut, you spent 45 minutes getting a hot towel steam facial and a spa. You got a foot and arm massage. You got a cranial massage. You got – you were just pampered, relaxed. By the time you came out of this hair spa, we didn’t have our shampoo balls out in the open like all salons do. It was in …


Kody Bateman: OK. You got me. I’m sold now. Now, I’m sold.


Darla DiGrandi: You didn’t care if we shaved you bald or colored you by that point. And then you got a card in the mail from us thanking you for being a part of our reinvention of the industry, our experience that we’re doing to change the hair world. So you got valued and appreciated.


And let me tell you, we made people cry every day. We cut their hair wrong. We fried it. We colored it wrong. We were constantly doing redos all the time because it was a school. You were an apprentice. I would take you under my wing, teach you how to do hair, you never went to beauty school. By the time you graduated two years later, you’re making 6 figures.


Kody Bateman: Wow! That’s incredible. So you started doing this card sending a long time ago and we have a kind of sophisticated card sending system today and we’ve been teaching this concept called the 80-20 rule, 80% of your touches should always be about relationship only and 20% of your touches go out using tangible touches like greeting cards would be for promotional use. But you were doing that 30 years ago. I mean you literally live that principle a long time ago. So tell us a little bit about how you live the 80-20 rule even back then.


Darla DiGrandi: And not just in sending cards, Kody. We taught – because most – the majority of my employees were 19 and 18, 16, 17, they’re young kids, right? It’s a school. And we taught all these kids how to treat people like celebrities. We did classes on how to look yourself – how to look someone in the eye, how to shake a hand. We did courses on handshaking, how to put your hand on their shoulder, how to look them in the eye instead of looking down at them.


I mean we really work on treating people with respect and learning how to listen and have vision and not being interrupter and all that kind of stuff. So what happened is, I ended up reinventing the industry. No one had done what I did.


I used to have a partner and it was 9 years into our business that I had this vision and this dream and I couldn’t sell her on it. She is like, “Darla, I don’t see it. There are no day spas out here. No one is paying those prices for anything.” I was tired of competing with everybody else’s prices. And I said, “But I know that I can attract a high profile clientele.” I know that I can create an establishment where people want to get caught coming to our place, parking their car in our valet, being – we did this wall in our salon, it was called a Charter Membership Wall and people paid to have their name engraved in our wall and they would come and they would take pictures under it and everything because we made them feel like celebrities.


We sold them that for $3,000 and they got something for it. But it made them a celebrity. It made them feel valued and important. And we send them cards for their birthday, “Haven’t seen you in a while,” “Happy Anniversary,” “It’s summer!”


The majority of the cards were celebrating them. Every once in a while, we would send a summer promotion or …


Kody Bateman: What would a summer promotion look like? What would it be?


Darla DiGrandi: Like free haircut with a highlight and deep conditioner and toner, something like that.


Kody Bateman: OK. OK.


Darla DiGrandi: And let me tell you, our prices were by far the most expensive, not connected to like the Ritz Carlton or something like that. Like unheard of prices. But the way we made them feel is why they stayed. And we started as high school – me as a high school dropout, starting – my haircuts were $20. I started at $20 and 19 years later, they were $200 for women and $100 for men.


I used to have clients that would fly every month from like Alaska, New York, Boston. We did a lot of the old Hollywood money and Palm Springs, people like that. And so, this became so known when I got written up in Top 100 Fastest-Growing Salons in the Country, I had salon owners reaching out to me, “Hey, can I pique your brain? Can I buy you coffee? Can I talk to you and ask you what you are doing?” Because they wanted to know what I was doing. And so, one person one day said, “Can I pay you to come out and teach this to me?” One person said, “Can I pay you to come out and teach this to me?”


And so, I was like, “I don’t know. Never thought about it.” And then I said, “Sure! I don’t know what to charge you.” So she said, “If you’ll come out here, I’ll pay your airfare, get you a hotel. I’ll give you …” I think it was $6,000 because I needed to come for a week and anyway.


What I taught that woman was only how to build relationships and how to send cards, how to touch people in kindness, how to celebrate, and how to get people from their head to their heart. In sales, the longest 18 inches is from your head to your heart. You got to get in someone’s heart first or else you’re just a salesman. Stop pitching, prospecting, and selling and start attracting, retaining, and growing through gratitude.


Kody Bateman: OK. So one of the things I love about your story is you didn’t learn this in a textbook. You didn’t learn it in a college course. You didn’t learn it anywhere. You just went out as a young 18-year-old. You started a business with a vision. And what I really like about it is how grassroots it feels. I mean it just feels so grassroots. It’s like you didn’t have money. You didn’t have nothing. You didn’t have education. It’s like, “Well, I guess I’ll do what my mom did.”


By the way, I love your mom story. Like I’ve heard you tell these stories before. You need to tell your mom’s story all the time. That is super cool. Because as I’m listening to you and I’m thinking that’s where you got it from. You subconsciously or whatever it was, mom handed out candy bars. So when you started your business, that just kind of what you did and it turned into what it is. It’s phenomenal. And then people wanted to start paying you money to teach them how to be – you teach people how to be nice to each other. It’s pretty interesting.


Darla DiGrandi: Yup. And then that one client, what it did in her world, sparked the light inside of me to realize I could teach this to salons all over the world and because I know how hard it is to own a salon. When you own a salon, you – I’ll never forget when I finally retired. I went to my first parade and I stood there and cried because I didn’t realize that I’ve never been to a parade because parades are on Saturdays. You don’t attend any holidays. You don’t go on vacations for more than 3 days. You don’t – you can’t travel the world. You can’t live in other places.


And I’ve had six discs replaced in my back from standing in one place for 15 years. And it’s very hard on your body. People don’t realize it but it’s very hard on your body. And if your hands are involved in someone’s hair, they can’t be holding your child. That was the biggest thing for me is I did not want my child to be raised by somebody else. So I didn’t know how I was going to change it. I didn’t have a clue.


But when this person offered to hire me, it sparked a need, a need in the marketplace is that these salons need to get a higher profit margin and get out of the sea of competitors. Everybody is competing $5 off, 50% off, stuff like that. They are competing for the same clients. Where if you remove yourself out of that league and you get up to the higher social economic scale, those people would be embarrassed to ask for a discount. They would be embarrassed if they were caught coming in and getting a special on something. It’s just a different requirement.


Kody Bateman: So when the world zig, you zag, right?


Darla DiGrandi: Yeah. And that ended up leading to $30,000 a client. I did it for 8 years. I was charging $30,000. I could only take – it was either 4 or 6 clients at a time and it was a 4-month time that I was with you. I would fly back and forth and I would have to stay out there and live with them sometimes. And it was just a daily of me teaching kind of like what Greg is doing now at the office. It’s me teaching people how to treat a customer right and how to get from their head to their heart and create the loyalty.


Kody Bateman: Yeah, that’s really good stuff. So obviously and it’s amazing to me that all through the years way back then, even today, in fact, I say it all the time, you and I are in a similar business today because you’ve continued to go on as a relationship marketing expert and you teach people all around the world about relationship marketing principles. And we really are in the business of teaching people how to be nice to each other and that’s really all we do. I mean it really is. It’s really all we do. It’s not rocket science. It’s pretty simple stuff. But we have some principles and fundamentals and philosophies to follow in doing that, systems to use that really help that to happen.


Now, I want to go back though to your salon days because you mentioned in the pre-show, you talked a little bit about how you kind of hit the skids like you had real success, you’re sending out tangible touches and everything was going great. But you changed something up and you kind of hit the skids with your growth. So talk to us a little bit about what happened.


Darla DiGrandi: Yeah. A little thing I want to add to the previous story in the journey, I had five total salons, total from all the time. We only had three open at one time but we would grow, grow, move, grow, move, grow. And so, in the second salon and all the other salons, we implemented a male room. And this room had two, three, four, six, eight employees in there and all they were doing is sending cards. Sending cards, that’s it. Sending cards, sending cards, sending cards. And what it did for business was unbelievable. It created – anyway, you get where I’m going.


Kody Bateman: Well, that sounds similar. That sounds similar to your story about Joe Girard who Guinness Book of World Records, that’s exactly what he did. Like he ended up hiring people just like you – well, he was probably your inspiration for doing that.


Darla DiGrandi: Yeah. When I went back and read – I remember when I went back and – when I was going to implement this, I went and Googled him and started reading all the stories. And so, all –what I do basically today is I teach attraction marketing. I teach people how to attract people towards them so they don’t have to prospect, hunt, pitch, sell. They can attract people towards them.


And so, here’s – you’ll love these little bit of facts or whatever. So we made it through the ’92 crash unscathed. Our salons did not get affected at all and a lot of other ones went out of business. And so, I – side bar, when you can look back to see what happened, you can’t see ahead but you can look back and say, “Had I not have gone to that class that one day, I would have never met that guy who is my best husband or had I never gone – had I not – had I ran that red light, whatever.” Looking back on life, you see these things. And so, I made it through the ’92 crash and I said, “The reason why I made it is because rich people’s hair doesn’t stop growing. It’s a priority to them because our clientele was – we were $100 and $200 for haircuts. We were probably 45, 60 back then because this is in ’92.


And so, then came email. Then came Facebook, MySpace, not Facebook. MySpace. And what did everybody do, Kody? They said, “Great! Let’s get rid of the payroll. Let’s get rid of the employees. Let’s simplify things and let’s start using email.” And we did what most people do. And looking back, I can tell you one hundred percent that’s why we didn’t make it through the ’08 crash. We had stopped appreciating people and making them feel grateful for the role that they play in our life.


Kody Bateman: OK. Well, let’s talk about that because you would still send them emails. You would send them emails and say, “Thanks for coming in to the shop,” right? I mean you do that.


Darla DiGrandi: Yes. But email is not anything to say – when is the last time you opened your email and cried and said, “That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.”


Kody Bateman: Yeah, when was the last time you framed an email on your wall?


Darla DiGrandi: Exactly. And so that’s what – when social media was born, that’s why today’s depression rate is so high. People can’t communicate – these kids today, they can’t communicate. They text. There is no emotion in it. They can’t even look you in the eye and give you a hug. Our daughter, she is 15 years old and this kid sends cards like you would not believe because she knows that what she appreciates, appreciates. This kid gets more gifts in the mail from grandparents and aunts and uncles and invited on more trips from family friends and all of her friends’ parents, “I wish you would teach my kid how to do …” and they would have her cards hanging up everywhere.


And I told her, I said, “If you build these relationships today when you’re young and you want to run for President one day, you would not even have to go out and campaign. You will have one hearts. It’s how to win friends and influence people.


Kody Bateman: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s fun to listen to your stories and all the cool stuff that you’re doing. So let’s talk a little bit about what are you doing today? Technology has grown. There are a lot of new tools available today. So you’re kind of – you’ve kind of leaped frog into the future now and you don’t have a back office with 10 employees handwriting cards anymore. What is it you do today? Because you do the same things but you use systems. So talk to us about that.


Darla DiGrandi: Yup, I do the same thing. And business people understand the value of the transaction between the customer. They understand if that transaction isn’t happening, you’re not making money. And so, in the traditional marketing world, people are spending all this money pitching and selling or trying to attract and they don’t spend any money on the retention and the growth process and the relationship of the people that are with them because they don’t have a system.


So when I saw your system, I was like, “Oh my gosh! This company makes the impossible possible.” And Kody, let me explain what that is. The impossible, when I was in my salon days back in the day is we used to always say, “Gosh! I wish we could put a before and after picture on their cards. They would hang them up on the mirror and they would never throw them away,” where the cards go into trash otherwise because they’re just font and nothing special.


And so, I was like, “Oh my gosh! That’s what this company allows us to do.” So now, all my clients are business people or networkers, anybody that’s in the people business. It doesn’t matter. And business of any kind, you must create a transaction between a customer to a product or a service for a profit. And the longer you can retain that customer, the less you need to go out and find a new one.


And so if you can deepen the relationship in the way that you make people feel, they’ll tell other friends about you. So I tell people all the time, “I’m going to show you a way to attract people into your life and to get people spreading positive rumors about you behind your back.” That’s what you want because nobody does what it is that your – what your service allows people to do is the impossible.


And so, I want to show you this card. November is gratitude month. And I’m a big believer in show gratitude to the people in your life that have helped you get to where you are. So in 2008, I was looking for a way to just make an extra, this sounds crazy, but in 2008, I was $1.6 million in debt and $20,000 overdrawn in my payroll account and my payroll was $55,000 every two weeks. And the crash was coming and the reason why we made it through the ’92 crash is because it didn’t hit the upper class. It hit the middle class. And the reason why we didn’t make it through the ’08 crash it is hit the upper class.


We – our clients got hit before anyone even knew their grass was dying. You know what I mean?


Kody Bateman: Yeah.


Darla DiGrandi: They were still looking pretty on the outside. We were crashing when before short sells were even invented. That’s how fast it hit our clientele. And we were a hundred percent debt-free living in our dream house. We had no debts whatsoever. We were clicking and moving.


So our clients, they had to go to a lower price and I get it and that’s why. But I know looking back now when I can look back and I can pinpoint, it was because I took away the tangible touch and that’s exactly what caused other salons to make – successful is I taught them tangible touch, right? So then here I go and I removed tangible touch and what does it do? The same thing.


And especially if you are appreciating people for so many years and all of a sudden you stop appreciating them the way that you did because there’s no dopamine in a Facebook post or a social media post. There’s no dopamine.


And when I see hairdressers posting pictures on Instagram of their before work and after work and they are saying thank you to their client, they’re doing that thinking they are advertising to give self-promotion, to tap into their network. But if they would just take that card and push send and send it to that client in the mail, they would hang it up on their mirror, they would show it to their friends, they would tell all their friends about you, and they would come back sooner because they see how beautiful they look when their hair is fresh.


Kody Bateman: Do you have one of those cards before or after cards?


Darla DiGrandi: No, not in this room.


Kody Bateman: OK.


Darla DiGrandi: This is the most power – when I take on a new account in business, it doesn’t matter what kind of business you are in, anybody that deals with people, I say the first card you’re going to send is a gratitude card. I want you to tell people in your life how grateful you are for the role that they have played in your business life or your family life and that you got to show gratitude. And I’m talking dig back to your school teachers, to counselors, principals, salespeople, your contractors that help you build your business. And when you do this, that’s like tapping them on the shoulder and saying, “Excuse me,” because now you’ve got their attention.


And there actually one person who is going to pick up the phone and call you and say, “Darla! Oh my gosh! You just made me cry. I’m sitting here holding this card and I’m so touched. Thank you for recognizing me. How are you? Gosh! It has been years. How are the kids? How’s the family?” Do you get it?


Where if I was in sales or business and I wanted to contact that person and I pick up the phone and call them, people do it to me all the time and I end up converting them into using the service. I got a call – I get calls every week from people that used to be in network marketing in a previous company with me and when they call me, I answer me and I say, “It’s so great to hear from you. Which company are you going to try and prospect me into now?”


And I say to them, “Don’t you want to stop doing that part of the business? Stop hunting. And I know you care about me and I know you appreciate me and I know we’re friends, but it doesn’t get shown.” It doesn’t get shown and I said, “I want to show you a way to be able to build a relationship first so that when you call, you’re not the hunter, the prospect, or the salesman.


So this is my card and I’ll read it because I know a lot of people can’t see it. So this is the view out my in living room window and it says, “I am so grateful for …” And this is the view from my couch every day and it says, “You.” And it says, “And let me tell you why. Every time I see a sunset like tonight from my couch in San Diego. Get to be present with my child at times when my mother couldn’t be. Take long walks on the beach to meditate. Take my family on what most would call dream vacations. Having parts of my life story written about in books to the launch of my next business, Master the Art of Human Connections, I realized none of this not one bit of it would be happening if it weren’t for people like you. From your thoughts to your actions, it’s a piece of what makes my life possible. And I want you to know how much I appreciate and value the role you play in my family’s life. From someone that appreciates you more than you know.”


This has rekindled so many relationships, the stories, Kody. I had a guy, John Endres [0:32:48] [Phonetic], contact me. He has been in the motorcycle business for 30 years and he says, “Darla, I’m facing my worst year ever.” And I get it. Motorcycle parts can be bought online cheaper. I get it. He says, “But I’m not ready to give it up.” And I said to him, I said, “If you will trust me, I will save your business. But you have to trust me. And it’s going to be completely out of your comfort zone.” He says, “I’m willing to trust you.”


So that was in July, two years ago in July. That December, Kody, was his best year ever that month. I want you to let that sink in. His best year ever that month. Twelve months later, I re-interviewed him to see where he is at. He tracked numbers from his accountant and his bookkeeper and all that kind of stuff, stats and everything, and he had tripled his best year ever. And not just that, he met the love of his life by sending her a card and now got engaged. He was able to get his teeth fixed. He was having dental issues and couldn’t afford to get his teeth fixed. His life is at a place of – he literally has cried on the phone with me many times because of the emotion of what has happened in his life by learning how to appreciate people, having a way to do it, making the impossible possible.


Kody Bateman: You know what’s cool is you talk about power of human connection. We recently had a relationship marketing event here in Salt Lake City, Utah and you were at that event and you invited John to that event I remember and introduced me and a couple of my buddies, Dave Smith who is producing this show today. We were introduced to John and we took John out the desert and went riding motorcycles. So it’s cool to hear that story. It’s great. I love hearing his story because I’ve been out riding with the guy, super nice guy. And what a cool business that we’re in that we have the opportunity to meet and connect with people with similar interest. So it’s really fun to hear you tell that story.


Darla DiGrandi: Can I share a couple more things?


Kody Bateman: Yeah, absolutely.


Darla DiGrandi: OK. So the other day, I had a prompting to reach out. Something said – scroll back a couple of years on my messenger and send a couple of messages. The very first message I said, I said, “Hey …” I’m not going to tell you her name, “Hey, it has been so long since we’ve talked. How are you?” And she instantly replied back and she said, “Terrible! Today – my son tried to commit suicide yesterday and today is his birthday.” So I lost my sister that way so it gave me the ability to counsel, console, be a shoulder for her. And I said to her, I said, “Would you mind if I send your son a birthday card?” And she got all weepy and said, “Darla, I would absolutely love that.”


And so, she had made – I went to her Facebook page and she had made a post about her son for this birthday. And it was beautiful. And her son is not on Facebook. I just took that post. I put, “I’m celebrating you.” Put his picture on the front. On the inside, I put the post that his mother made. And all I said is, “You don’t me but I am a friend of your mother’s and I saw her post on Facebook about your birthday and I thought you would love to have it in print so you can hang it and see it every day to know how incredibly loved you are.”


Now, what do you think that does to the bond between a mother and a son? I just added value to that son-and-mother’s relationship, right? I added love to make a connection so the son can see that the mother does – because they don’t talk. They don’t talk. They are teenagers. They’re at the space. And you don’t know what that will do.


Another one was one of my really old friends from back in my first business made a post about her husband. She put a picture of her husband and then made this beautiful post about he is the rock and he is the best husband and blah, blah, blah, blah.” All I did is snip it, you know how you just take their post and snip it. I dropped it on the front of a flat card, flipped it over, and said, “Chad, you need to hang this on your bathroom mirror and read it every day so you know how you make this lady feel.”


Yesterday, he sends me a private message. He says, “Darla, that card, it’s hanging on my bathroom mirror and you have no idea how much I appreciate you.”


Kody Bateman: Incredible. Yeah, it’s incredible. Talk about staying on top of mind with people when you do things like that. That’s how you’re remembered because you reach out with people like that.


Darla DiGrandi: Well, people tell me all the time, “What do you get from it?” I say, “Well, let me give you one fact. Every opportunity in life, an invitation to be in a wedding, a free cruise, a whatever, go on vacation with someone, every opportunity in life, every referral, every friend and love flow through people.”


So, the more you learn how to create human connections and in a heartfelt way, I just flood the world with gratitude, kindness, love, inspiration, and it comes back to me in ways that is just hard to even explain. It’s emotional. It’s – my friend who is in a – he is a leader in another network marketing company, he is going through a terrible, terrible custody battle with his daughter. It’s just horrible. And he got to have his first visitation at Christmastime and he was just so sad because she had to go back to mom and she was just heartbroken or he was just heartbroken. And I said to him – he said to me, “Can I send you some pictures of our trips so you can see how happy she is of our time together?”


He sends me about 50 cards, Kody. Or not 50 cards, 50 pictures. No lie. So I was going to bed when this happened. I’m looking at all these pictures and I’m like, “These are so – look at how happy she is. Look at how happy he is.” And all I did is go download, send. Download. Send. On a flat card. I didn’t even write anything on the back. Download. Send. Download. Send. Download. Send. Download. Send. Download. Send. I sent him all 40, 50 of those pictures on a flat card back to him.


I texted him and this is to Canada. So I was able to send all those cards with Canadian postage for free. Thank you very much. So I sent him a message and I said, “You have a gift coming in the mail. And when it comes, I want you to hang it all over the walls.” And so, that’s going to inspire him. And when she comes to visit him again and she sees those, it’s going to just build so much love for her to want to be with him again.


Kody Bateman: So I want to go back to that because I want to talk about this. I want to tell you, I have a service, for those of you who don’t know, I have a service called SendOutCards and that’s the service that you’re talking about that you can use. And you made a mention that you sent 50 flat cards to Canada, so the postage is even more.


Darla DiGrandi: Yup.


Kody Bateman: They’re all heartfelt messages and heartfelt cards that go out to this person and you said it was free.


Darla DiGrandi: Yup.


Kody Bateman: Now …


Darla DiGrandi: There’s no other company that can do that. And that’s why I say, you make the impossible possible.


Kody Bateman: So what do you do to get that service? Because I’m not – all you listeners, I’m not plugging SendOutCards. I’m really not. I’m saying this to make a point. I’m trying to explain why my company does that, why do we do it? So I need Darla to explain what we do and then we’re going to talk about why we do it and how that’s so important in the marketplace today. So go ahead.


Darla DiGrandi: Yes. Every time I take on a new client like a realtor, realtors are infamous for – they want to send farming cards. And I said, “Go out to your mail and tell me, when you sort your mail, what goes in the trash? And what do you grab and open with joy and happiness?”


I have so much junk mail and realtor sleeks and all that kind of stuff. There is no love and kindness and gratitude and appreciation in that. I tell people all the time, “When is the last time you saw a billboard and busted out in tears and said, “I can’t believe they spent all that money to do that for me.” It just doesn’t exist.


And so, when – and I tell them, “We do two types of cards here. We give to give and we give to gain.” Give to gain are sales cards, sales pitches. Do you like to be pitched or sold? No, I don’t like to be pitched or sold. Do you like to be appreciated and valued? Yes, I do.


The more give to give that you send, the more you will gain because it triggers into action the law the reciprocity. It has been proven all the way back to Joe Girard, all the way back to what I did in my salons. Treat people with kindness, put love and inspiration out there into the world, it will come back to you. Evil and hatred and stuff come back to you too, so be kind. Love on people.


And so, I just teach people. Don’t pitch and sell first. Show gratitude and kindness first and then you can come up later with a pitch card.


Kody Bateman: So what we talk about in supporting that give to give philosophy, you give for the sake of giving philosophy. You sent what we call heartfelt cards, which pretty much every example you gave so far is an example of a heartfelt card. And you also said you could send all these out virtually for nothing.


We have a surge. Let me give you an example. We are having a surge for $97 a month. You can send as many heartfelt cards as you want, stamps included anywhere in the world. Again, that’s not a pitch although that is a pretty cool offering.


Darla DiGrandi: Can I say something on that?


Kody Bateman: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, go ahead.


Darla DiGrandi: Well, I send hundreds of heartfelt cards a month. Hundreds. And so, if you do the math, I don’t know if you want to hear this, but I send cards for less than the price of the postage.


Kody Bateman: That’s right. That’s right.


Darla DiGrandi: If you take that $97 and you advertise it into 300 cards or 400 cards …


Kody Bateman: But here is the point. Here is the point because people ask me, I’m the founder of the company that provides that service. And people ask me all the time, first of all, “Why do you do it? How do you do it? Don’t you lose money doing it?” All that kind of stuff.


And my response is always saying, “Listen, our job is to help as many people as possible to act on the promptings, to reach out in kindness to other human beings.” And what you send out comes back to you 10 fold. You’ve been saying at this whole show, it’s the law of reciprocity. What you send out comes back.


So I am of the philosophy that if can help millions of people send lots of heartfelt cards, the residual business and everything else that will come back to that through the company will make us a highly profitable company. So I’m willing to take that risk.


Now, let me tell you something. That means that you and I, Darla, because you teach it and you preach it, we believe it. We believe it because we go out and offer a service that’s very risky for us to offer because we do lose money by the way. We lose money on you if you really do the math. However, if you do all of the math, we actually make a ton of money on you because you also purchase all kinds of gifts, you do all kinds of things, and you teach thousands of other people to use the service who don’t use the service at the level that you do which makes us money. And at the end of the day, the company is profitable, our referral partners are profitable, and we believe in the philosophy and it works.


Darla DiGrandi: Yup.


Kody Bateman: So what you send out is what comes back to you. We want to reward people that actually send cards.


Darla DiGrandi: Yup.


Kody Bateman: We don’t have systems that reward you for sending a card here or a card there although we have a great service for those people. But our big reward comes from people like you, people that really are going to send cards on a consistent basis. So here’s my question. Why should you send heartfelt cards on a consistent basis and what will it do for your business?


Darla DiGrandi: So I’ll give you one example that will tell you what it will do. So we had a neighbor moved in and they were huge pregnant and I said to her one day when I passed …


Kody Bateman: Huge pregnant [Laughs], that’s good.


Darla DiGrandi: I’ve said to her one day at a mall, “Oh, you’re almost due.” And she is like, “Yeah, Thanksgiving.” I think it was three days before Thanksgiving. And I said, “Oh! Do you know what you’re having?” She says, “Yeah, a girl.” I say, “What’s her name?” And she says, “Journey Ray.” And I’m like, “Journey Ray. Journey Ray.” OK? And so I’m like, “Oh my gosh! You’re going to just love being a mom. It’s the best feeling in the whole wide world.


And so, I took a picture of their front door. They had it all decorated and everything for the holidays and I took a picture of the front door and I saved it for this opportunity because they also part next to us in the garage and I said, “One day, I’m going to run into them in the garage with the baby.” And so, that happened yesterday. They were coming out with the baby and I’m like, “Oh my gosh! Can I see her?” And they were just so excited that I wanted to – I just love babies.


And I’m like – because they had seen Bella and Bella was like, “I can’t wait to see her.” I said to her, “Do you mind if I take a picture so I can send it to Bella?” She is like, “Oh, yeah, sure.” Because of course, whose mom is not going to want their baby’s picture taken, right?


And so, I came in and I dropped to the baby’s picture on the front of You’re a Miracle Card. And on the inside, on the left hand side, I put a picture of her front door. And on the right hand side, I say, “Dear Journey Way, welcome to the world. You don’t know me but we were your neighbors when you were born.”


Kody Bateman: Wow!


Darla DiGrandi: And we wanted to personally welcome you to the world. Keep this card forever so you can see what the very first door you’ll ever work through look like. And I put the address of where they live San Diego, California. And I added the draft binky thing, rattle thing to it, the baby gift. And I hit send, Kody.


And on the back of that card, it just has your neighbors, Jim, Darla, and Bella, a picture of our family, and our phone number. That’s it. And so, what is that going to do when they get that? Do you think she is going to ever be mad, ever tell me not to do that, and maybe she might think of me – I mean it’s just – it’s a tool to be able to turn you from an acquaintance and a stranger instantly into a friend, and that’s where opportunities and referrals, friends and love come.


Kody Bateman: When I hear you say that, it just reminds me that you’re using modern technology to do exactly what your mother did, hand out the candy bars and the candy canes.


Darla DiGrandi: Yup.


Kody Bateman: That’s exactly what you’re doing.


Darla DiGrandi: Yeah.


Kody Bateman: Right?


Darla DiGrandi: And I tell my mom – my mom tells me all the time. She is like, “Sugar, if I had a computer and know how to use a phone, you’d be saving me so much time and money and I get so upset when I have to go to the store and buy a card and I have to go to the store and buy a gift and then I have to go mail it and it’s so hot out there.”




Darla DiGrandi: And it’s cute, Kody, because she is sends me messages. She says, “Hey, sugar. So and so’s brother died. Can you please send him a card and that book, the book for loss and mourning?” Or she will say, “Hey, so and so’s grandson’s baby was born. Can you send them a congratulations card?” So now she found a way to make the impossible possible [Laughs].


Kody Bateman: So here’s what I want to do. I’m going to have a little fun here and just go out on a limb. You set up businesses all the time. You go out and set up businesses with our relationship marketing system and you teach him how to use it and you tell him what you – basically tell him how to use the service, whatever. So I want you to think. Think of one of the recent costumers that you just set up on our relationship marketing system. You can choose because you do a lot of them. I mean you set up customers all the time every day. And they’re from all kinds of different industries.


So choose any of your choice. It’s your choice. Just choose one customer that you set up in the last 30 days. Tell us who they are, what industry they are, and what did you teach them to do.


Darla DiGrandi: Absolutely. So I have this one lady. When you’re in network marketing, when you’re someone like myself, you’re on people’s lists because you made it in network marketing. And so, people are constantly pitching and selling you. So you get these amateurs that send you their link to your Messenger with the script that they were given and they would say, “Can you check this out and give me your opinion on what you think?” Blah, blah, blah.


Kody Bateman: Right.


Darla DiGrandi: And I get to now say, “Sure! Absolutely. I’d love to. Let’s set up a time to talk.” And so when I get them on the phone, I say, “Did you feel comfortable sending that to me or were you scared to death and nervous?” And they always say scared to death and nervous. And then they always say, “That’s the part of the business I don’t like.” I said, “Yes, because you’re being a hunter. You’re being a stalker. You’re not being a friend and you’re not attracting people towards you. You’re pushing people away from you.


That’s what gives network marketing a bad name is – and she says, “Well, our up-line says it’s a numbers game. I said, “No, it’s not a numbers game. It’s a people game.”


And let me teach you something. And so, I said to her, I said, “I’m going to teach you the art of human connections. I’m going to teach you how to mentally change your mindset and your thought process so that you can attract an abundance of opportunities, referrals, friends, and love into your life.


So this was in New Year’s Eve. She stayed home New Year’s and binge watched and sent cards all weekend just nonstop.


So three days ago, she sends me the most incredible – I get chills. My hairs are standing all the time when I get these messages. She sent me this message telling me her marriage, her communication with her child, her business. She is just – her cap is running over and it has never been so happy and feeling like she can barely handle the emotion because she learned how to connect and attract. And so, the first thing I have people do is I want you to send your husband and I want you to put a picture of them on it. And then at the book of it I want you to list 10 reasons why I love you and I want you to send out to your girl. I want you to send one to your child. I want you to send the card – I want you to flood your kid’s walls with cards about pictures of them, go to their Instagram, go to their SnapChat and get pictures and flood their walls.


Watch what will happen with the communication between you and your children, you and your husband, you and your family. Start loving on them and telling them why you love them.


And so that first step, order of business. Sets the tone just tips everything, into the right direction.


Kody Bateman: OK. So let me ask you, so let’s do a student analogy and you probably have an example of my analogy anyway. Let’s that I’m a car salesman and you bring me the system and you help me get it set up. and obviously, I want to use the system to follow up with people that might buy a car from me or people that did buy a car from me and say thank you to them and those kind of things that’s the reason I’m interested in it.


But when you come to set up that account for me, the car guy, are you going to have me do what you just said? Are you going to have me send a card to my loved ones like you just said?


Darla DiGrandi: I definitely going to have them send a card to their loved one because they want their relationship to be better.


Kody Bateman: OK. Now, that’s what I want to touch on because business people – because we teach to do that. And business people don’t seem to get it, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” all that lovey-dovey stuff. Look, I need a follow and tell assignment. k. I need a follow-up system. Say that. So give me the follow-up system and everybody seems to say that but we’ve been doing this for 15 years now. And we’ve learned and quite honestly, learned the hard way. We’ve learned that until this philosophy, until this system that Darla is talking about, gets in to your heart, you never get the full effect and your business. And the only way to get it in to your heart is to have you use it to somebody that’s very, very close to you.


So when you tell the stories of send this card to your husband and tell him all the reasons why you love him, that is what helps get into the heart of that person. So now, they can use it in their business. And I know that you teach us …


Darla DiGrandi: So that they will support you better and they will believe in you more because you recognize them and you touch them in a heartfelt way. But here’s what I do with car salesmen and realtors. I’m like, “You guys are the same. When people are taking test drive and when they are doing an open house, they can’t see themselves so they can see the other people in the room but they can’t see themselves.


If you take a picture of that person, it’s setting in that car, taking a test drive. You take a person with that lady and that dream bathroom that she wants or that kitchen, and you send that to them and say, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to give you – the car salesman can send it from the car. Thank you for talking me out on a spin today. I hope you’ll take me home one day.


And then the realtor can say, “Look at how good you really look in that bathroom.” Now, those cards are going to arrive in 3 or 4 days. They are shopping and they are trying to figure out which one is right. When they get that card and they see that picture, they’re like oh. Because people never throw away cards of their grandkids, their kids, their family, their cars, or their homes.


Kody Bateman: Wow! Really good stuff. Powerful. It’s so fun to listen to you and all the wonderful stories that you have. We could go on all day long. There are a couple of things I always like to do is we start to wrap the show up. The first one I’d like to do is – a lot of times when you get on podcast, you’re kind of confine to the questions that are asked to you and there might be other things you want share or whatever. So I always like to, as we start to wrap the show up, I always like to give you the – this is Darla’s five minutes. This is Darla’s five minutes. This is Darla’s unabridged 5 minutes. This is your 5 minutes to go freelance and just share with our audience what you feel they need to hear in this message today from you. Go ahead. Five minutes, do it.


Darla DiGrandi: Yup. I’m going to try my best [Laughs]. When I met Jordan Adler, and Jordan Adler said to me, “Darla, what you appreciate, appreciates. And it just stuck with me. What you appreciate, appreciates. And I’m like, “Yeah, I know that because that was my previous mantra in life and that’s why I believe what you appreciate, appreciates.


And so when – so then everything started clicking like that story about Joe Girard. And then I realized, “Oh my gosh! I have a car salesman in Palm Springs that I bought 3 BMWs from. And I sent him 12 clients to buy a car that I know of from my clientele. The guy, I didn’t know him. He wasn’t my friend. We walked in off the lot, we bought a BMW.” But he sent me a thank you card. He sent me a birthday card. He sent my husband a birthday card. He sent my car a birthday card. He checked in and it was – he did this cute thing. I think he actually probably used your system because he now the – it makes sense. And so I keep going back to him because he built that relationship for me.


And if you guys can understand and see that that it’s – if you’ll work harder on building relationships than you do on making money, do that. Work harder.


This past year was our best year of our family’s life ever. And we sat down and looked back and we can on hundred percent say, it’s because we started using these system three years ago to feed our gratitude pipeline. And we went on more vacations, travel the world with our child, gave her an experience of a lifetime, we are invited to more VIPs of anything than ever and it was all because we worked harder on building relationships than we did on making money. And that came back to us in money. It comes back to you in money. It translates.


And I tell people all the time, I can open any business and I can pack out a clientele. I don’t care if it’s a dog scooping pan business model. I think I could pocket it out and have the largest clientele ever for that industry because it’s all the same. All the same.


So, work harder on your relationships than you do on making money and let me tell you why. Time and money are worthless if you don’t have anyone to spend it first.


Kody Bateman: Well, that is so true. That is so true.


Darla DiGrandi: And I know that from being in the salon days doing $3 million a year. I had no time. I was owned by my clients and my employees. They own me and I had not time to spend living life. I didn’t know there was a better way to make money other than being a traditional business owner. I didn’t know.


Kody Bateman: Relationship is so important and spending time with those that you love and care about is so important. And being with like-minded people, positive people is so important.


Living in social media today, another question, just living in social media today, there are a lot of good stuff on social media and there’s a lot of not so good stuff on social media. And living in a social media world where we have a tendency to get drag down quite a bit. Comments are made that might be negative. Everybody features themselves as the Billboard. What’s the billboard of their life, all of the wonderful things about them?


So we have a tendency to go into comparison mode when people are showing their best sides, whatnot. The list goes on and on of all kinds of the social media stuff that happens that kind of drags you down. What is your advice today in the social media world to leverage social media for what you’re doing but never let it to drag you down and stay in the positive no matter what? I think it’s such an important topic to talk about. How do you do that?


Darla DiGrandi: Two years ago, I made the decision to start reinventing my social media groups and eliminating all negative people and the people that are in there showing pictures of dogs getting abused or all the political people. I just started pushing all that away from me and drawing in positivity and bringing in people that vibrate in harmony that moves upward versus downward. People that have the vision to see the big picture of life and our going somewhere, I did – I just worked on that.


And so, I add value to social media the same way and by putting something positive out there so that it attracts people back towards you and then you can go from there to reach out to them on a private message or something like that. And make a connection and see how you can add value into their life. Because honestly everybody in the world, if you stop and think about, all you got to do is send out loving, kindness and gratitude. That’s – I can’t wait to retire because that’s all I’m going to do. I’m not going to work. I’m just going to sit and send cards every day because I just love it. And if people would learn that job opportunities, positions, I get offered jobs all the time. I’m like, “No, I don’t want it but I will teach someone that you hired to do it.”


And so those – doors open nonstop and relationships and everything that comes along with all those relationships. We’ve never had a bigger tiger friendship circle than we do now. And that’s because I started a couple of years ago, keep pushing away the negative and pushing out the positive. Pushing away negative on social media. Pushing positive out on social media, and using your service, which I still can’t believe I never knew about. It has been around for 15 years and I only heard about it three years ago out into the world.


Kody Bateman: Good stuff. Really, really good stuff. So what do you want to be most remembered by?


Darla DiGrandi: An inheritance is something that you leave behind for somebody and – oh shoot! I just drew blank. Inheritance? Well, anyway, I want to be remembered and known by somebody who touched them and was there for them to help inspire that my life’s purpose, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen my life purpose. Kody, I wrote my life purpose ten years ago. My life purpose is I don’t care if you ever buy one thing from me or if I ever help you make a penny, all that I care about is that I inspired to do something you wouldn’t have done without me.


Can you believe I wrote that ten years ago?


Kody Bateman: That’s amazing. It’s amazing. And you certainly – you manifested that for sure. You’re certainly living it. You have given so many examples of that today and how you want to be remembered. You’re doing this stuff. You’re already being remembered that way because …


Darla DiGrandi: I tell parents all the time if they would teach this to their kids. They have no clue what it will do for their future as they grow up.


My daughter gets offered jobs all the time. Will you come babysit our dog? Will you come sit our cat? Will you come help me pack up my library to move? Just constantly, she is getting – people wanting her to come work for them.


Kody Bateman: Yeah, it’s great stuff. So who inspires who? Where do you get your inspiration problem?


Darla DiGrandi: I have so many. I was listening to one of the podcasts earlier, Jim Rohn and Les Brown, the typical ones. And I really am inspired by what I’m teaching my daughter. I really am. That’s – I am so inspired to set this example for her. And I don’t tell her to do it and I don’t make her do it and everything and I just know that she is watching me and she is learning it. And it really does inspire me because I am so grateful that I have my time freedom and I get to be a present parent, a present child to my dad who is 85 years old that lives with us, and I get to take care of him, and that my parents know they’ll never be put in a home. That inspires me. And I have five nephews that are all in the age of 20 to 30 who have college debt. I got – oh, it’s horrible. That inspires me that I know that I’m going to be able to help them with that college debt because they are never going to make it if they can’t get rid of that college debt.


And so, I’m inspired by setting the tone and the pace for my family and by people that are watching me.


Kody Bateman: It sounds like your daughter is teaching and inspiring you.


Darla DiGrandi: Yeah.


Kody Bateman: Right? Yeah. I mean it’s really neat to see. The coolest thing is – one of the things that Jody and I, my wife, Jody and I, we talk about all the time is the importance of doing your best with your kids so that they become – they are you by 10 times. You want your kids do 10 times what you do.


Darla DiGrandi: Yeah.


Kody Bateman: And fortunately for us and it’s not because of us, it’s because we were richly blessed with amazing kids and it’s just nice to see them 10 times what it is that you do. And I see that in your kids. I see that in your kids and that’s a reflection of who you are and just really appreciate your example all the time.


So final question and we’ll end up the show. Favorite book of all time and why.


Darla DiGrandi: Oh my gosh! Right now, it’s Human Connections. It is absolutely human connections and there is nothing like it out there, what I’ve been teaching forever. And so now, it’s in a book where people can learn it. They can read it and learn it. I send your book out, Kody. Like probably 10 or 15 a month at least.


Kody Bateman: So there is – so those on YouTube, refer to Power of Human Connections. You’re featured in this book. Do you remember the page? What’s the page number?


Darla DiGrandi: 251 to 254.


Kody Bateman: There you go. Great story by the way. Darla DiGrandi featured in this book. And that’s what the book is, it’s a highlight of many, many stories from people all over the world who are implementing these principles.


Darla, you are always a wonderful, wonderful delight. You are a great example to all of us, an incredible teacher. And I look forward to having you back on a podcast here soon. And I think you and I are going to do some Zoom training together for the company, SendOutCards.


By the way those of you, what she was referring to is the service that she uses, is our company called SendOutCards. For those who don’t know, you can check that out.


So anyways, I appreciate you very much. And thank you everybody for tuning in. And we’ll see you on another version of our Relationship Marketing Podcast. Take care, everybody.


Darla DiGrandi: Thanks. Bye everyone.


To secure your best year yet, you may consider using a service like SendOutCards. In just minutes, you can create a custom card, add a personal message and picture, and do it all right from your mobile device!  You can even include one of their many gift selections like their amazing brownies, their new premium line of chocolates, you can even include a Starbucks card!

If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate a Relationship Marketing Strategy in your business, feel free to call or text me at {LEAD_OWNER_PHONE|}I Will answer all your questions and help you build relationships, increase referrals, and make an amazing impression on all your clients, friends and family!

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