Mar 272024
telling a success story

photograph Credit: Anna Shvets

When reading a book called 7L: The Seven Levels Of Communication by Rick Masters a series of seven steps to tell a “successful success story” caught my attention. A review of the book as a whole is here, but taking a specific excerpt from the book here is how the book suggests someone should tell a success story.


It is useful for anyone interested in interpersonal relationships, business in general or sales.

  1. What was the client’s name and specific situation?
  2. What would have happened if you were not involved? Consider the worst case scenario without you.
  3. How did you help solve the problem?
  4. Specifically, what was the result or outcome?
  5. What did the client say or do to let you know you did well for them? Was there a referral or a testimonial?
  6. Based on the above, it is time to ask for a specific and relevant referral. For example, a realtor can ask for the name of someone who may need his or her services.
  7. CTA: Ask the person(s) to take a specific action to make number 6 happen.


Things That Need To Go Away: Not Leveraging The Network And Contacts

Mar 172024

The Seven Levels Of Communication is a good book that reads easily. The man behind it is an American realtor who reports success in his own business after having employed the techniques/system he teaches in the book. Not coincidentally, the story is narrated by a realtor who interacts with professionals who provide ancillary services like legal advice or mortgages. It is a “story” because, unlike most sales books, 7L lays out its system in a novel-like format complete with a romantic subplot.


Salespeople of all stripes can benefit from the methodology that emphasises giving, sharing and serving, but reading it one soon realises that it is best suited to those who run an independent business –  as opposed to inside or field salespeople working in a cubicle for someone else. Still, it is a useful read and lays out an agenda for growth. By the way, that was the other distinction between this and other books. The emphasis here is on sharing and giving. In practice, that means 7L is great for longer-term thinking and not quite apt for relieving quarterly quota pressures.


Do X, Y and Z and the sales take care of themselves. The gist of those “X, Y and Z” is to give, be helpful, coach and expect business benefits to boomerang. Forget the advertising and the ‘selling.’ Really, that is the essence of what the book preaches. The system includes multiple steps of seven: spiritual (my word) affirmations (“someone needs me”), the necessity of consistency (like a “ritual”), which the book calls “deliberate investment of time” and goals i.e., being ambitious.


The 7 Levels Of Communication (in order of effectiveness) are:

  • 1 On 1 meetings
  • Events And Seminars
  • Phone Calls
  • Handwritten Notes
  • Electronic Communication
  • Direct Mail
  • Advertising

Elsewhere, the book offers the 7 Steps To A Power Note (don’t forget to use a blue pen, use ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ and have a P.S.- page 50), How to tell a Successful Success Story (page 66) and the four behavioural styles – DiSC or Dominant (get to the point immediately), Influence (love socialising and crave fun and energy), Steadiness (slow, steady and systematic) and Compliance (perfectionists who crave order, detail and crispness) – to use them in order to interact with people accordingly. Maher has a twist on the old wisdom of treating people the way you want them to treat you. His advice is to treat them the way they want to be treated, according to their personality, not the way you want to be treated. Finally, there is a script for asking for referrals (page 96), which substitutes the direct question with the more indirect, “Who would you recommend for …?” Whoever they recommend, the follow-up question is to be curious, positive, find out why and ask what it would take for you to become their go-to recommended professional.

In addition to these, the book introduces the concepts of The Ego Era, Generosity Generation and L.I.F.E. That last one stands for Learn, Implement, Fail and Evaluate, but no need to worry. The book includes a glossary at its end.

After car salespeople and lawyers, realtors probably have the third worst reputation out there. It says something about the book, and what it teaches, if the author has succeeded in his business, become rich and has done it through referrals and popularity.