The Platinum Rule: Treat Others How THEY Want to be Treated

Lately, I’ve observed a few networking blunders occurring that have reminded me of the importance of what Tony Allessandra calls the Platinum Rule. Most of us are familiar with the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), but to network effectively, you’ve got to be relationship-based, so you need to use the Platinum Rule–not only with your referral source, but also with the prospect.

There are three people involved in a referral: 1. You. You need to know how you work best and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.  2. The referral source. How does this person like to communicate? How does he like to be treated? If you want him to help you, you’ve got to treat him the way he wants to be treated.  3. The prospect.  How does the prospect like to be sold to?  What’s the best way to communicate with the prospect?

Strive to be adaptable and accommodate the behavioral style of your source when you’re working with him or her, and of your prospect when you’ve been put in touch with him. If you seek to find out how people want to be treated and then treat them that way, you won’t make the mistake of assuming everyone likes the same things you do. Looking for a fast way to destroy a budding relationship? Assume that your client or referral partner enjoys deep-sea fishing as avidly as you do and insist that he come along on your next Old Man and the Sea adventure. Then watch as he turns green and hugs the rail of the boat the entire day.

By learning about the other person’s goals, accomplishments, interests, networks and skills, you can establish the groundwork for a smooth-running referral relationship from the start.  All of these factors together will tell you the best way to communicate and what to talk about.

5 thoughts on “The Platinum Rule: Treat Others How THEY Want to be Treated

  1. Communication is the key here. You need to be adaptable- is the person fast paced or slow paced? What do they like? Are they involved in their communities? Strive to find out things like this and treat them the way THEY want to be treated. Yes, it’s some work- but the results will be awesome! So you have 2 choices: spending some time finding out about your referral source and the prospect and starting out on the right foot with the relantionship, or you can assume people like what you like and you’ll end up like the Sylvester Stallone film festival- off to a “Rocky” start.

    “He who rolls up his sleeves seldom loses his shirt”.

    Shawn McCarthy BNI ED Ventura County, Ca.

  2. I love The Platinum Rule. So much so I teamed up with Dr. Alessandra and we applied this concept in all major areras of business. We coauthored a book called The Platinum Rule for Small Business Mastery ( It takes the platinum rule to new heights by applying it these concepts in several different areas.

    If you are not using The Platinum Rule you are missing a great opportunity to remove stress associated with building effective networking relationships and making these relationships most productive.

    1. It exists. The Silver Rule, “Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you”, is a standard of behavior found in the writings of, amongst others, Hillel the Elder. It is the converse of the ethical principle of the Golden Rule.[1] Reference: Wikipedia

      I am researching it now for a psychology class 🙂

  3. Ivan, Thanks for reminding me to re-read Tony’s Great Book this first week of 2009! Practicing his Platinum Rule sends the other person a distinctly, satisfying message: you actually cared enough to listen and then act upon their feedback. I became a “Practicing Attentive Listener” late in life after my hearing was severely impaired. C’est la vie!….. ‘Better Late than Never’. Keep the good stuff coming. Stay well and prosper, Gordie

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