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This week I celebrated another birthday and was overwhelmed with not only the number of responses I received on sites like Facebook and Twitter, but also the specific comments that people wrote. It was really amazing to see how connected so many of us can be in such a big world.

This birthday also made me realize how, in an effort to stay relevant, too often we allow ourselves to fall behind in our search for relevancy. The Facebook birthday reminders are a great example of this. They are a great way to make the people you love feel that love on their birthday, but they are not necessarily the best tool to help you stand out.

The people who posted on my wall for my birthday didn’t necessarily need me to acknowledge them, remember their post or stay top-of-mind in some way, because I am not a current or potential client of theirs. This got me thinking about you and your business. When you make the effort to recognize your clients on their birthday, you DO need to stand out, be remembered and stay top-of-mind in some way. So…do Facebook birthday wall posts do that? I don’t necessarily think so. Our intentions are good but are results are sometimes flawed at best.

In today’s world if you want to stand out, it is not enough to follow the herd and do what everyone else is doing. If you know that everyone else is writing on your client’s Facebook wall, that should be your clue to do so something different—like write a personal note, pick up the phone and call them or make a video for them. Out of all of the posts on my wall, Nicole Nicolay who sent me a “dance gram” and Jeff Turner who sang happy birthday to me stood out by far. Why – because they didn’t blend in.

They say that prophets laugh when others cry and cry when others laugh, and great investors buy when others sell and sell when others buy. I am telling you that great salespeople are not great because they do what everyone else is doing. They are great because they do what others are not doing and that is their unique positioning that allows them to stand out. This may start with something as simple as a birthday recognition but it expands out much further than that throughout your whole business and your systems and processes that you follow.

Do yourself a favor heading into the new year and ask yourself this question: What are you doing differently than your competition to stand out in the crowd?

Jared James is the CEO and Founder of Jared James Enterprises, an internationally sought-after speaker and trainer. James built one of the fastest-growing real estate teams in the country, was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for one of the world’s largest real estate companies and wrote a best-selling book—all before the age of 28. As an acclaimed speaker, James keynotes events for major real estate organizations and conducts regular webinars and training for nationally known organizations like NAR, CRS, Yahoo Real Estate,Trulia and Zillow Academy and blogs regularly for RISMedia.

To stay in touch with Jared James, visit and or visit his website at