Rob LasorsaThis post is sponsored by National Car Rental and the Emerald Club Loyalty Program.  Read on for great tips and for an opportunity for you to share and win a $200 AMEX gift card and an Emerald Club Executive Status promotional access card! <Click to Tweet>

Rob Lasorsa is part sales executive, part entrepreneur, but full-time loyalist.  An easy-going in life yet hard-charging in business man, Rob splits his time between two symbiotic ventures: working in sales for family-owned athletic products distributor M-F Athletic, and running a youth sports educational organization of his own (with his wife, Marigene) called National Throws Coaches Association.  Rob’s advice for entrepreneurs centers on basic yet oft forgotten tenets of treating people well and paying it forward.

Below are some of Rob Lasorsa’s best pieces of advice for entrepreneurial success.

Build Long-lasting Relationships: Rob believes that the key to success in business is building long- lasting relationships.  That means that he spends a lot of time on the road, meeting customers in person. “Face-to-face contact is the most important thing,” Rob says. “Everything is great with social media…but nothing beats face-to-face contact.”  It also means that he builds relationships with the companies that he believes can support him as he spends more than 20 weeks a year traveling.

“I tend to be loyal because I know from my past associations how important loyalty is,” Rob said. For rental cars, he’s used National since the late 1980s and is a member of their Emerald Club loyalty program, because of that relationship mantra.  Always having the ability to choose what car you want on your own terms from National’s “Emerald Aisle”, leaving the airport speedily, returning the car easily, and being rewarded for doing so makes National an important part of his business plan.

In fact, Rob is so committed to his relationships that he even chooses the same two automobile makers’ cars as rentals every time he travels.  He encourages other entrepreneurs to find partners like National that are reliable and make travel and other aspects of business stress-free.

Treat Your Own Customers the Way You Want to Be Treated as a Customer:  Rob says that he thinks about the way he wants to be treated and is treated by the brands where he’s the customer when dealing with his own customers. “We’re all in the service industry — we want to have access to great service,” he relates.

For example, Rob loves that National makes doing business simple and straightforward.  Plus, through the Emerald Club program, National rewards the loyalty of its customers with fantastic perks, ranging from free rental days to partner travel rewards, and have fantastic promotions like “One, Two, Free”, where you can earn perks even more quickly (through January 31, 2015, you can earn free days with every two qualifying rentals or 600 points).  Rob says that as a small business owner, you should look at how brands interact with you and carry over those positive experiences, methods and feelings to your own customer base.

Never Be Late: Living in an era where time is arguably our most precious resource, one of Rob’s most important pieces of advice is to “never be late”.  Plus, when you are doing something, stay in that moment and give it your full focus and attention.  Implementing this advice is another reason why Rob is a National Emerald Club member—his ability to skip the rental car counter, pick a car of his choice and be on his way to his customers and clients ensures that he doesn’t lose important time on unimportant business and travel logistics and can give his clients 100% of his attention. Use technology, service providers and more to make sure that you are honoring the time of those you are in business with, as well as making the best use of your own precious time!

Look to Make Your Life Easy:  Rob reminds us that entrepreneurs and business people have a ton of professional ups and downs, and adding travel into the mix makes life all the more stressful.  In fact, Rob’s travel is so frequent that he has some amazing travel stories (including having to leave a bathroom in an airport lounge when a former President of the United States came in having to use the facilities!) and he says that it’s important to keep a level head and maintain a stress-free attitude because things will go wrong.

Keeping your head and “staying cool” will help keep you sane through the ups and downs of business and travel, Rob relates.  He also suggests making sure that when you choose companies for your travel needs, to pick ones like National that make your life easy.  Rob says that he loves dropping his car and keys at the airport to find his eReceipt in his email and being able to actually use National’s reward perks without having to endure massive blackout dates.

Keep Your Overhead Down: When it comes to his own business and your business, Rob echoes one of my own father’s favorite lines—“Keep your overhead low”, keeping expenses down as long as it doesn’t impact customer service.  Making expensive choices for hotels, airlines, cars and more can add up. So, make sure to be thrifty and also use your perks to help with savings.  Rob uses National’s free rental days as his Emerald Club loyalty program perks to help keep his overall business costs down.  He encourages you to do the same in your business.  Look for ways to save money, including using loyalty program rewards to help defray your business costs.

Pay it Forward: Not surprisingly, as a loyal businessman, Rob’s big heart also includes giving back. That mantra helped him to start his National Throws youth clinics.  He says to look for unique ways that you can pay it forward.  For example, when he travels, if he brings his own toiletries on the road, he takes home the hotel soaps and shampoos and once he has enough, brings them to Shelter From The Storm, a local organization that helps runaway and homeless teenagers.

We thank National for generously sponsoring this post and introducing us to Rob Lasorsa.  National has also sponsored a fantastic opportunity for you as well.  Share this post on Twitter with the hashtag #OneTwoFree before noon ET on December 17th and be entered to win a $200 AMEX gift card and an Emerald Club Executive Status promotional access card! <Click to Tweet>

If you want to learn more about National’s Emerald Pro Program and its “One, Two, Free!” Promotion (which ends in January 31, 2015), please click here.