By  on May 26, 2006

Horst Rechelbacher, chief executive officer of Intelligent Nutrients and founder of Aveda, is a green marketer supreme.

He told summit attendees that he thanks a former client of his — Shirley Hutton, a.k.a. the "Pink Cadillac Lady" at Mary Kay Cosmetics — for teaching him the ins and outs of marketing.

"She was number one at the whole Mary Kay network, and she used to come into the salon and say, ‘Horst, I love the way you do my hair, but you are not efficient behind the chair when it comes to sales,'" Rechelbacher explained. "‘Because you never talk about what you got. See my big Cadillac out there? I have fun. I build relationships.'

"And I go, ‘yeah?' She says, ‘yeah.' Try to teach me what you're doing, be my coach, I said."

So she pitched in, and Rechelbacher scored record sales.

"I started training my people. Then I started making product and training the network," he said. "And I think that's the success of Aveda today, because it became an exclusive mentality of service where we actually touched people. We invented stress-relieving treatments."

He said it all goes back to "sharing energetics," or the flow and transformation of energy.

"Because business is about relationships, and business is about transaction of action, it's energetics," he said. "Your energy versus my energy — software, information, hardware, products.

"One of the most important things in my life I've been studying is what the relationships are between mind and body, because I've always been interested in the psychology of behavior. Why do people behave? Why do people buy?"

"Because ‘why' is so important," he maintained.

Rechelbacher is confident that business organizations can be spiritual about healing, where the client is paid utmost attention. He is a firm believer that, in particular, the organic industry, which is growing exponentially in sales and popularity, will be key in the future.

Rechelbacher described one conference he went to in Boston, attended by 5,000 women, where speakers discussed how "we are living in a chemical stew," including possible carcinogens in beauty products. Many in the audience had a strong emotional response.

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