Subject: Re: Business
From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 14:11:42 -0700

On face-time and free stuff....

There's a guy I've met recently who's been in sales
and marketing for a decent number of years.  I've
seen him operate.  I've seen him mentoring the next
generation in his field.  I've been sold by him.   

He's quite nice and I don't want to give away any
of his "trade secrets" but....

One thing he treated me to was good advice
completely unrelated to anything he was selling.
We're just chatting -- he's listening to me love
to talk about myself and the problems I'm trying
to solve at work -- and he's got a lot of really good
advice!   Now obviously, don't hand out advice
unless you *know* it's good and likely to be
relevant and well received.   But, now when we
get around to talking about stuff he wants to sell
us, and why, and what we can do with it to make
our business better -- I just tend to listen to him
carefully.

Another neat trick....  He has a hobby.  Again,
I don't want to give away too much but he has
a craft hobby.   The kind of thing where you might
say to yourself "You know, to unwind after
work on the week-ends, I'd like to go into my
_____ room and make some _____s."   He does.
and he gives away _____s to prospects and their
employees as special treats in reward for giving
him their attention.   His _____s are very nice
and I never enjoy any of those _____s without
thinking of him.   It's so personal.  It's a way
to talk about quality and alliance without using
either word. 

It's all very effective.   He's "in like Flynn"
(ooo.... uh.... not literally of course) with not
just me but many of us at my employer.
Even when he's pitching something that I want
to disagree with and resist -- the dynamic is to
talk it over with him and work it out rather than
nodding politely, later going to my boss, and
reporting "that guy's an idiot."

There is one big underlying theme with this
guy that I think is foundational -- more important
than just the "tricks".   He's really dedicated to
the profession of the business I'm working for.
He studies it in all kinds of ways.  He works to
keep a broad perspective on it -- broader than
your average small business owner has time to
maintain themselves.   At every single step he's
in quasi-physician-mode of above all doing no harm
to clients and ideally helping improve their
wellness.   The "tricks" have value mainly as a
way to help reserved, basically shy people
express their worth -- they aren't a substitute for
being able to and wanting to help your customer
win.

All of which reminds me... I've gotta get back
to work ;-)

-t

p.s.:

Another very corny but good resource for
small businesses, and I have no affiliation with
or interest in this commercial source of info, is:

   http://www.gmarketing.com/




A. Pagaltzis wrote:
> * Robin 'Roblimo' Miller <robin@roblimo.com> [2006-05-12 13:15]:
> * Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net> [2006-05-12 18:00]:
>   
>> [ Lots of excellent advice snipped ]
>>     
>
> I also recommend Christopher Hawkins' weblog; in particular, have
> a read through the following article:
>
>     Face Time and Free Stuff
>     http://www.christopherhawkins.com/01-31-2006.htm#100
>
> In summary, when he moved to an entirely new place where he
> didn't know anyone, he spent time befriending business owners by
> offering them a free lunch and a chat without asking anything in
> return, to establish himself as a peer and get friendly. After a
> while, people offered him business without him even having asked,
> just because they knew him and needed a service they knew or
> assumed he could offer.
>
> Regards,
>